Our previous post titled "Progressive Taxes: The Ultimate Conflict of Interest" raised the issue that politicians use the promise of favorable tax treatment to woo voters and get elected. But once in office, the need to garner votes and sway public opinion doesn't disappear. After being elected, sexy promises become proposed legislation, and the left seems to be the champion of warm and fuzzy be-sure-to-vote-for-me bills.
How, you ask? Well, for starters, the left pushed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Republicans vehemently opposed it. Do you really think republicans are cold-hearted? Do you really believe they want Americans to be sick and hurting and dying without treatment? No. The GOP is just sensible and knows the PPACA is a finance and government oversight disaster. It believes there is a better way to provide affordable healthcare coverage to America's citizens. It recognizes that the PPACA was nothing more than a, here it is again, be-sure-to-vote-for-me political move that ensures a large group of voters will cast their ballots for democrats. Just think about it. With the glaring potential legal battles and the sure-shot financial mess (not to mention the overwhelming public dissent at the thought that our embarrassingly inefficient government could be stepping into the sector that comprises 18% of the U.S. GDP), the democrats pushed onward. Why? Well, we're not talking science here, but how many of the 46 million Americans currently living without health insurance will vote against Obama and the democrats? The phrase "don't bite the hand that feeds you" seems like a perfect fit. This post is not about healthcare, however.
While some issues like affordable healthcare are pertinent and should be resolved, others, like the one discussed below, seem to be another prime example of the left using legislation to sway public opinion.
Enter U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, D - LA. Until a new candidate for this title comes along, she shall be deemed the Face of Waste.
With unemployment holding steady at 9%, the financial markets tanking, public education in ruins, and scandals like Fast and Furious and the Solyndra fiasco gaining stream, what does Mrs. Landrieu introduce? The Airline Passenger BASICS or Basic (yes, she uses the acronym as the first word) Airline Standards to Improve Customer Satisfaction Act. It's a bill that would require airlines to allow passengers to check one bag for free (in addition to one free carry-on item).
Gulp! See it here: CNN.com Foxnews.com KATC.com
Oh come on! Seriously? First, this is a HUGE overstep by the government. Has Mrs. Landrieu heard of the free market? Without getting deep into Adam Smith's invisible hand theory, if a customer doesn't like an airline's bag fees, that customer has the freedom to choose another airline (cough, Southwest). With regards to bag fees, the market would naturally work itself out. Secondly, remember what happened when the government attempted to regulate various bank fees (like bounced check fees)? The banks simply found another way to collect the money. Airlines will follow suit.
But all that aside, we say "come on" because this is just plain stupid. This is nothing more than a pretentious facade by Mrs. Landrieu to act like she cares about people and their travelling concerns. This bill is a complete waste of time and money, and we believe travelers can make their own travel decisions without government assistance. They don't need the government regulating the airline industry, and they certainly don't need BASICS and the bureaucratic mess it would bring.
Shame on you, Mrs. Landrieu. We hope Americans see through this wasteful attempt to make everyone feel just a little more warm and fuzzy around the holidays.