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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/9955/using-the-web-to-beat-back-the-state/

Using the Web to Beat Back the State

May 15, 2009 by

Well, I just gave myself a five minute education on an important topic, namely how the TSA and Congress and various other interests including the Obama admin are planning to tax and regulate smaller airlines known as general aviation, which is the sector of pilots and planes that is neither military nor scheduled commercial. Thanks to an ad at the NYT, I landed on this site, which does a great job explaining why general aviation is so important, but the site is weak on explaining exactly what Congress has in mind.

This proposed regulation seems to want to bring GA into the ghastly regulatory system that has nearly killed commercial flight in the United States. Note the date: Oct 2008 BO (Before Obama). The Airline Owners and Pilots Association is also furious about a proposed tax on flights, but, sadly, says a better plan would be to raise other kinds of taxes. In other words, it is an honorable fight but not a very principled one.

In any case, I’m sorry that these people have been forced to spend so much money just to defend their right to fly but one has to admire how they have used technology to bonk our Washington masters on the nose.


Mac May 15, 2009 at 9:20 am

Another great leap backwards, it looks like.

Oh, by the way, Harrison Ford is doing their ads: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaQAPFDM58g&feature=channel_page


John Brock May 15, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Let’s look at exactly what they are requesting:

For aircraft (only) with a MTWO of 12,500 lbs or greater (large aircraft):

Conduct watch-list matching of
their passengers through TSA-approved
watch-list matching service providers.

Undergo a biennial audit of their
compliance by a TSA-approved third
party auditor.

Comply with the current cargo
requirements for the twelve-five allcargo
program if conducting an all-cargo

For aircraft with a MTOW of over
45,500 kilograms operated for
compensation or hire, screen passengers
and their accessible property.

Check property on board for
unauthorized persons.

In addition, TSA is proposing
amendments to its regulations regarding
airport security programs. 5 TSA is
proposing to require additional airports
to adopt security programs, because
these airports serve aircraft operators
that either currently must carry out a
security program or would be required
to have a security program under the
proposed rule. TSA proposes to require
the following airports to adopt a
security program:

Reliever airports, which perform
the function of relieving congestion at
commercial service airports and provide
more GA access to the overall

Airports that regularly serve large
aircraft with scheduled or public charter

Ensure that their flight crew
members have undergone a fingerprintbased
criminal history records check


I respectfully disagree with your statement “…forced to spend so much money just to defend their right to fly” as it seems to be born out of spontaneous distrust.

First they are not defending any right. Secondly they are not spending so much money, they are spending “more” money. And more money to some may be a drop in the bucket. And thirdly it could mean more jobs, not less.

I am not proposing that these changes are stress free or cheap. I am not proposing that these changes are needed. I am not proposing that these changes will actually accomplish what they are supposed to accomplish. I am proposing that there has been no evidence presented to a national audience that these changes will cost or even threaten over a million jobs; and further that jumping the gun and accusing and/or implying any proposed program of doing so doesn’t help support the cause of moving Austrian Economics forward.

Having a negative tone against government just for the sake of having a negative tone, does no good. The entire case must be reviewed before conclusions are made. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the hype, even if the hype seems to be something that you side with on the surface. Dig deeper before you reach conclusions.

DerekB May 15, 2009 at 5:45 pm

@ John:

Having a negative tone against government is what the Free Market is all about! Any and every time the government attempts to expand itself (by taxation, new agencies or regulatory bodies, etc etc) – even if they actually have the best of intentions – the secondary effects are often twice as bad as the original problem to be rectified.

The reason is very simple: Governments do not understand free markets. Free markets have, and always will be, a complete mystery to them. Politicians’ greatest skill is that of being elected. Their end game is always to carry that on – thus all financial decision they make are short-sighted and politically oriented first and foremost. Bearing that in mind, and having centuries of consistent failures to the government’s name, I cannot begin to understand how you can even be on this website and suggest that the government imposing new taxes on a free enterprise is a good thing!

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