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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Day Late. Many Billions Short.

I can remember shaking my head in dismay and disbelief.  Terrorists attack the United States of America on September 11, 2001 and the Bush administration, in response, announces its intention to unionize baggage handlers at America's airports.

Yeah, that's the ticket!  We need more union members if we're going to deter global terrorism!  Let's fire all those tens of thousands of trained airport employees and replace them with tens of thousands of people who will need the same training but will have fancy new uniforms and collective bargaining rights!  Now come and get us, Osama bin Ladin!

And the TSA was born.

Now, these ten years later, and with billions upon billions of dollars wasted, the dude who dreamt up this silly notion and sold it to GW thinks it was a bad idea:
TSA Creator Says Dismantle, Privatize the Agency
By Audrey Hudson, Human Events

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.

Yet 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.

“It’s an agency that is always one step out of step,” Mica said.

It cost $1 billion just to train workers, which now number more than 62,000, and “they actually trained more workers than they have on the job,” Mica said.

“The whole thing is a complete fiasco,” Mica said. [link]
“The whole thing is a complete fiasco.”  Who would have anticipated that the federal airport screening program would turn out to be as inefficient as the Post Office?

Well, actually a lot of us.

And so it is.

Will TSA be dismantled?  Will baggage handler positions be privatized?

When pigs fly.

I wonder if we could roll it over into the Postal Administration at least and save fifty bucks or so ...

* Okay, in fact, the collective bargaining thing never came about.