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Let's Cut Some Spending: $37 billion in COVID relief to airlines

Public Domain

In our Let's Cut Some Spending series, ForAmerica chronicles the many ways Washington wastes YOUR tax dollars - and as you’ll see, the list is endless.

Today’s offering: $37 billion in COVID relief to airlines!

Open the Books reports:

"It's not an exaggeration to say the program saved the airline industry," American CEO Doug Parker testified to Congress in December 2021. The U.S. Treasury awarded over $37 billion of the first $54 billion in payroll support to the top ten airlines alone. The congressional Covid-aid kept airline workers employed when passengers stopped flying during the pandemic. In fact, airline travel plummeted by 90-percent. However, airlines took further action by incentivizing employees with early retirement, unpaid leave and buyouts.
So, in the end, airline payrolls shrank despite the billions in bailout. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 512,000 airline workers in December of 2019. In December 2020, that number shrunk to just above 398,000. This led to fewer resources when travel picked up which caused a headache for customers.

It is not the job of the American taxpayer to bailout private companies... during COVID or any other time.

The airlines significantly shrank their employee numbers while still taking OUR money.

Little to no oversight. No accountability.

And what is Washington doing now? They continue to spend.


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