As a frequent traveler, I have a special loathing for the TSA.
And it’s not just because I get stuck in line behind families that take 20 minutes to go through security, just so the bureaucrats can confiscate toy soldiers, plastic hammers, toothpaste, and baby food.
Or poke and prod 95-year old women with adult diapers.
The TSA is even incompetent at being incompetent. The worst thing about the TSA are the long lines, even though ticket data lets the bureaucracy know exactly how many passengers to expect at any given time.
Yet with the boundless incompetence of government, they fail to adjust their staffing, leaving hapless people like me to slowly creep though long lines while growing increasingly irritated (particularly when we see the idle scanning machines that could be used).
Here’s what Congressman Mica, in a bit of a battlefield conversion, has to say about the TSA.
They’ve been accused of rampant thievery, spending billions of dollars like drunken sailors, groping children and little old ladies, and making everyone take off their shoes. …a decade after the TSA was created following the September 11 attacks, the author of the legislation that established the massive agency grades its performance at “D-.” “The whole program has been hijacked by bureaucrats,” said Rep. John Mica (R. -Fla.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee. “It mushroomed into an army,” Mica said. “It’s gone from a couple-billion-dollar enterprise to close to $9 billion.” As for keeping the American public safe, Mica says, “They’ve failed to actually detect any threat in 10 years.” “Everything they have done has been reactive. They take shoes off because of [shoe-bomber] Richard Reid, passengers are patted down because of the diaper bomber, and you can’t pack liquids because the British uncovered a plot using liquids,” Mica said. …Mica said screeners should be privatized and the agency dismantled. Instead, the agency should number no more than 5,000, and carry out his original intent, which was to monitor terrorist threats and collect intelligence. The fledgling agency was quickly engulfed in its first scandal in 2002 as it rushed to hire 30,000 screeners, and the $104 million awarded to the company to contract workers quickly escalated to more than $740 million.
I’m glad Rep. Mica has had a change of heart, though I wonder about both his sincerity and intelligence.
Why has it taken so long for him to reach this conclusion? Has he proposed legislation to dismantle the TSA (that’s not a rhetorical question, I’m genuinely curious)?
And, most important, why didn’t he realize that the TSA would morph into an inefficient bureaucracy – particularly since that it what happens whenever the clowns in Washington give the government some new power and/or authority. Seems like a no-brainer.
I’m being unkind, I realize, probably because I’m going to be back at an airport on Friday.
Someday, I hope I can be one of those evil rich people that Obama demagogues about. Then I can sidestep the TSA’s hollow security theater and hop on a tax-dodging private jet.
P.P.S. You won’t be surprised to discover that the Obama Administration is kowtowing to union bosses by blocking private airport screeners.