Forum Thread

Airline ticket tax

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  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Our friend Obama wants to put an additional tax of about $15 per ticket on airline tickets. Right now the tax on tickets is already 20%; is this helping our economy? Sorry to say if he's looking for money get it at trillions of useless defense spending. Lately I get the idea that the Pentagon is totally holy; neither we do not hear of anything related to the Afghanistan war on the news, neither of all the drones we shoot, the only thing we see is the huge bill at the Pentagon. Sorry to say Obama is a huge disappointment. I guess he just wants only to create more veterans than we already have. Is this country nuts?
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    A subtle push for people to use the trains? If so then use that to modernize the rail system using American Made steel.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    You're right Dutch if President Obama wanted to get some extra money he could end the war in Afghanistan, actually helping the economy. He should have ended it 4 years ago, how much money could we have saved not to mention how many lives? The money saved could be spent to build some bridges, huh? Jobs would be created, taxes generated, life could be improved for so many of us for so many years.

    ..."Obama is a huge disappointment"... well unfortunately you are right about that, too. Still...think of the alternative: President McCain or President Romney. So things could be worse but you are absolutely right that Obama has let us down on so many issues.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Any more I think all of our choices and or priorties suck, our options are so limited that it begs for term limits so as to get new blood and freash ideas in that mess in D.C
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    We have to face the unfortunate truth that in order to become POTUS one has to sell their soul to Wall St, big business and the war machine. It's all about money - the man on the street doesn't have a chance anymore.

    The major difference between the a Republicans & the Democrates is the Republicans don't even pretend to support the typical citizen anymore.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    From my understanding is that any monies allocated by Congress for certain areas such as the defense dept,is that if left unspent then the money is re-allocated to the General Fund to be spent by Congress at their own discretion and on their own individual pet projects, this is what is truly wrong with our manner of spending.
  • Independent
    New Hampshire
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    A few errors in posts:
    1. The tank purchase is being push through by congress, the Army doesn't want it. There can be a Bipartisan action taken in Congress. The members of Congress where the tanks are to be built and the companies building them are going to get it pushed through.
    2. When has the military not spent money it was scheduled to receive? The major contracts for all branches are usually after additional funding for over runs, which by the way are not a part of the military budget.

    As Airlines are operating at a loss every year, even the years they make a profit, President Obama may be planning another bailout.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    I would hope that President Obama is not planning for another bailout.

    Wouldn't planning for economic growth make more sense?
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    The New York Times had an article discussing taxes on airline travelers:

    New York Times, May 6, 2013: Tax Proposals Open a Debate on Airline Industry’s Troubles

    "The debate largely centers on two questions lawmakers and industry representatives will have to wrestle with in the coming months: who should pay for the essential functions of the aviation system — travelers or all taxpayers? And could tax increases be avoided if the money collected were spent more efficiently?"

    The taxes fund specific parts of air travel: the FAA gets their piece of the pie, customs and immigration get a piece from international travelers, and of course the much maligned TSA gets their share to fund security at airports. I agree that monies could be saved by improved efficiency (that's an argument that applies to just about everything). For example should we keep smaller airports running in areas with with fewer travelers? This was an issue in the sequester...closing smaller airports to save costs. The private airplane owners squawked and the FAA backed off.

    Another example: Should post offices in rural areas close because they do not cover their costs?

    Putting those issues aside, should air travelers as a whole pay for 100 percent of the government functions of running and maintaining our airports including security, or should those costs be spread over all taxpayers?

    It would seem that right now the air travelers are paying a bit less than their share of actual costs for the privilege of flying, although you might dispute the need or cost of some of those services. And the rest of the tax paying populace makes up the difference.

    So who should pay?
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    For those of us that have worked in the aviation business and have knowledge of the infrastructure at airports around the country, it would be wise to bring an additional tax to air transportation. The FAA is funded by two funds. One fund comes from all taxpayers in the form of an Operations Budget that is submitted to Congress, which is consistently delayed and the can kicked down the road for the next round of budget talks. Although the FAA often finds enough funds to stay alive, it does not give a good feel for talking care of the transportation business. Think of all those air frames you travel on and think about all those parts that fail. If an FAA inspector is not available to monitor the under market parts being put on that air liner than you are the victim of a failed flight that may have crashed. It's like the FDA monitoring the health of the food industry, if an inspector is not there to insure a plague is not brewing in the beef than you as a consumer get to be the victim. The FAA Operations fund also funds the special programs to operate the National Airspace Program. Those tools that pilots use to log their flights, get information on air routes and have the ability to be controlled by an air traffic controller. The Operations Budgets funds the Programs, Personnel and the thousands of buildings that provide aviation services. The other fund is the Facilities and Equipment (F&E) budget that comes from airline and travelor taxation. The F&E fund provides overhaul and improvements to airports and facilities. Todate, infrastructure at our airports have several problems from 50+ year old buried cable to 30+ year old equipment. Some airports like the larger level of service (Ohara, Dallas, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles and Seattle) have many improvements, which leaves hundreds of other airports being fixed with whatever will work. The Technicians are very skilled, but fewer are employed due to austerity programs that have reduced their numbers.

    Another concept that has been around for twenty years is the selling off of the government services at airports to a private contractor, such as LockHeed-Martin, Raytheon, Burns-McDonald, McDonald-Douglas and others. The FAA would pay for a contractor to perform what they had done previously, but most always at a much higher price. There's no bargain here going with a contractor. The taxpayer will be paying more for the services which was done by the government. A classic example is the past ten years with LockHeed-Martin taking over the Flight Services across the lower 48 states. The FAA gave them a building and network across the nation and pays them a substidy for their operations, plus when a pilot wants a service done by these private flight service stations, he had better have his credit card ready. Like I said, "there's no bargin for the taxpayer".

    So, if it's true about the 15% tax on airfares, just think what may come next. If the privatization occurs of the national airspace system, you would do better to expect airline ticket prices will more than double. It's business as usual, just like gasoline at the pump. Air travel is a rich commodity and the rich and bold want it badly and will lobby for it intensely with every Congressman than can. Airport business is a gold mine. There's something tied to the 15% and it may be improving a dying infrastructure at airports and throughout aviation (communications, navigation, radar, weather, lighting and automation services).
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    AmcmurryFreedom --

    Thanks for the very informative post. Many people, depending on their news source, do not have an appreciation of the professionalism of the employees of the FAA and other government agencies. We only hear the anecdotal isolated incidents which radio broadcasters like Rush Limbaugh blow way out of proportion. Take the TSA for example. While most Americans appreciate the job that they do, the negative stories, particularly regarding the body scanners, capture the headlines. In their defense I'll share this from their TSA Blog:

    Friday, May 24, 2013: TSA Week in Review: Record 65 Firearms Discovered In Carry-on Bags (54 Loaded)

    That's right. Just in the past week, passengers attempted to carry onto airplanes 65 firearms, 54 of which were loaded. Go to the above link to see detail descriptions and photos of those firearms. Some of these were detected with body scanners.

    Not only that but knives and razor blades were found...one of which was concealed in the sole of the passenger's shoe.

    The TSA is doing it's job...

    Before I retired I had interactions with lots of government employees in different agencies. I found them not only knowledgeable but very receptive in working around problems and issues. They are our neighbors, friends, and acquaintances...good Americans that are only doing their jobs. I therefore take issue with those that want to malign them as big government socialists, or whatever other names they call them.

    As more is revealed about the so called IRS scandal, I believe that the professionals working at the IRS will be vindicated, and if anyone goes to jail it might indeed be some of the administrators of the 501 c4's that lied to the IRS in their applications.

    The FAA has enormous responsibility for our safety, but like many other agencies are understaffed for their task at hand...or what we as citizens expect of them.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote: AmcmurryFreedom --

    Thanks for the very informative post. Many people, depending on their news source, do not have an appreciation of the professionalism of the employees of the FAA and other government agencies. We only hear the anecdotal isolated incidents which radio broadcasters like Rush Limbaugh blow way out of proportion. Take the TSA for example. While most Americans appreciate the job that they do, the negative stories, particularly regarding the body scanners, capture the headlines. In their defense I'll share this from their TSA Blog:

    Friday, May 24, 2013: TSA Week in Review: Record 65 Firearms Discovered In Carry-on Bags (54 Loaded)

    That's right. Just in the past week, passengers attempted to carry onto airplanes 65 firearms, 54 of which were loaded. Go to the above link to see detail descriptions and photos of those firearms. Some of these were detected with body scanners.

    Not only that but knives and razor blades were found...one of which was concealed in the sole of the passenger's shoe.

    The TSA is doing it's job...

    Before I retired I had interactions with lots of government employees in different agencies. I found them not only knowledgeable but very receptive in working around problems and issues. They are our neighbors, friends, and acquaintances...good Americans that are only doing their jobs. I therefore take issue with those that want to malign them as big government socialists, or whatever other names they call them.

    As more is revealed about the so called IRS scandal, I believe that the professionals working at the IRS will be vindicated, and if anyone goes to jail it might indeed be some of the administrators of the 501 c4's that lied to the IRS in their applications.

    The FAA has enormous responsibility for our safety, but like many other agencies are understaffed for their task at hand...or what we as citizens expect of them.
    "freedom/Schmidt" Sure you guys are not telling me something new; I worked in Aviation and worked for it all over the globe; but the issue I brought forward is quite simple; ticket prices especially across the "big pond" have been rising every year; my wife travels to Europe once or twice a year so we can follow the development of pricing. The point I'm trying to make is first of all the ridiculous sequester thing trying to pinch air traffic control; this did backfire; then they come up with this. The total refusal to cut defense spending drastically, that is what irritates me the most.
    Cutting a few F35's or navy ships, will not keep us less safe unless you want to start WWIII tomorrow. That is the point I'm making. Extending the Afghanistan disaster till 2014 instead of stopping it now will create even more funds. If they would cut all these wasted hobby things, and apply that to aviation, your tickets would be about 5 cents.!!!!