U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder revealed this past week that he has found a way to avoid furloughing thousands of federal prison guards - action the Justice Department had claimed would be necessary because of "sequester" spending cuts. Holder said he has moved $150 million from other agency accounts to fund the guards.
If Holder can do it at the Justice Department, why can't the Federal Aviation Administration come up with a similar plan to avoid furloughs for air traffic controllers?
FAA officials, also blaming the sequester, say air traffic control towers at 149 airports throughout the country will be shut down. That means pilots will have to coordinate takeoffs and landings on their own. Obviously, that's a major safety risk that cannot be allowed to take place.
But the action and claims of having no choice but to furlough the air traffic controllers is seemingly part of President Barack Obama's campaign to avoid any reductions in federal spending by making the sequester as painful as possible, of course, and sometimes in obviously silly ways. Cancelling tours of the White House? Give us a break. All that does is draw sympathetic attention to the sequester issue for booting kids out of the White House.
But again, if Holder was able to keep his guards, why can't the FAA keep airport control towers?