TSA and the Government Shutdown
TSA: The two party system is going out of its way to make us less safe simply to blame the other side. The money keeps coming in, and they are just stockpiling it while claiming there is nothing to give them.
Two weeks ago during the shutdown, I traveled from Cancun to Salt Lake City with a layover in Fort Lauderdale. I’ll start off by pointing out I have no faith in the TSA to begin with. It’s just another attempt by the government to create a monopoly so we have nobody to thank for being alive but them.
They have replaced private security with their own force, which has done nothing but encroach on our rights and make us less secure. This is proven by the rate of 80% of guns, knives, explosives and hazardous materials that have made it through TSA in all of the security penetration tests since its inception. Further, the New York Post reports nearly 400 TSA agents have been arrested for stealing and other inappropriate conduct, yet the TSA has not arrested a single terrorist.
Now, with the past government shutdown, they refused to pay these security agents. With their guard down, there were no terrorist attacks. That alone is telling. I’m not advocating for eliminating security completely, but it should not be left in the hands of such an irresponsible and insolvent agency like the federal government.
A common misconception by the average American is that the income tax pretty much pays for everything federal, and much more. It does not pay for the TSA. When you buy your tickets, dealers are typically so competitive that they include all the taxes in the price to avoid confusion. But if you go out of your way to find those details, my flight to SLC was $143.00 with $80.63 in taxes. That’s about 56%. Compare that to the normal 10% sales tax you might pay on any other purchase. These taxes include a fee specifically for TSA of $5 per leg.
If you bought a ticket today, you’d still pay all those taxes, but you’d be denied “full performance” of what you paid for. Why? Because the politicians who have proven they don’t care about us or their employees are holding that money hostage.
As a software engineer, when designing a system, we design things so there is no single point of failure. If one piece fails completely, it should have little to no impact on the rest. The federal government is attempting to be one single monolithic beast such that when one small component fails, like the process of getting a budget approved, everything crumbles. Of course most of us are completely unaffected by the lack of these systems, but for the sake of those who are this perfectly demonstrates that the federal government should be shattered into a series of completely independent systems. Not only that, their monopoly power should be dissolved.
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