In political terms Republicans are from Mars and Democrats are from Venus, the major issues of healthcare and tax reform offer little hope of shared vision or bi-partisan compromise. Healthcare is proving to be so difficult that Senate Republicans unlike House Republicans can’t even build consensus among themselves. Senator Richard Burr says he can’t see a healthcare bill passing the Senate this year. But finally President Trump has proposed his first workable for the good of all idea, one that Democrats and Republicans should be able to meet each other half way on.
On Monday President Trump proposed privatizing air traffic control functions. Currently Air Traffic Control (ATC) is the responsibility of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). FAA employs thousands of licensed controllers, engineers, technicians and specialists who maintain the technology and infrastructure needed to keep the skies open and safe.
The President’s proposal would switch the responsibility of managing all airplane traffic to a nonprofit corporation. This idea is based on Canada’s nonprofit corporation Nav Canada, which by all accounts has successfully managed all of Canada’s air traffic and provided up to date technology while doing so. NATCA the air traffic controllers’ union is open to the proposal because it sees the current FAA air traffic control system as antiquated and inefficient. The effect on the national budget would be neutral because current ATC operations are funded by user fee taxes which would also fund the nonprofit.
The only point of real concern with President Trump’s proposal is unlike Nav Canada’s governance structure, it appears President Trump’s nonprofit corporation’s board of directors could be dominated by the airlines. The formula Nav Canada used to create its board assured that the stakeholders: government, industry, unions and the general public were represented, but no individual stakeholder interest would dominate operations.
Privatizing ATC is an idea that has a proven track record and more importantly one that both Democrats and Republicans can embrace. Maybe this not so major change proposition can be training ground for Democrats and Republicans on how to compromise and produce bi-partisan legislation.
For the good of the people Democrats should not try to obstruct everything until the 2018 mid-term elections. For the good of the Republican Party Republicans need to accomplish something substantial by the 2018 mid-term elections. Politically bi-partisan legislation to privatize ATC could be a win-win for both Democrats and Republicans.
Spiritually and most important this potential first bi-partisan law could be the initial steps to peaceful political co-existence between Democrats and Republicans. If they learn to work together on the smaller less politically ideologically driven issues, there’s hope for healthcare and tax reform.