Airline Bailouts & Political Theft

The U.S. government says Saddam Hussein is a tyrant. I think they are right. The American military is going to great lengths to overthrow this foreign evil. Who will protect us from Washington thieves?

The article below was published in the Gwinnett Daily Post on April 18, 2003.


It looks like momentum is building for more theft in Washington. Congressional members of both parties are calling for additional airline bailouts. The $15 billion given to the airlines after September 11th is gone.

Airlines have been failing in their efforts to convince us to fly. They are replacing peaceful persuasion with political coercion. Airline unions and chief executives have shed all pretense of shame and are begging government to extort on their behalf.

There are always firms and families struggling to make ends meet. Congress is choosing to reward some and not others. Nobody cares for my unexpected economic decline and there is no moral or rational reason taxpayers should be responsible for airline profits.

If government takes responsibility for airline profits, they should take responsibility for all. Fairness would warrant bailouts for limos, shoeshine stands, restaurants, gift shops, taxis, food service companies, city budgets, and the hotel industry.

Congress currently takes 40% of our income. Suppose they continue to expand their compassion and decide to take 100% of our income. How does taking all of our income, then giving it all back actually help? It doesn’t. Government overhead consumes a sizable portion of our money and what’s left over is doled out to one welfare case or the other. Our freedom to choose where we spend the money we earn ends up being replaced by political favoritism and free market forces are subverted.

Constant interference in the form of regulation and oversight is the main reason the airlines are failing. Congress should get out of the airline protection racket. The free market solution is called bankruptcy. That’s the way free markets work. It’s efficient, fair, and non-political. Supporting inefficient companies artificially with public money only prolongs natural clearing mechanisms. This is why the American steel industry is an economic basket case and remains on the public dole.

I am sick and tired of working for those that use the threat of deadly IRS force to steal my property. I am sick and tired of special interest groups and bankrupt industries using political force to shift their failures onto the backs of productive people and businesses. Political theft is wrong. Corporate welfare reduces our economic freedom and creates distortions throughout the marketplace.

State sponsored tyranny can take many forms. Why are American soldiers fighting for Iraqi freedom, but not mine?