Guest Post: How We Got $16 Trillion In Debt, One Local Project At A Time
On Thursday, August 9 I attended a local Republican lunch featuring Drew Wrigley.
Before the event the usual chit-chat was taking place at my table and someone’s vacation came up. As things continued, 3-4 people began commenting on how they fly out of Fargo because the prices out of the Jamestown Airport are just too high.
Bear in mind, JUST the day before candidate for Senate Berg was in town making political hay out of getting the grand-tour of our new terminal built with millions in printed and borrowed stimulus dollars.
So I worked up some courage, and calmly threw out the suggestion that perhaps this was proof Jamestown simply couldn’t support an airport on a free-market basis; and our airport was something the tax dollars of strangers shouldn’t be used to prop up.
At that point I was immediately and angrily rebuffed by a local Republican Lion; a man I consider a friend; a man I attended a Berg volunteer phone event with just the prior evening; a man I’ve heard decry wasteful spending. “The Airport is important to this town!” he declared.
There you have it!
The Jamestown Regional Airport terminal was built with millions in stimulus dollars the country doesn’t have.
Each flight is heavily subsidized by the tax dollars of individuals all over the country.
And despite these huge subsidies, the fares STILL can’t compete with those of nearby airports like Fargo so the boarding’s remain sparse.
So you wind up with the surreal pictures of a man claiming he wants to be elected to the Senate to cut wasteful spending coming to town to make campaign hay by visiting our wasteful airport. And ostensibly conservative Republicans chatting about how they all fly out of Fargo when their OWN money is at stake; but then beating down the suggestion our airport might be a waste of tax dollars “because it’s important to this town!”
And that friend is how a country winds up almost $16,000,000,000,000,000 in debt.
Because if some poor slob in New Jersey is paying to subsidize the Jamestown Regional Airport; some poor slob in Jamestown is paying to subsidize some utter waste of money in Illinois that someone there thought was “important.”
The era of “only other people’s wasteful spending has to be cut” needs to end. It’s time to look in the mirror and walk the walk; not just talk the talk.
The country is BROKE. Most of the states are BROKE. Many of the cities are BROKE. Too many of the people are BROKE because their money is confiscated by BROKE governments.
And yet we spend millions on Airports in places like Jamestown and Devils Lake ND-the Chevy Volts of Air Travel-because of a vague concept “it’s important.”
Truth be told I risk offending some friends and suffering some backlash as a result of writing these comments. But fiscal restraint has to start somewhere. Why not with us and not the other guy?
No one Milky Way bar or one bag of chips made me fat; yet here I am at 275 pounds. Yet putting down just ONE Milky Way bar is a start.
Patrick R. Pfeiffer is the Vice President and General Manager of KSJB/Kiss 93.3 Radio in Jamestown, ND.Tags: essential air subsidies, guest posts, jamestown airport, North Dakota News