TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Sequester Proposal

Air Force One and all government planes used for travel by Cabinet secretaries, other executive branch officials, and members of Congress and their staffs, must endure the same delays and cancellations as that suffered by the average traveler the prior day.

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Excellent. And - non-sequester realted - Congress and its staff cannot exempt themselves from Obamacare.

Posted by: air65cav | Apr 25, 2013 9:03:21 AM

Tell me again why we even have government planes for most of the people who use them. Ok, Defense and State, but is there any reason why the Sec. of Labor needs a government plane?

Posted by: David R. | Apr 25, 2013 3:56:02 PM

My sequester proposal: Do your job Congress and pass a budget for FY13.

FY13 started Oct. 1, 2012, in case you didn't know. The budget show have been in passed and signed into law before FY13 started. Think you and the President can accomplish that for FY14? You still have 5 months to get it done.

Posted by: taxguy | Apr 25, 2013 7:08:29 PM

David R: The Secretary of Labor does not have a plane. The U.S. Air Force maintains a fleet of aircraft for use by the president, vice-president, cabinet secretaries, and high-ranking members of congress. The president customarily uses "Air Force One," usually a VC-25 (Boeing 747). The VP uses "Air Force Two," usually a C-32 (Boeing 757). The Special Air Mission, 89th Wing at Joint Base Andrews operates these aircraft, along with several UH-1 Iroquois helicopters ("Marine One" when ferrying POTUS), C-40s (Boeing 737), C-37s (Gulfstream V), and C-20s (Gulfstream IV). These airplanes are used on an as-needed basis by the designated government officials. The controllers at Andrews are U.S. Air Force personnel, not FAA air traffic controllers, so they are not subject to the furlough orders. High ranking military personnel also use military aircraft. The Attorney General occasionally uses one of several FBI aircraft.

Personally, I would rather that our high government officials not waste their time waiting in airports or on runways. For about 25 years, I flew out of National Airport on government business. On numerous occasions, I was on board commercial aircraft carrying cabinet secretaries. My boss, Janet Reno, flew economy class, even though she was six feet tall and quite cramped in her seat. Needless to say, she could do no work while on route to her destination. Once, I was on a jet that was called back to the gate so that (in the days before cell phones), Fed Chairman Paul Volkert could take a call from the President.

Prof. Caron's sequester suggestion (presumably tongue-in-cheek) falls into the same category as conservative suggestions to cut the budget of the IRS. Penny-wise, but pound-foolish.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Apr 26, 2013 8:03:43 AM

Above, Publius Novus "would rather that our high government officials not waste their time waiting in airports or on runways," and complains that former AG Reno sometimes had to fly economy class and had to forgo work due to the cramped seating.

Too bad. I worked for five Attorney Generals, including Reno, and I traveled across the United States trying cases on behalf of the public, solely on commercial fares. P.N. should spare readers the elitist B.S. Thomas Jefferson would puke.

Posted by: Jake | Apr 26, 2013 6:06:13 PM

Thomas Jefferson might puke, but I'll bet when he sailed to France he didn't go economy class.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Apr 30, 2013 6:51:32 AM