Taylor notes, "The program awards contracts, usually worth between $1 million and $2 million a year, to subsidize airlines that serve airports in such places as Escanaba, Mich., Pueblo, Colo., and Scottsbluff, Neb. Such subsidies work out to as little as $6 per passenger for airports like Cody, Wyo., and Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. But subsidies can often reach hundreds of dollars each way on a round trip flight to and from isolated places like Kalaupapa on the island of Molokai in Hawaii or Great Bend, Kan., whose three or so passengers a day benefited from a subsidy exceeding $600 in 2010, the most recent year for which data is available."
Reps. Rick Berg, R-N.D., and Kristi Noem, R-S.D., were among those who fought to save the program. The subsidies increase approved Tuesday "came as the panel also moved to cut food aid to poor nations overseas and funding for implementing new Wall Street regulations." (Read more)