• close the U.S. Department of Transportation; • eliminate the federal gasoline tax; • end all federal transportation subsidies and entrust states and municipalities with maintaining infrastructure such as highways, roads, bridges, and subways; • repeal the Urban Mass Transit Act of 1964; • repeal the Railway Labor Act of 1926, the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, and the Railroad Retirement Act of 1934; • privatize Amtrak; • privatize the air traffic control system; • remove all federal regulations that prevent airports from being privately owned or operated; • repeal cabotage laws that prevent foreign airlines from flying domestic routes in the United States; and • repeal the Jones Act.
The contrast between the record of transportation deregulation over past decades and the actions of Congress and the Clinton administration in recent years could not be more stark. The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 allowed air carriers to fly the routes demanded by consumers and to charge market prices. Northwestern University economist Steven Morrison finds that since then airfares have dropped by as much as 40 percent in real, inflation-adjusted terms. Morrison and Clifford Winston of the Brookings Institution place the savings to air travelers at around $12.4 billion annually. In 1978 some 275 million passengers flew on American carriers; today the number is over 600 million.
Airports are more crowded than ever. The summer of 2000 saw record levels of serious airline delays and customer frustration. Many of the