TSA: the $7 billion Security Circus

The perennially rising budget of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is  7.6 billion dollars for 2017’s fiscal year.  When a government expenditure costs billions of dollars per year, that calls for a re-evaluation of it’s intrinsic value. After all, this is taxpayer money which deserves prudent use. In order to stimulate the economy, and add capitalistic competition to airport security the TSA should be replaced with private security..  However, it would be unwise to call for elimination of an established norm without proof that it is not meeting acceptable standards. Through proofs of the TSA’s inadequacies and conservation of the tax payer dollar, a private airport security market could successfully be established in the United States.

“The only useful airport security measures since 9/11 were locking and reinforcing the cockpit doors, so terrorists can’t break in, positive baggage matching and teaching the passengers to fight back. The rest is security theater.” Bruce Scheier, a security technologist is quoted saying to Vanity Fair. His essay entitled “Is Aviation Security Mostly For Show?” is an enlightening essay explaining how aviation security is a 7 billion dollar per year “security Theater” put on to make passengers feel safe.  In a TSA red team check , the TSA failed to recognize 95% of mock guns and explosives sneaked through by undercover agents. A report issued by the inspector General states that airport screeners who are employees of the TSA did not detect banned weapons in 67 of 70 tests at dozens of airports. However, Jeffery Goldberg in The Atlantic magazine explains how airport security will catch stupid terrorists, but there are way to many holes for it to catch smart terrorists.  This article thethingshecarried is a fascinating as it explains exactly why the security ID triangle doesn’t work. A correspondent slipped many things through security, without ever being recognized. This stands without even noting that airport employees, are at no point required to go through security.

Due to TSA’s copious security issues, and the USA’s growing budget issues, airport’s should be asked to hire private security companies. By eliminating 7.6 billion dollars from the federal budget in two-thousand seventeen. 77.5 million income tax payers could save an average of ninety-eight dollars and six cents. Alternatively, 7.6 billion dollars can be spent towards paying off federal debts. My suggestion is not to immediately eliminate the TSA in the United States, thus completely eliminating airport security. It would be more advantageous to grant airports a year to find a private security firm to conduct its security. The private security companies would set themselves up and would be tightly inspected for at least a week. Then the private security agencies could take over and the federal security budget would sink to no more than 2 million dollars to hire a few full-time inspectors at roughly 1ook salaries annually.

The idea of switching to private security in airports is radical, especially because it implies the consumer/traveler would have to actually pay fees for their own security. Hopefully, it could increase quality because of the competition that it brings. Since the TSA’s “job” isn’t being threatened, quality is not really forced on it. In the long run, switching to private security would increase efficiency, save government money and help to grow the security industry in general.


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