The passengers of the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed March 10 had not even been identified or buried before some commentators thought they had identified the cause: President Trump’s push for deregulation.
“On an earnings call in April 2017, Boeing’s CEO [Dennis] Muilenburg was asked how deregulation early in Trump’s term affected the company,” CNBC reported, noting that the aerospace executive replied, “Things like FAA certification processes is one place that we’re seeing some solid progress.”
A Wall Street Journal subheadline faulted “a pattern of lax regulation” by the federal Department of Transportation, of which the Federal Aviation Administration is a part.
The Wall Street Journal column went on to quote a vice president at the National Consumers League, John Breyault, who complained that the Trump administration’s transportation department, led by Secretary Elaine Chao, “seems to be even less willing to engage in serious consumer protection efforts than it did under President Obama’s watch, which is a pretty low bar.”
A plane of an Ethiopian or Indonesian airline crashes, and the person blamed is not the pilot, not the Ethiopian or Indonesian airline regulator, and not even the president or prime minister of Ethiopia or Indonesia, but rather President Trump.
Call it “Blame America First,” writes Ira Stoll.