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Joy Behar’s tenuous grip on reality slips further.

Friday, April 15, 2011
By Dan

Joy Behar claimed today that President Reagan’s busting of the air traffic controllers union is to blame for the rash of sleepy air traffic controllers. Only a few issues with this:

  1. The air traffic controllers reunionized before Reagan left office and have a union today.
  2. ATCs are required to retire at age 56 and can retire after 25 years of service. This means that an ATC on the cusp of retirement this year would have been 26 30 years ago when the strike happened, and is at least 5 years past retirement eligibility.
  3. ATCs are required to have a college degree and 3 years of work experience before becoming an ATC.  Graduating college at age 22 following 3 years of experience, this means the earliest a person can be an ATC is usually at age 25.
  4. Moreover, the ATCs that refused to break the illegal strike were not only fired, but banned from federal employment for life.  Only about 2,000 ATCs crossed the picket line, further limiting the population of carryovers.
  5. Therefore, anyone working as an ATC when the strike occurred is either no longer an ATC and has not been for a long time or has retired by now.  Moreover, President Reagan has been dead for almost 6 years now–if this is some form of revenge on him, it’s a bit ineffective.
  6. Ms. Behar’s assertion that the ATC union would have been “more strict,” and wanting more people is 180 degrees off.  The strike was over easing working conditions and working hours.
  7. As for pleading poverty, the average salary of an Air Traffic Controller is about $110,000, excluding over time.  This is not a population on the edge of starvation.

So, to sum up, if there is any connection between a sleepy ATC in 2011 and President Reagan’s decision to fire ATCs in 1981, it is only in Ms. Behars tired, confused little mind.  Other than that, she’s completely right.

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