《经济学人》:美国联邦航空管理局,翅膀被剪
日期:2011-08-10 11:21

(单词翻译:单击)

The Federal Aviation Administration
美国联邦航空管理局

Wings clipped
翅膀被剪

A worked example of the effects of congressional stupidity
国会愚蠢行为之后果造就的现成例子

Aug 6th 2011 | NEW YORK | from the print edition

LaGuardia’s old tower, now partly down
拉瓜地机场的旧空管塔,现已部分拆除

AFTER he had signed the debt-ceiling deal, Barack Obama mentioned “another Washington-inflicted wound on America”. He was speaking about the impasse over funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which manages air safety and air-traffic control. Congressmen could not resolve a petty disagreement over the extension of the agency’s operating-authority bill, which expired on July 22nd. As a result, the agency has partly shut down, and 4,000 employees have been sent home. Air-traffic controllers are still on the job, as they are paid from a different source. But scores of FAA construction and research projects have been halted, affecting at least 70,000 workers. “Members of Congress should not get on a plane to fly home for vacation without passing an FAA bill and putting thousands of people back to work,” said Ray LaHood, the transport secretary. His words were drowned in the rush for the doors.

巴拉克•奥巴马在签署了债务上限协议后,提到了“华盛顿给美国造成的另一个创伤”。他说的是为美国联邦航空管理局(FAA)拨款陷入僵局的事。联邦航空管理局管理空中安全事务和负责空中交通管制。该机构的经营管理条列于7月22日失效,而国会议员们未能解决关于延长经营管理条列的一个小小分歧。结果,该机构部分停运,4,000名员工被打发回家。空中交通管制人员仍在工作,因为他们的工资来自其他渠道。但FAA的许多建设和研究项目已经停止,影响到至少70,000名工人。“在通过美国联邦航空局管理条列并恢复成千上万人的工作之前,国会议员们不应该坐飞机回家休假,”运输部长雷•拉胡德说。他的话被淹没在匆匆离场的脚步声中。

The FAA’s long-term funding bill expired in 2007. Since then Congress has passed, with little fuss, 20 stopgap bills, each lasting a few months. This time round, politicians could not agree on seemingly minor provisions. House Republicans passed a bill that cut $16.5m in federal subsidies for passengers at a dozen remote rural airports, something the Senate Democrats oppose. They also oppose a measure that would make it more difficult for airline workers to unionise. Because of this impasse over $16.5m a year, the government is losing $30m a day in uncollected federal taxes on airline tickets.

FAA的长期拨款法案于2007年到期。自那以来,美国国会随随便便地通过了20个临时法案,每个法案的有效期都只有几个月。这一次,政治家就看似微小的规定不能达成一致意见。控制众议院的共和党人通过了一项法案,要削减十几个偏远农村机场的联邦政府乘客补贴1.65千万美元,而控制参议院的民主党人对此表示反对。有一项措施会使航空公司的员工成立工会变得更加困难,对此他们也表示反对。为一年1.65千万美元而陷入僵局,致使政府因联邦机票税流失每天损失3千万美元。

A long shutdown could cost taxpayers more than $1 billion by next month. And passengers are not even enjoying a tax holiday at the airport, as most airlines have raised fares by an equal 7.5% (though Delta and US Airways are promising, shamefaced, to refund the money to customers). Jamie Baker of JPMorgan estimates that the daily benefit to the airline industry could approach $25m.

到下个月,长期关门可能会使纳税人的损失超过10亿美元。乘客们甚至没有从机场免税中得到实惠,因为大多数航空公司都把票价提高了7.5%(虽然达美航空公司和合众国航空公司都羞怯地表示要给顾客退钱)。摩根大通的杰米•贝克估计,航空业每天的利润可能接近2,500万美元。

For laid-off workers, the picture is less rosy. They are unlikely to get back to work before September. That worries Luca Toscano of Paul J. Scariano, a contractor on a $6m stalled demolition project at LaGuardia airport. He estimates that 70 jobs may be at risk there. A new tower was opened in January; the old one is being dismantled to improve sightlines. Two storeys have been removed, and an abandoned digger now sits on top of the partly dismantled tower. More than 200 stop-work orders have been issued across the country, suspending $10.5 billion-worth of projects in the middle of the building season.

而失业工人的状况就没有那么好了。九月以前他们不大可能回去上班。这让Paul J. Scariano公司的卢卡•托斯卡诺很担心。该公司是拉瓜地机场一个价值600万美元的拆迁项目的承包商。工程现已停工。他估计,工地上有可能损失70个工作岗位。新空管塔于一月份启用;为了改善视线,旧塔正在拆除中。有两层已被拆除,一台无人管的挖掘机停放在被部分拆除的塔顶上。全国各地签发的停工令有200多个,致使价值达105亿美元的工程在施工季节暂时停工。

Meanwhile, 40 FAA airport safety inspectors are working without pay. They are flying from airport to airport, checking runways and monitoring airfields. What is more, they are travelling on their own dime, hoping they will be reimbursed when the shutdown ends. If only a similar unselfishness prevailed on Capitol Hill.

与此同时,40名FAA机场安检员在无偿工作。他们从一个机场飞往另一个机场,检查跑道和监测机场。而且,他们都是自费出行,他们希望航空管理局恢复运作后能够报销旅费。要是国会山也盛行这样的无私奉献精神就好了。

分享到
重点单词
  • minoradj. 较小的,较少的,次要的 n. 未成年人,辅修科
  • deltan. (河流的)三角洲
  • unlikelyadj. 不太可能的
  • controln. 克制,控制,管制,操作装置 vt. 控制,掌管,支
  • planeadj. 平的,与飞机有关的 n. 飞机,水平,水准,刨
  • remoteadj. 偏僻的,遥远的,远程的,(感情等)距离很大 n
  • ruraladj. 农村的
  • opposevt. 反对,反抗,使对立,使对抗
  • lastingadj. 永久的,永恒的 动词last的现在分词
  • resolven. 决定之事,决心,坚决 vt. 决定,解决,分离,表