TSA wait lines, Congress 99% to blame

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by PracticalMac, May 27, 2016.

  1. PracticalMac macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
    In 2014 a bill was passed that would divert $0.60 from the $5.60 TSA fee to pay for US Deficit Reduction.
    This created a $1.25 BILLION (2016 estimate), almost 17% reduction in TSA budget.

    Of course there was poor decisions in TSA, but much of it caused by Congressional meddling scrtinizing and review every deciion made

    And apparently Paul Ryan was one of the architects of the bill.
    So, instead of "cut taxes, smaller government" Congressmen reducing the burden on the traveling tax payer (say, drop fee to an even $5?) they siphon off billions to make it look like they are balancing the budget with reduced taxes.

    Isn't it any wonder that Congress is so hated?
    The Republican party is considered at trustworthy as Hillary?
    And outsiders with no political experience with extremest views are hailed as political heroes?

    And to add:
    Hypocrisy at its finest.
  2. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Jun 20, 2010
    Dust off the old old saying: "it's the union, stupid."
  3. vrDrew, May 27, 2016
    Last edited: May 27, 2016

    vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Midlife, Midwest
    Much as I'd like to blame Congress 100% for this mess - a great deal of the blame needs to be placed on the airlines themselves.

    Because of their greed, most US airlines now regularly change for each piece of checked baggage in economy. Which means that three-quarters of the people on the plane try and walk through security lines carrying stuff that ordinarily should be in the hold. And carry-on bags take far longer to be screened, x-rayed, etc.

    Congress needs to pass a law mandating 1 piece of checked luggage free with each domestic ticket, regardless of class.
  4. aaronvan Suspended


    Dec 21, 2011
    República Cascadia
    The TSA is worthless and TSA guards are not required at airports. Airports are private enterprises and they can hire their own security personnel.

    Abolish the TSA today. It has made airport security worse. It just another bloated government bureaucracy created by that noted "conservative" George W. Bush.
  5. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    Yep, that is probably about half the problem. At the same time I will admit to contributing to it, as when I fly I want to pay just the advertised price, and not give the airlines more than they are advertising the ticket for.
  6. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Jun 20, 2010
    ... Made all the more worse by unionizing under Obama.
  7. impulse462 macrumors 68000


    Jun 3, 2009
    No we have to make sure that the old lady takes her shoes off because she COULD be involved in a terrorist plot.

    Although I'm not entirely convinced why you think private security would be better. They'd be free to stereotype people. TSA definitely does it but still.
  8. aaronvan Suspended


    Dec 21, 2011
    República Cascadia
    Well, for one they can impose height & weight limits. I'd rather be groped by a person than a giant blueberry.
  9. thewitt macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2011
    Are new laws and government regulations really your answer to everything?

    You don't like the airline policy, so rather than fly on an airline that DOES let you check one bag free, you decide the answer is a new law from Congress?
  10. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Jun 20, 2010
    I searched in the case and this conservative opinion author had this to say about the situation. Details matter.

    "When it comes to public employee unions, there's no such thing as a coincidence.

    All you travelers stuck in mile-long TSA security lines are pawns. Convenient political pawns. Big Labor bosses want more power and more money. Stranded travelers are just the latest victims in this age-old game of D.C. extortion.

    Union leaders want you to think the fault lies with a stingy Congress unwilling to fork over enough money to fill screener shortages. White House spokesman Josh Earnest poured more partisan fuel on the fire last week by blaming the nationwide slowdowns on "the inability of Republicans in Congress to govern the country."

    What a load of flying horse hockey.

    The 15-year-old Transportation Security Administration now has a massive annual budget of nearly $7.6 billion and a workforce of nearly 60,000. They had enough tax dollars to waste on an idiotic $1.4 million iPad app that randomly points left or right; $3 million on more than 200 useless explosive detection "puffer" machines that didn't detect explosives reliably; and unknown gobs in awards and automatic bonuses to senior TSA managers at a time when the agency was repeatedly failing internal tests of its ability to stop weapons, bombs and terror threats.

    Yet, last week, with airlines, airports and customers all raising holy hell, Congress scraped together $34 million more to pay TSA screeners overtime and fund nearly 800 more screeners to address the summer travel crush.

    It's still not enough of course. It's never enough. Since last fall, the TSA workforce (unionized under the Obama administration) has staged protests at major airports (including Dallas-Fort Worth, JFK, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Atlanta) organized by the American Federation of Government Employees, which is demanding full collective bargaining rights under federal labor law, along with hefty pay increases."

    More here:

  11. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    That's not always an option. Southwest is the only one that does that on domestic US flights and there are many cities that they do not serve.
  12. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Competition is a huge motivator for keeping customer satisfaction high, efficiency high, and prices low. TSA is a monopoly and has zero motivation to make anything better. In fact TSA is failing even at security, considering how many tests of the system get past it (with fake weapons and the like).

    I suggest allowing companies to compete for airport security contracts. Competition would inherently fix a lot of things.

    Unfortunately private companies are also motivated to cut corners in order to increase profit. TSA should continue to exist, but its role should be setting security standards and providing oversight. Audit the procedures and test security. If they are doing a bad job, they lose the contract to someone else who can do the right job.

    Yes I know this isn't a perfect system--the revolving door of government and corporate bigwigs will cause the usual problems. But I'm certain it would be a vast improvement over what we have now.

    I know people on the left won't like this because "private corporation" is a bad word. And people on the right won't like it because a government agency continues to exist and continues to add regulatory burden. Oh well, as a moderate I'm used to both sides not liking me.
  13. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    The long lines at airports are a problem for Hillary Clinton

    The long security lines at U.S. airports are another problem for Hillary Clinton. A lot of Americans interact with the Transportation Security Administration, and they expect that agency to function properly. And when there is a problem, they want it fixed. Does anyone think of Clinton as a problem-solver? Answer: No. Can anyone think of a problem she has ever solved?

    As I have written before, the Democrats are identified as a party that agitates for interest groups and social causes. They impose their will through regulations and via the courts. The Obama era has left the Democrats without any claim to managerial expertise or problem-solving skills, and Clinton will pay a price for that in November.

    The current problems at the TSA are a perfect example. When Americans are standing in lines at our nation’s airports and fuming about incompetence in government, they don’t want to hear excuses about a lack of government resources. Who do you think is more likely to shake things up with the bureaucrats at the Department of Homeland Security and actually get the TSA working, President Hillary Clinton or President Donald Trump? It’s no contest.

    If Trump were to show up at an American airport and face those waiting in a long security line, he would probably be welcomed and he would instantly be recognized as someone who would make changes. If Clinton were to show up, I think she would be greeted as an agent of the status quo, and the crowd reaction would be, to put it mildly, more subdued. Not one person who is outraged and disgusted while standing in a security line and missing their flight could care less about Trump’s taxes or how he may or may not have treated a girlfriend decades ago. They want somebody who can make basic government functions work. Let’s face it, the people who rolled out the Obamacare website are the same people who can’t figure out how to match the number of TSA security screeners with airport traffic.

    Honestly, do you think the White House has spent more time in the past 90 days managing its school bathroom mandate for transgender students or trying figuring out how to make TSA security lines work with adequate efficiency this travel season? The answer is obvious.

    Denial is rampant in this administration. Its approach to management is to deny problems exist and to shift focus to one left-wing cause or another. I have no doubt the TSA strategy will be to shift blame, whine about funding shortages and deny that things are as bad as they are. I suspect after a congressional probe, we will actually find that much of the TSA problems in the summer of 2016 were made worse by the Obama administration’s obsession with regulations, grievances and union rules that took precedence over efficiency, customer service and getting a job done.

    Again, this is what our government has become under the Democrats: All lecturing and no management. This is what has fueled much of the Trump movement, and it is another reason Hillary Clinton is such a poor fit for the country in 2016. We don’t need a third Obama term. Remember that the next time you are stuck in a security line at an airport.

  14. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    Yeah, and when said private industry has blatant disregard for the sake of their own greed and don't give a damn if you are shot or blown up by a terrorist...

    Sorry lad, private industry dropped the ball and you might want to look up how much more of your tax money goes to corporate welfare...

    After all, if private industry was there first it would not have needed the TSA as created by Bush, and so on.

    And, I say this only because you went there first, Bush is a conservative. Don't try to peg "liberal" or "neoliberal" on him.
  15. aaronvan Suspended


    Dec 21, 2011
    República Cascadia
    So many "ifs." Got any facts you'd care to discuss?
  16. jammybastard macrumors regular


    Apr 26, 2010
    In Trasnic
    Cause: Gov't shutdown.
    Perpetrator: Ted Cruz.
  17. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    Are you suggesting private airlines could have prevented 9/11? How?
  18. yg17, May 28, 2016
    Last edited: May 28, 2016

    yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    I'm calling BS.

    The other day at STL T2, the line wrapped around from one end of the terminal to the other, probably a good 90 minute wait. I had Precheck which was about a half hour long. T2 is served exclusively by Southwest airlines. Every single person standing in that mile long line could have checked two bags for free. In the meantime, the second checkpoint in the terminal was closed.

    And the video of the 3 hour security line at MDW that made its rounds last week? Southwest accounts for 95% of the flights at MDW.

    Also, checked bag fees are nothing new. Most airlines have been charging them for a decade now, and yet, these long lines are only a recent development.

    9/11 was not an airport security failure. The hijackers didn't carry anything on board that wasn't allowed at the time. There are two things that make another 9/11 highly unlikely:

    1. Reinforced cockpit doors. You can't fly a plane into a building if you can't get in the cockpit.

    2. Passengers will be more vigilant and will fight back. In the past, you cooperated with hijackers if you wanted to live. A hijacking used to mean you'd make a detour somewhere, the hijacker would make some demands, eventually get what they wanted, and everyone would be free to go. The days of DB Cooper are long past us, if anyone tries to hijack a plane now, passengers will take them out.
  19. samiwas macrumors 68000

    Aug 26, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    Great idea! Unless, you know, the airline that doesn't charge for bags doesn't go where you need to go. Then that idea goes out the window.

    Fees for checked bags are nothing more than profit streams for airlines and they create massive issues at security and boarding time. And just because choose to be on an airline that doesn't charge for bags, doesn't mean that security won't be backed up for 45 minutes because of all the people who are on airlines that charge. Honestly though, I don't think there is much of anything an airline won't try to do to make more money while making travel that much more miserable, and the people just keep accepting it because there is little choice otherwise. Pretty much the MO of most of corporate America, really.
  20. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    I always felt weapon sniffing dogs and metal detectors would more than be enough!
  21. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    Solution: abolish the TSA. It's the retarded offspring of George W Bush and shouldn't exist at all.
  22. samiwas macrumors 68000

    Aug 26, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    As I recall, private security was never much better. I do have to ask, with all these private airport security companies who would be competing for contracts...what would they be doing when they didn't have a contract? Painting houses?
  23. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    TSA hasn't proven itself effective, last time they were tested they failed miserably. Don't throw any more money to them.

    More effective option would be to have a system that uses NSA database (Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc other communications the NSA has access to)and learns from the features of past attacks for screening.

    Old white grandma shouldn't have the same probability of being screened as 20 year old devout Islamic male, who happened to like some ISIS tweets last thursday.
  24. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
  25. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    It's been awhile since I've flown in the US, but the last time I was there, I waited in an enormous line because only 2 out of 5 TSA security check points were open. Somebody at TSA needs to understand that people waiting in line before security pose an enormous vulnerability to a terrorist attack. How many attacks on people at airports waiting in line must occur before these nitwits get the picture?

    As for the claim that private industry would automatically run things better, and cheaper, that's pure nonsense. Competition doesn't guarantee better service any more that natural selection guarantees 'better' species. There have been plenty of private sector failures when it comes to customer service, and any organisation that is underfunded and poorly managed is unlikely to satisfy customers.

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