Annals of the (Idiotic) Shutdown, Harm to Small Business Dept.

By James Fallows

From a pilot-reader in the San Juan islands of Washington state (right), about a local small business that is under pressure because of the shutdown:

The attempt by the Rs to minimize the effects of the shutdown totally ignores the ripples and magnifiers wrought by this behavior.  

A local example:  my flight instructor not only owns and runs the local flight school and FBO ["fixed base operator," or small-airport terminal and service center] but also runs one of the several air charter services that are part of the lifeblood of this archipelagic county.  Much of what he does involves fairly short hops between islands and the closer mainland towns and small cities, for which a 172 [Cessna 172 "Skyhawk" -- a workhorse 4-seat, single-engine propeller plane] is perfectly suited.

Well, his routine Part 135 check ride in that aircraft fell into the shutdown period.  ["Part 135" refers to charter and other business-oriented pilots, who must go through periodic recertification, or "check rides," to stay in business.] He can't take the ride (no FAA examiner available), so he can't fly the 172.

 Not only is he losing much-needed revenue (which I suspect was just starting to recover after the recession), but all sorts of travelers, including business and government folks, are hampered.  For instance, the state electrical inspectors, who sometimes fly here, and the folks who service furnaces are likely affected.

Pretending this doesn't hurt anyone is adding injury to insult. 

All this because 30-odd members of the House of Representatives have frightened John Boehner out of bringing a "clean" budget resolution up for a House vote. It's the cumulative specificity of these accounts -- from exactly the kinds of small businesses that both parties say they want to promote -- that is depressing. 

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/10/annals-of-the-idiotic-shutdown-harm-to-small-business-dept/280305/