I have never understood airline pricing and fees and I certainly am not going to defend a crazy system of charges. But it’s no crazier then the myriad of taxes placed on an airline ticket by government. What I do know is when the government steps in and begins telling business what it can and cannot charge for, it is one more symptom of a government out of control and one more roadblock to profitability and jobs.
Enter Senator Chuck Schumer (D,NY) and the populist Democrats. November looms larger and what is the party of the “people” doing? Why, they continue to propose legislation that paints them as “populist”, but in reality paints them as out of touch panderers.
What’s raising the ire of the people’s party. Spirit Airlines decision to offer lower fares in exchange for charging for carry on bags.
Spirit said earlier this week that passengers signing up for its discount fare club, at a cost of $39.95 a year, will pay $20 for carry-on bags when they prepay using the Internet. The carrier is lowering fees for prepaid checked bags for club members, to $15 for the first and second bags from $19 for one and $25 for the second.
Got that? Neither do I. But, Schumer was outraged and has proposed legislation that would tax these fees which he said goes to “padding airline profits.” And he intends to sick Treasury Secretary Geithner on them.
I know ironic isn’t it? Geithner will be enforcing tax collection. Setting that aside, this is the kind of stuff, control, that should frighten every citizen. When a government can determine what private industry can and cannot charge for services, it can control everything and anything. It’s not about bags.
But it also speaks volumes about a political party that is completely out of touch with America and reverting to their old ways of making it appear as if they care, when clearly they don’t. People are worried about jobs and their declining incomes. They would very much like the government to get out of the way not impose more regulations on an industry that is perennially struggling. As Ben Stein said a few weeks ago, “Stop stepping on the oxygen hose”.