You know by now that George W. Bush has no interest in "small government". But did you know that he and the Republican Congress have built a $1.6bn 'crown corporation' (what state-owned businesses are called in Canada, you hoser) since 2001?
From the moment Congress created it after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the government board assigned to help bail out the ailing airline industry has found itself in a political caldron.Funny how privatization is so selective. Good to privatize NASA (says Lockheed Martin), good to build a massive public corporation (says US Airways). It's all good!
It has been courted by companies seeking assistance, besieged by their rivals that want to deny them help, and contacted with regularity by various lawmakers on both sides.
With its denial on Monday of a loan application from United Airlines, the Air Transportation Stabilization Board moves mainly from issuing financial assistance to monitoring its investments: the $1.56 billion in loan guarantees that it has already provided to six other airlines.