Over the putting cliff

February 19, 2013 04:08 AM

Two F-16 fighter jets scrambled on Sunday when several small civilian aircraft wandered into restricted air space over where President Obama was playing golf with Tiger Woods in my adopted state of Florida. Our tax dollars at work.

The President needs to be protected at all times, of course. What about meteors? Tell the Russians that they are not a danger. Or drones? Sorry, we seem to control that threat, at least until Wal-Mart puts them on sale.

Seriously, when the "fiscal cliff" or "sequestration" kicks in, will we have the funds to continue to protect our President from aerial attack? He (or she) may no longer be safe on the fairway or the beach or the mall. He (or she) might be forced to spend more time working in the Oval Office.

Now multiply the exposure to include all Members of the Congress, who are also vacationing just a few days before massive federal spending cuts are due to be triggered. This could ground all of the F-16s that are assigned to form a Steel Dome (sorry, Israel, for copping your term) over them. They, too, could be required to return to the Capitol where saving the nation's credit rating has been subordinated to gun control, immigration, abortion and other volatile issues.

We should not begrudge our national leaders for taking a break from time to time. But they do so more than any civilian employee would dare to suggest. Or any F-16 pilot, for that matter. Already, our expectations as to their productivity is approaching zero even when "on the job." But there is a raw justice to knowing that they are not cashing their paychecks while sipping a margarita around the pool. And our military could focus more on the Bad Guys rather than some errant Cessna owners.

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