If Congress members had kids in Head Start . . .


by David Safier

"The nation will not stand for airport delays!" Congress yells, and the Obama administration considers ways to get furloughed air traffic controllers back on the job. After all, important people — including Congressional frequent fliers who spend 3 or 4 days in D.C., then wing their way homeward for the long weekend — can't be made to wait a few extra hours in airports.

But it's not a problem if we ignore the needs of all those unimportant little people, like preschoolers who can't get into Head Start programs because of the sequester. And we can ignore the equally inconsequential needs of poor folk too, people who will no longer be served by Meals on Wheels because of budget cuts. Early childhood education? Nutrition? They don't weigh nearly as heavily as the inconvenience endured by people who can afford to pay good money for plane tickets then can't depend on getting to their destinations on time.

You can imagine the ads that will run against legislators who resist getting the air traffic controllers back on the job. But don't expect much blowback from cutting government services to the most vulnerable. That won't cost anyone enough votes to worry about.