Social & Domestic Issues

TSA wastes $1.2 billion a year and causes 1,200 unnecessary deaths annually

“It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.” — David Hume
The TSA is rapidly becoming the #2 most hated government agency in the world, behind the IRS.
Yesterday, Senator Rand Paul was detained for 2 ½ hours by the TSA because he refused to submit to a pat-down, missing his flight and his speech at pro-life conference.
Senator Paul, like his father Ron Paul an outspoken critic of the TSA, was stopped because an alarm went off when he went through the metal detector.  The TSA, following standard procedures, required him to go through the full-body X-ray machine or be subject to a pat-down.  Senator Paul refused and the stand-off lasted 2 ½ hours until the TSA finally backed down.
I wasn’t so privileged.  Two weeks ago, I was going through the metal detector in Chicago when suddenly the TSA agent insisted I go through the full-body X-ray machine. I refused, and she immediately said “opt out” and insisted I had to go through a pat down. Going through the metal detector was not an option, even though I’d gone through hundreds of times in the past.
It also happened to me in Salt Lake City airport last month.  They randomly call travelers out of line and insist they go through the full-body scanners.  It is clear that TSA is pushing the X-ray machines to test the American willingness to comply.
The TSA is gradually shifting to the full-body scanners (X-ray machines), where travelers symbolically raise his hands in compliance, as if they are saying, “I surrender to the TSA.”   I’m always amazed how the vast majority of Americans simply comply.  Have we all become “whipped dogs,” as Doug Casey calls us?
I’ve watched almost all of the dozen or so Republican debates.  Why has the media never asked once what the candidates think of the TSA?   Is it really necessary to lose our rights to privacy and decency in the name of Homeland Security?
I’d like to hear Ron Paul tell the American people on nationwide TV what he thinks.  His response to his son’s detention was fiery:  “The police state in this country is growing out of control,” he said. “One of the ultimate embodiments of this is the TSA that gropes and grabs our children, our seniors, and our loved ones and neighbors with disabilities. The TSA does all of this while doing nothing to keep us safe.”
In June, Paul criticized TSA administrator John Pistole (what a name!) for the agency’s procedures being overbearing and unproductive.
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura and millions of other travelers now refuses to travel commercial airlines because of the invasive TSA.  I know I’ve cut down my airplane travel.  The use of the full-body scanners and pat downs is a clear violation of the 4th amendment, which prohibits “unreasonable” searches and seizure.  People are fed up and are not flying if they can help it.  (Go to to read the horror stories and what you can do to fight the TSA.)
According to a recent survey by the US Travel Association, two-out-of-five travelers are boycotting airports and invasive checkpoints in favor of the train or the automobile.
But increasing use of the highways has its cost.  According to K. Jack Riley, VP of the National Security Research Division of the well-respected RAND Corp., TSA regulations has the unintended consequence of increasing highway deaths.  According to the study, an additional 1,200 fatalities happen a year on US highways “from a relative increase in driving and reduction in flying resulting from fear of terrorist attacks and the inconvenience of flying.”
The TSA is costing the American economy billions in lost business, both here and abroad.  Many foreigner tourists find American airports unfriendly due to a variety of reasons (immigration rules as well as the overzealous TSA), resulting in an estimated loss of 467,000 jobs and $606 billion in revenues in the past decade ( “America’s Lost Decade of Tourism,” Wall Street Journal, November 21, 2011).
The TSA costs taxpayers at least $1.2 billion annually.  Worse, Congress just awarded the TSA more money that they asked for. Their covert operation is expanding rapidly on to highways and trains.  Congress is likely to increase the TSA’s dole by $153,000,000. In 2012, the TSA will consume $7,800,000,000 in tax dollars.
But all this is unnecessary, according to many experts.  The US Travel Association’s CEO, Roger Dow, told US News & World Report “Our research shows that reducing hassle without compromising security will encourage more Americans to fly — as many as two to three additional trips a year — leading to an additional $85 billion in spending.”
According to the Rand Corporation report mentioned above, security improvements — passenger vigilance, cockpit security, and visa screening — has prevented radical jihadists from entering the country, and therefore the US could return to pre-911 domestic security procedures and save $1.2 billion a year, reduce highway deaths, and restore the privacy rights of Americans.
To read a summary of this report, go here.

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  • Dave D

    Spot On!  Obama created the TSA for his hatred of air travelers.  An inciting article about how Obama is eroding our freedom to become dictator in chief.

  • dmacleo

    this is the one time blame bush really works.

    its all eyewash,,,tsa does not help security at all. locking the damn cockpit doors would have prevented 911..

  • Baruch Zeichner

    I find it slightly humorous that Rand Paul is upset about the invasion of his privacy, yet he was on his way to speak at an anti-choice rally…talk about government intrusion into one’s life.

  • Baruch Zeichner

    Actually George Bush created the TSA. 

  • Susan J. Barretta

    Unfortunately, I don’t think that shorn sheep Americans are going to start bleating until TSA is groping them and scanning them at the bus and train terminals as part of their daily commute.  Most Americans just don’t fly often enough to be aware of what is going on at our airports or they figure whatever they’re hearing about hasn’t happened to them ergo it is not a problem. 

  • Dave D

    Many of the founding fathers, including Daniel Boone, fought tirelessly against patdowns until they were no more.

  • Daryl Banttari

    Sure, and next you’ll say it was Bush that originated the bank bailouts… ;-)

  • Adam Moreira

    Okay now—this is a bit funny. You have statistic A, and statistic B, but there is no link shown between A and B!

    @facebook-1134251257:disqus (Susan J. Barretta), that has already been experimented with in the Northeast.

  • SethK

    A .22 in the cockpit would have prevented 9/11. It really isn’t necessary to cathetarize the pilots.

  • JayC777

    Oh, look at this … another left-wing illiterate moron.  We get so many of you here it would not be an understatement to say that all left-wingers are illiterate morons.  It wasn’t an anti-choice rally, it was an anti-death rally.  I mean with all the talk, not suprisingly only coming from your side, about how compassionate you are you’d think you would be for life.  I guess you only care about the lives of murderous terrorist scum.  How compassionate of you.  Heavy sigh.

    Now, get back to them fryers.

  • Borghesius

    Oh, you mean government intrusion into your life like allowing a pair of scissors to enter the back of your skull when you are 3/4 of the way out of the birth canal?  

  • Borghesius

    I know you’re an idiot, and that Daniel Boone was a forebear not a founder, but if anyone did attempt to give Daniel Boone a patdown they would have gotten a rifle butt across the skull. 

  • Timothy Leo Ernest Crowe

    Wish I could delete this =(

  • michaellyster

    No; he’s just enabling them, along with Janet Napolitano and Mr Holder. And they continue to expand the role of TSA and other unelected bureaucracies because of their love of Big Government oversight, and control of the masses: after all, we exist for the benefit of Holy Mother Government, yes?
    People on this site aren’t nearly as uninformed as you and the other libs down at the Starbucks would like to think. Try again.

    TSA is a blight. I’m flying private later today, rather than hop on the cattle car. Because it’s more efficient than the drive/wait in line/fly routine; also, because **** you, TSA: that’s why. 
    And, while I’m on the subject, Dave: **** you, too. Troll.

  • Lawrence Congdon

    This is the GOP’s fault.  If  George W. Bush had done his job and protected the United States instead of brushing off the bluntly-titled CIA daily brief “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” during his August 2001 Crawford Ranch vacation, he wouldn’t have had to have scrambled to create the TSA after the fact….

  • crakpot

    Liberals hate the airplane.   It defines freedom of movement.

  • AmericanSage

    For years I have held my tongue because I did not want to seem unreasonable, but now I have come out of the closet with my views about liberals.  With only a few exceptions, liberals are liars, enemies of the US Constitution, and hence enemies of the USA.  During the Revolutionary War, many if not most Tories had to flee to Canada for their own safety.  I wish that was the situation for liberals today.

    But… there are probably a small number of good liberals somewhere.  I just haven’t met any since my Uncle Bob died.

  • Niniane

    TSA has around 53,000 employees, all well paid with bennies we will be paying for the rest of our lives…and our children, grandchildren and great-grand children will keep paying those bills.

    I have had few problems with TSA, mainly because I don’t look very important nor in any way resemble a threat to society. I did have fun when I forgot my metal belt buckel, which was holding up the pants. I took it off and went through the detector again. Another time I went through wearing a metal necklace, took that off and they wanded me.

    If the TSA wants to do a pat down, I will gladly rip off all of my clothes to make sure they get their pleasure. Then what would a pat down consist of? A grope of all body cavities?

  • supernatural_witness

    I believe TSA police state expansion; along with increased surveillance; along with increased data mining (such as the file being compiled on every student etc) has nothing to do with terrorism and everything to do with the rise of the totalitarian control liberals and other big govt elite types have dreamed of since Marx wrote of it. Never mind the bad results in Russia and China et al. It is the good intentions that matter, not good results. It will be different in America, you’ll see!

  • Thomas

    The TSA is another immortal government agency brought to us by a liberal republican, it is not as bad as the EPA (Nixon) but it is more “hands on”

    I realize they are just following orders and that it is congress and the administrations who are setting the rules, but the fact that they exist is another legacy of the republican establishment. Others include

    1 the mortgage crisis (which was caused by democrat laws that they neglected to roll back because they were afraid of being called names)

    2 the bail-outs caused by the mortgage crisis (see above)

    3 the wild deficit spending which was set up again by democrats, but not stopped by the republicans at the orders of the establishment.

    4 also I should mention the whole trying to build democracy on a foundation of sand 

  • TPDanbo

    The TSA must be disbanded, as a COLOSSAL FAILURE and WASTE OF MONEY, to date it has caught EXACTLY ZERO TERRORISTS! Some Dems. and Obama might try to sell us that it has a preventative function but that’s B.S.!!! Not to mention if we don’t DEMAND it be killed they will expand it’s powers at some point !

  • A_Proud_Infidel

    If you want blatant failure, mismanagement, waste, and gross incompetence, just include US Federal Government bureaucracy, the TSA is living proof of that. The vast majority of those slovenly drooling inbreds couldn’t even make fries a1 a burger franchise, and with the TSA, they have a plush set of benefits, they belong to a union, most likely the AFGE, the Association of Federal Government Employees, an AFL-CIO racket, and they usually aren’t held accountable, how often do we hear about Government employees getting fired for incompetence?

  • lewis b

    School Kids could do Better !!!

  • Keith1941

    Doesn’t matter who created the TSA.  It will disappear if obama gets reelected…WHO WILL HAVE THE MONEY TO FLY!  Yeah, I know, obama’s Green buddies.

  • Keith1941

    TSA is a joke.  I’ll repeat this story:  We senior citizens flew out of LAX…because a “color” showed up on our boarding pass, out luggage got “special treatment”….all the while, two young “muslim” types, right behind me, sailed through without any special treatment.  Recently, we flew out of a smaller airport in California.  There were more TSA employees than “all other” employees, combined!

  • jagscl

    You are correct.  Obama early on said the US need a Federal police to insure “security”, FEMA camps look vaguely like re-education camps, data of every kind is being collected on every citizen, he bypasses congress regularly and with impunity, he thinks the Constitution should be reversed to provide the Government unlimited powers rather than limiting them for the protection of individual liberty.  At some point, if it isn’t stopped, we won’t be able to stop it.

  • supernatural_witness

    I wish it were limited to Obama. It borders on being a government wide attitude. My Senators, for instance, are two of the most Conservative; and they are going right along on most govt expansion including TSA Homeland, surveillance etc.

  • jagscl

    You’re right. Too many Republicans are willing to work with Democrats and the only way to work with them is to cave. The old Republican crowd is the worst.

  • terry1956

    no he was going to an anti mass murder of American babies rally. 
     Yes murder is a choice but it should also be punished if the fully informed grand jury indicts the defedent and the fully informed jury in the state convicts.                
      At most the mother if it is her first baby murder should get is life in prison but the abortion doctor and the planned parenthood clinc operators are mass murders and should get death by hanging.                                                                                                                                
     Of course only those cases done after Congress properly overturns the unconstitutial  US Supreme Court ruling in Roe V Wade and other similar federal court rulings.

  • terry1956

    Actually it was GW Bush and the GOP majority congress that created the unconstitutional TSA.                                               
     But Obama and Big Sister added the porn picture taking and the child molestation aspect to the illegal agency.

  • terry1956

    I hope Newt or Mitt does away with the federal TSA but they are likely to need some proding from enough members of congress who still respect the constitution hopefully that majority will take office in 2013 which would be the first time for over 100 years.

  • terry1956

    The family owned factory I work for allows any of its employees to fly on their corporate jets for just a few dollars if they have empty seats.                  
      Since they own factories and a warehouse in 4 states spread from VA to AZ and they fly to DC, LA, Boston, NYC, Chicago, Kansas City several employees take advantage.

  • terry1956

    It was along with the ” progessive” ( Communist) House Caucus and the Rockfeller Republicans in the Senate but the majority of the GOP in the House voted against it each and every time.                      
       The Black House Caucus voted against  it the first time but Peloski and the Communist House Caucus, Bohner, Obama, McCain and Bush told them they better get back on the DC ruling class planation so the second time they voted for the bail out.

  • terry1956

    And allowing select passngers to carry guns.                           
     Profile and bring in the dogs.