10 years after its creation, the TSA has drawn the ire of just about everyone who has been forced to endure their ever-changing rules and regulations while observing the fact that the TSA has never succeeded in its objective of stopping terrorism. What it has done is anger innocent Americans unjustly assumed to be guilty of something, simply because they desire to travel.
Today, there are numerous calls to end the TSA.
“Americans have spent nearly $60 billion, and they are no safer today than they were before 9/11,” Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) announced when releasing the report. In other words, the TSA has squandered as much money as has been “lost to contract waste and fraud in America’s contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan…,” according to NPR and the “independent and bipartisan” Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Pres. George W. Bush signed the bill establishing the TSA on November 19, 2001. The agency took about a year to nationalize aviation’s security; in 2002, it spent $1.3 billion – a whopping increase over the $725 million “private” screening annually cost. (But was that industry really “private”? The FAA mandated and minutely supervised everything it did. Which is exactly why terrorists succeeded on 9/11: incompetent bureaucrats controlled security at airports and fined any airline that didn’t obey their silly whims.)
By 2003, that budget was rocketing upward: $4.8 billion. It’s continued climbing stratospherically ever since, frittering away $8.1 billion this year.
What do we have to show for it? Not a single terrorist caught anywhere at any time by anyone in the TSA’s employ.
The TSA is beyond a useless organization. It continues to harass and demean the very citizens it was trusted to protect while costs continue to spiral out of control. It has never made anyone safer and, after reading Congressional reports [pdf], it is clear that it probably makes things easier for anyone with nefarious purposes at the airport. Among the government’s findings are
Since 2001, TSA staff has grown from 16,500 to over 65,000, a near-400% increase. In the same amount of time, total passenger enplanements in the U.S. have increased less than 12%
Over the past ten years, TSA has spent nearly $57 billion to secure the U.S. transportation network, and TSA‘s classified performance results do not reflect a good return on this taxpayer investment.
TSA‘s primary mission, transportation security, has been neglected due to the agency‘s constant focus on managing its enormous and unwieldy bureaucracy.
Some critics have gone further. Rep. Ron Paul in October called for the elimination of the TSA, as part of his budget-reduction plan.
And this week, he was joined by former U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern, who demanded that not only the TSA, but the Department of Homeland Security be dismantled.
The TSA is incompetent on its best days, but, until more people stand up and demand change, their behavior and its skyrocketing budget will continue until everyone is on the no-fly list and the airports are empty save for a few select “trustworthy” citizens.