With the partial government shutdown rolling through its 26th day, airports are nearing the point of chaos. Federally paid TSA Screeners are going unpaid yet being required to report to work.
The Transportation Security Administration was created 17 years ago on November 19, 2001, after 9/11 hijackers boarded private aircraft and carried out the worst terrorist attack in American history.
The agency was a reactionary creation based upon the belief that the federal government could do a better job than the private sector.
Studies conducted since the creation of the TSA along with real world results prove otherwise.
Numerous security tests have been conducted over the years and in every single case, the TSA’s failure rate at detecting everything from guns, fake bombs and suspected terrorists was at least 70%.
There was one exception of stellar performance by TSA screeners, in one security test conducted from 2003 to 2005. But it was later found that the TSA conspired with the private company conducting the test and passed out “mugshots” of the undercover testers in advance along with notifying screeners when the undercover testers approached security checkpoints.
The company the TSA conspired with, Covenant Aviation Security, was later awarded a $314 million contract. With that said, the TSA did investigate the incident (investigating themselves) and found Covenant Aviation Security to have committed no wrongdoing.
Rather than focus on enhancing security, TSA administrators focused on cost savings, even launching a “reverse screening” program at small airports that screens passengers after the reach their destination rather than before departure.
On top of a failure to do the one thing the agency was created to do, baggage theft has skyrocketed since the inception of the TSA.
From 2010 to 2014, over 25,000 claims were filed with the TSA, will tens of thousands more going completely unreported.
Former TSA employee, Pythias Brown, told ABC News in 2012 that he was personally responsible for stealing over $800,000 worth of items from passenger’s luggage. He stated that poor morale and the convenience to steal made the ongoing heist an easy scam. Pythias even boosted goods from passengers after the TSA enhanced behind the scenes security by security by installing cameras on conveyor belts and in baggage areas.
Aside from the ineffectiveness and crimes of the TSA, the agency has one more massive negative impact.
Due to intrusive security measures such as full body scanners and intermittent “groping,” airlines have lost 6% of their passengers who instead choose to drive according to a study conducted in 2007.
The drop in passengers costs the airline industry $1.1 billion a year. But morbidly, there have been an increase in on road fatalities that statistically equate to four fully-loaded 737’s crashing each year.
The TSA is costing America $7.58 billion each year. On top of funding from tax payers, airlines are required to pay passenger fees of $5.60 per one-way trip.
In 2013, the Government Accountability Office recommended cutting funds to the TSA as its studies found “no proof of effectiveness.”
If the government shutdown continues, President Trump will have the opportunity to end the failed TSA experiment as the screener exodus continues, and return the responsibility of airline security back to airports and the airlines.
Should Trump end the TSA? Comment below.