TSA: The Federal Government’s Stinky Hippie

Back in the day, stinky hippies in their hideous leather hats and filthy ponchos–who ever thought a poncho was a good look? Seriously?–used to avoid honest work by panhandling. “Man, you got any spare change?” We’ve all heard it, quickened our pace and averted our eyes to escape. I guess it’s appropriate that now that so many former hippies are now in charge of the levers of power, that a federal agency is taking lots of your spare change. From The Washington Times:

Passengers who leave their change at airport security checkpoints may not know they’re doing it, but they’re actually giving the TSA all of that money — and it amounts to about half a million dollars a year.
Under existing federal law, the Transportation Security Administration is allowed to keep all of the loose change that ends up getting left in those plastic bins at their scanning machines.
Rep. Jeff Miller, Florida Republican, wants to change that and force TSA to turn the money over to nonprofit agencies that provide travel assistance to military troops and their families.
The bill has earned bipartisan backing, and cleared the House Homeland Security Committee late last month.
“According to TSA, airline passengers have left behind about $500,000 at airport security checkpoints in each of the past two fiscal years,” the Congressional Budget Office said in a memo Friday evaluating Mr. Miller’s legislation.
Mr. Miller said there are places he’d rather see the money go than to TSA.
“The TSA has been keeping the pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters from your change purse to pay for their bloated bureaucracy,” Mr. Miller said. “If TSA representatives get to play ‘finders keepers’ with your hard-earned cash, what’s the incentive to try to get the loose change to its rightful owners?”

Rightful owners? This Miller guy has obvious not been in Washington very long. Doesn’t he understand that the federal government is entitled every penny any one in this country earns? We serfs are supposed to be grateful for what they let us keep, remember?

It’s not like these funds aren’t used for a constructive purpose. Also from The Washington Times, in a different story, entitled “TSA agents give themselves $17M pay raise by changing title but doing no additional work:”

Take off your belt and shoes, empty your pockets, step through the metal detector and pay an extra $17.5 million.
That is how much investigators say has been spent on “premium” salaries for Transportation Security Administration employees who have been promoted without doing any additional work.
“The office employed personnel classified as ‘criminal investigators,’ even though their primary duties may not have been criminal investigations,” said a report by the Homeland Security inspector general. “These employees received premium pay and other costly benefits, although other employees were able to perform the same work at a lower cost.”
The inspector general said the extra salaries could cost taxpayers $17.5 million over five years in salary alone for all 124 of the TSA’s criminal investigators. The inspector general did not calculate the additional cost of the benefits those employees receive.

The miracle is that the United States survived for over 200 years without all these essential federal employees.


  1. Teri I agree that much of what the TSA’s work nonessential to say the least. But many others disagree. How do we rationally choose a course of action?

  2. Sooooo funny- Teri complains about panhandlers on her site asking for us to hand over cash.

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