Picking on outrageous federal entitlements, pork-barrel programs, and regulatory regimes trims the national budget about as much as plucking a straw from a haystack. But one program deserves special commendation for achieving the trifecta of bad governance: regressive transfers, inefficiency, and inhibited innovation. I refer to the Essential Air Service (EAS) program of the Department of Transportation, which subsidizes scheduled air service to rural communities far from major airline hubs.
These routes are the back roads of skies, serving unknown hamlets like Show Low, Arizona; Thief River Falls, Minnesota; and Greenbrier, West Virginia. They are generally poorly traveled, costing American taxpayers millions every year to subsidize. Continue reading “Unfree as a Bird”