Monday, August 02, 2004


at taxpayers' expense. Interesting piece by Gregg Easterbrook that is likely to get your dander up. A couple of teasers:
Since September 11, Governor Mark Warner of Virginia has flown to Reagan National in a personal plane 46 times; Senator Sonny Perdue of Georgia, 26 times; Governor George Pataki of New York, 24 times; Governor Jeb Bush of Florida, 16 times; Senator John Kerry, 14 times.
According to MapQuest, it should take Governor Mark Warner 1 hour and 48 minutes to drive the 105 miles from the Virginia statehouse to Reagan National. How much could a personal plane really shave off that time? Of course, maybe Warner doesn't want to get stuck in the I-95 round-the-clock traffic nightmare that sits between Richmond and Washington. But he should get stuck in it, to appreciate what his state's average citizens deal with every day. Instead he flies above their heads, at their expense.
Now consider ever-rising sales of ego planes. According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, in 2002, the latest year for which statistics are available, 676 private jets of the Gulfstream class were sold. If each of those 676 new private jets flies a coast-to-coast roundtrip once per week, the petroleum burned would be equivalent to putting 70,000 Hummers on the road. General Motors expects to sell about 25,000 Hummers this year.

Read the whole thing.

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