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Rural Air Travel Subsidies

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AP is running a story about a 40% increase in the budget (to 173 million) of the Essential Air Service. This is a subsidy geared towards making sure airlines fly unprofitable routes. It an approach that sounds right out of Atlas Shrugged it is in place to ensure that no citizen will be denied air service.

In many cases the flights are nearly empty. In other instances, such as flights between Buffalo Niagara International Airport and Jamestown, N.Y., just 76 miles away, it's quicker to drive than fly.

The Bush administration was looking to cut this program by half in a rare fit of fiscal responsibility but the program is supported by President Obama.

This increase comes as the Transportation department is reporting that he Highway Trust Fund needs an additional 5 billion or it will be insolvent.