Another busy day at the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport
Oh…but think of the jobs created – 1 runway paver:
Murtha represents a district of Pennsylvania in Congress. Over the past 10 years, the Washington Post reported earlier this year, he has directed at least $150 million in federal funds to his airport – to no avail.
The airport is just outside Johnstown, population 21,000. Thanks to Murtha, it has all kinds of federally funded goodies – a new terminal with a restaurant, an $8 million high-tech radar system that has never been used, a helicopter hangar, a motorized baggage carousel – and a taxpayer subsidy of $147 per passenger, double the national average.
Not that there are many passengers.
The airport has only six flights a day – all to the same location, Washington, D.C. – and each flight carries an average of only 20 passengers.
“Inside the terminal on a recent weekday,” the Post reported, “four passengers lined up to board a flight, outnumbered by seven security staff members and supervisors . . . . For three hours that day, no commercial or private planes took off or landed.”
Yet when Democrats passed the $787 billion “spendulous” bill earlier this year, what project should get another $800,000?
Murtha’s airport, which will have its second runway repaved.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., in a piece that appeared recently in The Spectator, challenged the president to explain how that decision gibes with his commitment “to make sure that every single dollar” of stimulus money is “well spent.”
Sheriff Joe could not be reached for comment.
Ayn Rand couldn’t have done better at demonstrating futile Statist policies at work, but she came close in Atlas Shrugged:
San Sebastian Mines
San Sebastian Mines is a copper mining project in Mexico founded by Francisco d’Anconia and named after his ancestor Sebastian d’Anconia. Francisco’s reputation as a businessman is so great that investors flock to him, begging to invest money in the enterprise. Investors include James Taggart and Orren Boyle. James Taggart goes so far as to build a new branch of Taggart Transcontinental, the San Sebastian Line, to serve the mines, sinking $30 million into the project. When the development of the mines appears complete, the Mexican government nationalizes them as well as the San Sebastian Line, only to discover there is no copper and there never was.
When James Taggart tells Francisco he considers the Mines a rotten swindle ( section 161), Francisco explains that Taggart should be pleased with the way he ran the mines. He says he put into practice those moral precepts that were accepted around the world. The world says it is evil to pursue a profit – he got no profit from the worthless mines. The world says the purpose of an enterprise is not to produce, but to give a livelihood to its employees – it produced nothing, but created jobs that would never have existed if one was only concerned with developing a real mine. The world says the owner is an exploiter and the workers do all the real work – he left the enterprise entirely in the hands of the workers and did not burden anyone with his presence. The world says need is a more important than ability – he hired a mining specialist who needed a job very badly, but had no ability.
In short, the San Sebastian Mines were an illustration of what happens when this moral code is put into practice, and a warning of what will soon happen to the world as a whole.
Maybe conservatives need to create their own “Galt’s Gulch”…preferably in Texas.
Photo credit: The Brooklyn Nomad.