This report is a classic example of the kind of stories we will be seeing more of as the federal stimulus bill funds get spent. It has all of the elements of classic pork-barrel spending — a powerful Congressman focused on bringing money into his district, a spigot of federal funds that continuously spews out taxpayer dollars with virtually no meaningful controls, and a project that makes no economic sense and therefore would never be undertaken by any private entity. The result? A multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art airport that has virtually no flights, virtually no passengers, and heavily subsidized fares — all thanks to Congressman John Murtha, for whom the airport is named!
I wish that the news media would aggressively seek out more of these kinds of stories. With the kind of horse-trading that goes on in the halls of Congress, we can be confident that for every John Murtha Airport near Johnstown, Pennsylvania, there are dozens of unnecessary federal buildings, recreation complexes, bridges to nowhere, and other monuments to pork-barrel spending to be found from sea to shining sea. It is absurd and appalling, and with the enormous amounts of taxpayer money that are being spent through the stimulus bill, it will only get much, much worse.