Donald Trump cheerleader Rep. Bill Shuster is apparently so eager to keep trying to advance his union-giveaway, cronyist bill dealing with air traffic control (which just so *happens* to be exactly the legislation that his girlfriend’s employer has been gunning for for years), that he’s now risking Congress devolving into a tax fight so he can keep pushing it. Yes, really. Via a recent edition of Politico’s Morning Transportation:
TAX TURBULENCE AHEAD ON FAA? Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune isn’t committing to voting against a short-term FAA extension if that’s what the House sends up in the coming weeks, but he’s warning GOP leaders in the other chamber that a stopgap measure could reignite a tax fight he and his colleagues have already beat back once.
For what it’s worth, Thune has continued waving a red flag about this tax issue since that snippet originally ran. And Shuster has carried on, as per normal.
Shuster seems to have forgotten it’s an election year (even though his Tea Party primary opponent is so pissed off at Shuster’s approach to ethics that he’s now running as Democrat to try to get rid of him), and even though a bunch of his colleagues are in meltdown mode over their re-election prospects with the Shuster-endorsed Great Orange Menace heading the ticket. So, it’s no surprise he’d be willing to risk Democrats screwing around with taxes, just so he can push his PRECIOUS legislation. Legislation, by the way, that Heritage reminds us is a huge giveaway to the same government unions Ronald Reagan went against, hard-core:
[…] the legislation includes troubling labor provisions. Its supporters seem intent on buying government union support by giving them even more leverage over the public than they now possess.
This sets a terrible precedent for future privatization efforts. Congress should modernize America’s air traffic control system without enriching unions.
[…] the Aviation Innovation Reform and Reauthorization Act (AIRR) does not address one of the problems impeding reform: the National Association of Air Traffic Controllers, the union representing air-traffic controllers. The union has used its leverage to negotiate gold-plated and diamond-studded compensation packages for its members.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median air traffic controller makes $123,000 a year in cash wages. Including noncash benefits brings the average total compensation package to approximately $200,000 a year—vastly more than most private-sector workers in jobs requiring an associate’s degree.
The public pays for these inflated compensation packages through higher taxes on airline passengers. The National Association of Air Traffic Controllers redistributes wealth from taxpayers and the flying public—most of whom make much less than $200,000 a year – to the union’s members.
The “reform” measure does nothing to stop this. Worse, it includes several provisions that strengthen the union’s hand…
Go read Heritage’s whole critique of the thing. There are four major ways in which what Shuster is pushing would actually make government unions more powerful, which probably explains why—as Hot Air notes— the air traffic controllers’ union is doing their darnedest to push the thing through, and sending hyperbolic letters around congressional offices to try to make this thing palatable when it clearly is not. While also, apparently, increasing the odds of tax hikes pushed by Democrats in the Senate.
This is, evidently, how we make America great again. More giveaways for government unions, more cronyism, and congressmen doing the bidding of their sexual partners’ employers.