By Peter Churchman
It is time to reform the Transportation Security Administration (T.S.A.), and save the taxpayers billions. We are charged 7 billion dollars annually to feel like criminals for simply booking a flight. For that 7 billion, we get a TSA that lets 95% of contraband threw passenger screenings. In what industry can you have an 95% failure rate and still stay in business? The answer likely won’t surprise you; only the government can be that inefficient and retain the ability to take our money. The T.S.A. engages in “security theater”. They are trying to impart the feeling of enhanced security while achieving little or nothing to achieve it.
The T.S.A. should not receive a single dollar of taxpayer funds. It should be funded completely by those who are traveling. Why on earth should someone who only flies once a decade pay for the government to inefficiently harass a person who flies several times a month? This service would best be provided by private companies who have a profit incentive to do a good job and give good service. The government does neither.
When you adopt standard security procedures an ambitious person can always find a way to avoid detection. Airline passenger screenings are no different. There have been multiple cases of people who wish to do harm that have evaded detection. Some of them even got a nickname like “the shoe bomber”, “the underwear bomber”, etc. The Department of Homeland Security tested the efficiency of the T.S.A. and 67 times out of 70 were able to get weapons through the checkpoint. Our own government, in all of its wisdom, has admitted that it is horrible at stopping weapons from getting on planes; there is no reason to let them persist with this program. Meanwhile, there is zero evidence that the T.S.A. has thwarted even one terrorist attack. We are putting the people of this great nation who fly through a procedure that does not work, is inconvenient at best, and has no evidence that it has stopped even one plot of terror. The T.S.A. loves to brag about all of the different things that they confiscate (steal) from passengers. If they somehow stumbled into stopping a terrorist attack they would publicize that feat on every news show that would listen. They haven’t done so because there is no evidence that they have the ability to make us safer.
In this modern day and age we do have an increased need for securing our transportation. We should do this with citizens’ convenience and privacy at the forefront. We should continue doing the things that have worked like having a secure barrier between the cockpit and the passengers and having undercover security on flights. The cost of these programs should be paid for by those who use them, not every single taxpayer. Those who fly more often will pay a higher percentage of the cost. Those who do not fly will not pay any of the cost.
Peter Churchman is the Libertarian nominee for the U.S. Congress in Texas' District 17. Churchman can be reached at ChurchmanforTexas.com, Facebook.com/ElectPeterChurchman or on Twitter @ChurchmanTX17