USA TODAY says cost-cutting measures are compromising airline safety, especially at regional carriers. In an editorial debate, the paper says the FAA has been lax in its enforcement, leading to "some hair-raising incidents related to shoddy maintenance." But FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt disputes that view, pointing out that a "tally of maintenance violations based on FAA fines is not a meaningful measure of safety." He points to more than 73 million safe flights since 2003 as evidence that airlines and regulators are doing their jobs well.

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