The new ‘bridge to nowhere’: Ghost airports
Everyone knows about the proverbial “bridge to nowhere” — an idiom commonly used to describe an expensive government project that will yield little to no returns. But while the phrase is now thrown around in regular political discussions as a derisive attack, the idea behind it is still prevalent in government policy.
Take, for instance, Evart Municipal Airport, located in Evart, Michigan. The town of Evart has fewer than 2,000 residents and the airport services just two flights per day on a single runway, the federal government invested $150,000 in taxpayer money on the airport in 2012, in addition to thousands more from local and state taxes.
“These ghost airports are a classic economic fallacy in yet another disguise,” says Patrick Hedger, a policy analyst at FreedomWorks. ”It’s the ‘bridge to nowhere’ that you could land your Cessna on.”
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy explains:
So why is taxpayer money being spent on this project in a time of supposed tight budgets? Because of one bill from over a decade ago and government’s inability to end bad programs.
There are five airports within 30 nautical miles (about 34 road miles) of the city. Evart is the only airport in Osceola County in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems, a group of approximately 3,400 airports nationwide that are said to be “significant to national air transportation” and funded by the federal government.
In Evart, a small town in the north central part of the state off U.S. Highway 10, this essentially means building on to the airport to justify continually receiving the funds.
According to the latest capital improvement program submitted to the state, Evart Municipal Airport has no hangars, no fueling, no aircraft based there and an issue with deer entering the runway. Over the next five years, the airport has requested $1,072,884 in federal entitlements, $93,936 in federal apportionment, $89,553 from the state, and $534,678 from the local government. The nearly $1.7 million requested is more than the $1.6 million the airport has received from those sources since 2000.
Evart’s city manager, Zac Szakacs, admits that the airport has no employees and drains resources from local law enforcement who have to patrol the empty grounds. Nevertheless, Szakacs insists that the city will continue operating the ghost airport as long as federal funding continues to roll in.
“The problem is that when the government gets into the market of infrastructure development, we begin to see tax dollars wasted on all the little projects that ‘could’ be built rather than those that ‘need’ to be built,” Hedger concludes.
Benghazi, IRS, AP...What's next? Only TheBlaze TV offers the truth from Glenn Beck, Andrew Wilkow, and Real News from TheBlaze. Get instant access and a free trial here.
- ‘The Daily Show’ Creator Makes Outrageously Offensive Anti-Conservative Joke About Okla. Tornado 478 Comments
- Why Were DHS Agents Seemingly Monitoring Multiple Tea Party IRS Protests Across the Country on Tuesday? 420 Comments
- Confusion Erupts in IRS Hearing After Lois Lerner Tries to Plead the 5th — Watch It All Unfold 377 Comments
- CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Has Awkward Moment With Okla. Tornado Survivor After Asking If She ‘Thanked the Lord’ 299 Comments
- More Than $1 Million Raised Through Mercury One for Oklahoma Tornado Relief 266 Comments
- Comedian’s New Anti-Muhammad Video Excoriates Islamic Prophet, Juxtaposes Him with Jesus: ‘Very Wrong and Twisted’ 100 Comments
- Teacher Admits She ‘Prayed Out Loud’ During Violent Tornado: ‘I Did the Teacher Thing that We’re Probably Not Supposed to Do’ 111 Comments
- Farrakhan Talks of ‘Satanic Jews’ and ‘Synagogue of Satan’ at Detroit Church Speech — but Wait Until You Hear Who Was in Attendance 212 Comments
- Biden Praises Jewish Leaders for Helping Change Americans’ Views on Gay Marriage Read More
- ‘Death! You F**k!’: Bat Mitzvah Chaperone Unleashes Explosive, Profanity-Laced Tirade Against Kids Over Candy-Throwing Incident Read More
- Foreign Banks Operating on U.S. Soil Have Just Set a Record Read More
- The Tense Exchange Between Rep. Trey Gowdy and the Former IRS Head You’ve Been Waiting for…and It Doesn’t Disappoint 177 Comments
- Report: No IRS Workers Have Been Disciplined & Union Says It Hasn’t Been Contacted on Personnel Read More
- Ex-Cincinnati IRS Manager: This Was Not the Work of ‘Low-Level’ Employees Read More
- China Sets off What Could Be the World’s Longest Demolition Read More
- The Incredible Role Facebook Played in the Aftermath of Devastating Okla. Tornado Read More
- Tech Company Demonstrates Remote Disabling of a ‘Smart Gun’ 111 Comments
- Meet the Blind Man Nicknamed ‘Midnight Gunslinger’ Who Has 80% Shot Accuracy Read More
- How a $4.5 Million Network of 181 Sirens Helped Save Lives in Oklahoma Twister Read More
- See the Record-Setting Python a Man Caught With His Bare Hands (and Guess How Much It Weighed) Read More
- Senators warm to transportation nominee
- Judge seals affidavit of Maine man in teen's death
- Man who kidnapped 2 Iowa girls had long record
- HP's slumps deepens in 2Q as earnings fall 32 pct
- Faith healers charged with murder after 2nd death
- Man shot to death while questioned in Boston probe
- Polish man gets quick face transplant after injury
- Soldier charged with videotaping women