May 23, 2019 | 66° F

Privatizing TSA will solve nothing


People have had problems with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) since the group’s inception ten years ago. Complaints have ranged from missed planes to child molestation, and it’s hard to find a single person who is actually supportive of the group. Now, even the group’s creator, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), is entirely fed up with the TSA. Mica has even gone as far as to say, “I just don’t have a lot of faith at this point.” The solution, according to Mica, is to privatize the organization. It’s true that the TSA has a long list of urgent flaws that need addressing, but we fail to see how privatizing the agency will address any of these flaws.

As stated above, the TSA is a far from perfect agency. Aside from the complaints of molestation and violated rights — which are obviously in and of themselves serious issues — the TSA is also spending exorbitant amounts of money on the most absurd of things. According to Human Events, a federal investigation into the TSA’s funding found that the agency was holding recruiting sessions at upscale hotels and resorts, spending “$2,000 for 20 gallons of Starbucks Coffee, $8,000 for elevator operators … and $1,500 to rent more than a dozen extension cords.” How a federal agency could justify such expenditures boggles the mind, so to speak.

However, one has to ask what privatization will do to address the situation. It is not as if private companies are vulnerable to the greed and corruption which sometimes befouls government operations. Was it not the greed and corruption of private banks which helped land the United States economy in a serious recession only a few short years ago? Sure, one may argue that, if a privatized TSA wastes money, it won’t be federal money, but what about the other issues? There is just as much room for incompetence and dangerous conduct in the confines of a private business as there is in government institutions.

Despite the fact that some GOP members, such as Mica himself in this case, are prone to touting privatization as a panacea for most of society’s ills, this simply is not the case. It’s nothing more than empty, idealistic rhetoric. If Mica wants to see the TSA fixed, he should be taking directing steps to do so, not trying to pawn the agency off and wash his hands of it. Elected officials are supposed to be civil servants, which, believe it or not, requires actual work.

By The Daily Targum

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