USA Today reported in today’s issue that annually the federal government subsidizes airports to the tune of 1.8 billion dollars. At first, that might not seem so much considering all the airports we use. But this 1.8 billion doesn’t go to the large commercial airports that most of us use. This is just what subsidizes small, rural airports, that are only meant for small private planes.
Does this bother me? No, not really. I see it as a basic function of government to facilitate transportation in our nation. Airports, highways, ports, and rails all need the help of our public monies.
The problem I have is with a number of congressmen and women who will vote continually for this small private airports (which a number of congressmen and women use) and then cry foul when it comes time to help support our railroad infrastructure. One month they’ll vote to subsidize airlines (in many more ways than just in this one case I raise in this posting) and then in the next argue that railroads should be completely self sufficient.
If I met someone who maintained that the government should subsidize neither, I wouldn’t necessarily agree with him but I would respect him. At least he would be consistent. But none of us have much respect for those who flip flop back and forth on a position as it suits them. It points to a deeper problem.
Railroads, which I have loved since I was a kid, might seem outdated. But in reality they are an incredibly fuel efficient way to transport our goods and an economical way to travel. And there has never been a nation in the history of the world who developed and maintained a transportation system without public monies.
And what does this have to do with faith? On a spiritual level, we have to be careful if we say we believe something to keep integrity with that beyond our own personal interests. Keeping integrity with our beliefs makes more than political sense, it strengthens our spirituality as well.
All the best,