The airlines should not be raising prices to match the taxes that are not being collected. That is patently immoral and unethical, and the rollback mentioned here is entirely in order.
But there is a larger question here: if, as is being reported this morning, FAA funding could be withheld for at least another five weeks while Congress goes on vacation, how shall we make up the gaping revenue shortfall that will result?
Shall we stop fixing the potholes in airport runways?
Shall we stop work on next-gen navigation efforts that will increase both safety and fuel-efficiency? (we've actually halted that work already).
Shall we further delay safety regulations like the ones I've discussed here?
Heartiest congratulations to all those who will snooker the government out of twenty bucks on their next airline ticket. After all, the battle cry here is to "keep the government out of our lives," isn't it?
Until, of course, we need it.
When a plane crashes, it's always "Why didn't the FAA have stricter requirements?"
When a hurricane hits, it's always "Where's FEMA?"
When there's a drought, it's always "Where are my farm subsidies?"
When you forgot to (or couldn't) save for your kid's education, it's always "Where's my cheap college loan and tuition discount?"
And, of course, we want the government out of our lives, but nobody better touch our Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.
So, rejoice if you like over your ticket tax windfall. Splurge on a nice dinner or buy a trinket from QVC. But, whatever you do, don't think about tomorrow, because that subject is getting more depressing every day.