Can We Use the Government Shutdown to Get Rid of the TSA?

 

I am no expert, but I keep hearing that the shutdown could drag on for weeks and weeks, even months, and that TSA agents are calling in sick in large numbers to avoid working without pay.

I love the idea of a government shutdown dragging on for months and months. Give Nancy no opportunity to try to appease the rabid mob that is her base.

But a thought occurs to me: Is it possible that this could be an opportunity to get rid of the TSA and to have airports hire private security? Can anyone with some knowledge share a perspective here?

 

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  1. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    I’d have no objection to this. But I don’t have knowledge or perspective.

    • #1
  2. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    The same thing occurred to me. Just hire people who get fired when they don’t show up to work.

    • #2
  3. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    And (I’ve been saying this for years, broken record – hey I bet young people don’t even know what that means anymore) I’d like to see these agents be actual professional security people with that background, as opposed to someone who was driving an ice cream truck two weeks ago feeling you up.

    • #3
  4. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Yes!  When the story of TSA people not showing up for work was on the news last night, I thought are these people going to get paid for not showing up when their paychecks are restarted? The media make it look as though every federal worker is living paycheck to paycheck.  If you need your next paycheck that much, you come to work every day.  Time to go full Reagan and fire them. 

    • #4
  5. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    John Stossel did a video a couple of years ago on one of the few airports that has private security.

    • #5
  6. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    John Stossel did a video a couple of years ago on one of the few airports that has private security.

    Ooooh this made me so mad to watch!  It’s so true. The last time I flew, the lines were so long and slow-moving that I nearly missed my plane even though I arrived three hours ahead. When I finally got to the front of the line and was behind a velvet rope, and there were five lines across, all standing behind velvet ropes, they closed all but ONE of the lines with the conveyor belts. Then I saw to the left that there were several TSA agents standing off to the side laughing and drinking coffee. I walked over and asked if they could please open more lines, and they made ugly faces at me and went on talking to each other.

    When their government-scheduled break was done, they moseyed on over and opened two more lines. The guy I’d asked to open a line decided to punish me by taking his sweet time on purpose and searching me as if I were El Chapo. He even searched my ponytail and wrecked it so I had to board the plane looking like I’d just got out of bed. This is what the government does because they don’t have to worry that you’ll take your business elsewhere.

    • #6
  7. Mike "Lash" LaRoche Inactive
    Mike "Lash" LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Bugger the TSA.

    • #7
  8. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Some airports are already staffed by privatized employees.  Be careful what you wish for.

    • #8
  9. Chris B Member
    Chris B
    @ChrisB

    Honestly, I’ve never had a seriously negative incident with the TSA. I don’t find them any more intrusive than airport security in any other country I’ve flown through.

    Generally I’ve found TSA employees to be professional and courteous.

    I don’t really fly all that much though, about once a year.

    The only time I’ve felt really frustrated and angry with airport security was in Israel, where they asked me over and over for 4 hours why I had gone to Bethlehem on Christmas eve . . .

    I understand their need for heightened scrutiny. There were other things that should have legitimately made them curious about me, such the fact that I had been traveling with someone who had been everywhere in the Middle East, entering the country by bus and leaving by air, leaving the country by a different method than my friend, etc. . . but no, it was the fact that I’d gone to Bethlehem on December 24th that really had to be scrutinized. That was pretty much the only thing that they were interested in.

    They questioned me about everywhere I’d gone while there, who I’d talked to, who I knew there (nobody), why I’d go there if I didn’t know anyone, how they could possibly believe that I’d kept the itinerary I said I did, what shop did I buy this from? . . . and no, they weren’t interested in seeing my time stamped receipts and time and  GPS location stamped photos.

    • #9
  10. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Chris B (View Comment):

    Generally I’ve found TSA employees to be professional and courteous.

    I don’t really fly all that much though, about once a year.

    Really, you should travel more so that you can fully grasp the Kabuki theater that is the TSA.

    There were other things that should have legitimately made them curious about me, such the fact that I had been traveling with someone who had been everywhere in the Middle East, entering the country by bus and leaving by air, leaving the country by a different method than my friend, etc.

    Do you really think they didn’t know where your friend had been?  And by the way, just curious as to when you were questioned.

    • #10
  11. Chris B Member
    Chris B
    @ChrisB

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    Chris B (View Comment):

    Generally I’ve found TSA employees to be professional and courteous.

    I don’t really fly all that much though, about once a year.

    Really, you should travel more so that you can fully grasp the Kabuki theater that is the TSA.

    I’ve been through airport security in Mexico, Australia, Japan, China, England, Jordan, Israel, and Peru. I’ve also gone through PIT, JFK, EWR (Newark), LAX, PHL, ATL, DFW, ORD,  CLT (Charlotte), BWI and MIA,  since the TSA was instituted.

    I don’t fly that much, but when I do, I get around.

    I appreciate that in several countries passengers aren’t made to take off their belts and shoes and get scans and pat downs, but in general I’ve not been troubled, harassed, or delayed by TSA any worse than the security in the other countries, and aside from PHL, they’ve all been reasonably pleasant and professional. Actually, in PHL, the TSA were the more pleasant and professional of the workers at the airport.

    There were other things that should have legitimately made them curious about me, such the fact that I had been traveling with someone who had been everywhere in the Middle East, entering the country by bus and leaving by air, leaving the country by a different method than my friend, etc.

    Do you really think they didn’t know where your friend had been? And by the way, just curious as to when you were questioned.

    Oh, I’m quite certain they knew exactly where he’d been. He told them when he was questioned for 4 hours upon entering the country. He also gave them our itinerary and plans for departure.

    This would have been December 28th of 2014. We had entered the country from Jordan, where we had spent a week sight seeing. We started in Amman (where he was studying Arabic and teaching English), went north to explore the Decapolis, then worked our way south to Petra before crossing the bridge and heading to Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Tel-Aviv. I left by air, while he headed back to Amman by bus.

    The fact that we went to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve (along with about 10,000 other tourists) seemed like one of the less unusual things about our trip. I just never understood why they were so hung up on it. The fact they all acted like they’d never even heard of people going to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve and had no idea why anyone would do so was even more perplexing, considering that probably half the people in the airport that day had also been in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve.

    • #11
  12. dnewlander Coolidge
    dnewlander
    @dnewlander

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    John Stossel did a video a couple of years ago on one of the few airports that has private security.

    Ooooh this made me so mad to watch! It’s so true. The last time I flew, the lines were so long and slow-moving that I nearly missed my plane even though I arrived three hours ahead. When I finally got to the front of the line and was behind a velvet rope, and there were five lines across, all standing behind velvet ropes, they closed all but ONE of the lines with the conveyor belts. Then I saw to the left that there were several TSA agents standing off to the side laughing and drinking coffee. I walked over and asked if they could please open more lines, and they made ugly faces at me and went on talking to each other.

    When their government-scheduled break was done, they moseyed on over and opened opened two more lines. The guy I’d asked to open a line decided to punish me by taking his sweet time on purpose and searching me as if I were El Chapo. He even searched my ponytail and wrecked it so I had to board the plane looking like I’d just got out of bed. This is what the government does because they don’t have to worry that you’ll take your business elsewhere.

    Let’s bring on single-payer healthcare! It’ll be great! *lol*

    • #12
  13. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):
    Really, you should travel more so that you can fully grasp the Kabuki theater that is the TSA.

    The Kabuki theater that is the TSA is a major part of the reason I don’t travel more.

    • #13
  14. dnewlander Coolidge
    dnewlander
    @dnewlander

    Chris B (View Comment):

    Oh, I’m quite certain they knew exactly where he’d been. He told them when he was questioned for 4 hours upon entering the country. He also gave them our itinerary and plans for departure.

    This would have been December 28th of 2014. We had entered the country from Jordan, where we had spent a week sight seeing. We started in Amman (where he was studying Arabic and teaching English), went north to explore the Decapolis, then worked our way south to Petra before crossing the bridge and heading to Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Tel-Aviv. I left by air, while he headed back to Amman by bus.

    The fact that we went to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve (along with about 10,000 other tourists) seemed like one of the less unusual things about our trip. I just never understood why they were so hung up on it. The fact they all acted like they’d never even heard of people going to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve and had no idea why anyone would do so was even more perplexing, considering that probably half the people in the airport that day had also been in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve.

    In my experience, EWR has the worst TSA experience. From the crappy “lines” on the bridges to the completely disinterested personnel, it’s never fun.

    San Jose is also terrible. The only airport I’ve been to, and I fly a lot, where the TSA Pre-Screw-You line is worse than that of the “normals”. By two orders of magnitude. Private industry would have reacted to that.

    And, indeed! it did!

    The CLEAR line was completely open.

    If I lived in a city whose airport had CLEAR, I would totally do that. But I don’t, so I won’t.

    • #14
  15. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    The people who face the greatest risk are airlines and their crews.  They should take over responsibility for hiring and managing airport security.  There would have to be official presence so arrests can be made and people returned.   The whole idea was crazy from the beginning and was never about security.  

    • #15
  16. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad: But a thought occurs to me: Is it possible that this could be an opportunity to get rid of the TSA and to have airports hire private security? Can anyone with some knowledge share a perspective here?

    I would love to see security privatized, but we should get the Israelis to give them the training.  They do transportation security the right way.

    And cheers for Trump shutting the govern,ment down.  Granted, it’s estimated that 60-70% of the work force is deemed “essential”, but isn’t that another way of saying 30% of the Federal government is “unessential”?

    For the record, I was deemed “unessential” during the last threat of a shutdown, so I know what it means!

    • #16
  17. Misthiocracy secretly Member
    Misthiocracy secretly
    @Misthiocracy

    If the government is shut down, then there are no employees to administer the transition from government-operated security to privately-operated security.

    You cannot win.

    • #17
  18. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    And (I’ve been saying this for years, broken record – hey I bet young people don’t even know what that means anymore)

    They might. I’ve read that vinyl has made a bit of a comeback. A few years ago, a place in Tennessee that makes LPs was having to open another line to keep up with demand. However, I don’t have any records around so my daughter will have to learn about that saying second hand.

    • #18
  19. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson
    @MarkWilson

    dnewlander (View Comment):

    The CLEAR line was completely open.

    If I lived in a city whose airport had CLEAR, I would totally do that. But I don’t, so I won’t.

    Does CLEAR entitle you to TSA Pre privileges like keeping on your shoes, jacket, and belt, and keeping your laptop in your luggage?

    • #19
  20. dnewlander Coolidge
    dnewlander
    @dnewlander

    Mark Wilson (View Comment):

    dnewlander (View Comment):

    The CLEAR line was completely open.

    If I lived in a city whose airport had CLEAR, I would totally do that. But I don’t, so I won’t.

    Does CLEAR entitle you to TSA Pre privileges like keeping on your shoes, jacket, and belt, and keeping your laptop in your luggage?

    I think so. You don’t even have to show your ID, as it’s fingerprint based. You just walk up, scan your fingerprint, and, maybe?, scan your boarding pass. 

    You don’t even have to talk to anyone.

    • #20
  21. Qoumidan Coolidge
    Qoumidan
    @Qoumidan

    dnewlander (View Comment):
    You don’t even have to talk to anyone.

    Best argument for anything!

    • #21
  22. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson
    @MarkWilson

    dnewlander (View Comment):

    Mark Wilson (View Comment):

    dnewlander (View Comment):

    The CLEAR line was completely open.

    If I lived in a city whose airport had CLEAR, I would totally do that. But I don’t, so I won’t.

    Does CLEAR entitle you to TSA Pre privileges like keeping on your shoes, jacket, and belt, and keeping your laptop in your luggage?

    I think so. You don’t even have to show your ID, as it’s fingerprint based. You just walk up, scan your fingerprint, and, maybe?, scan your boarding pass.

    You don’t even have to talk to anyone.

    My only experience with CLEAR was funny.  My company came out with a new policy that they would reimburse the CLEAR membership fee, around $200 at the time, for anyone who business travels more than 12 times per year.  The first time I used it to travel, the San Jose airport was nearly vacant.  There was only one other passenger at the curb when I got out.  He and I walked into security, and he went into the CLEAR lane right ahead of me.  The regular lane was completely empty.  A week or two later, CLEAR went out of business.

    • #22
  23. dnewlander Coolidge
    dnewlander
    @dnewlander

    Mark Wilson (View Comment):

    dnewlander (View Comment):

    Mark Wilson (View Comment):

    dnewlander (View Comment):

    The CLEAR line was completely open.

    If I lived in a city whose airport had CLEAR, I would totally do that. But I don’t, so I won’t.

    Does CLEAR entitle you to TSA Pre privileges like keeping on your shoes, jacket, and belt, and keeping your laptop in your luggage?

    I think so. You don’t even have to show your ID, as it’s fingerprint based. You just walk up, scan your fingerprint, and, maybe?, scan your boarding pass.

    You don’t even have to talk to anyone.

    My only experience with CLEAR was funny. My company came out with a new policy that they would reimburse the CLEAR membership fee, around $200 at the time, for anyone who business travels more than 12 times per year. The first time I used it to travel, the San Jose airport was nearly vacant. There was only one other passenger at the curb when I got out. He and I walked into security, and he went into the CLEAR lane right ahead of me. The regular lane was completely empty. A week or two later, CLEAR went out of business.

    That’s weird, because I saw it in LAX last week.

    • #23
  24. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson
    @MarkWilson

    dnewlander (View Comment):

    That’s weird, because I saw it in LAX last week.

    They went out of business years ago.  They were reincarnated a few years later by whoever bought them.

    • #24
  25. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    When I read the story on TSA employees calling in sick, the first thing I thought of was Reagan and the air traffic controllers. I bet President Trump knows that story too.

    • #25
  26. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Barfly (View Comment):

    When I read the story on TSA employees calling in sick, the first thing I thought of was Reagan and the air traffic controllers. I bet President Trump knows that story too.

    I’m definitely curious to hear what President Trump has to say this evening in his address to the nation.

    • #26
  27. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    If the government is shut down, then there are no employees to administer the transition from government-operated security to privately-operated security.

    You cannot win.

    Yep.

    • #27

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