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The Price of Government, Good or Bad

7:59 AM, Jul 22, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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There is a fairly robust debate about inflation going on these days. Is there too much? Not enough? Any at all? And just how much is too much? Can we hit the Goldilocks sweet spot?

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What does not appear to be debatable is that government is getting more expensive. Even the bad and unpopular elements of government want more money. Which means, of course, that they will get it. The IRS has trouble archiving e-mails? Has to be because it didn’t have enough to spend on technology. VA so strapped that after it has paid bonuses to its senior executives, there isn’t enough left to take care of old soldiers with cancer? Must have more money.

And now, the Transportation Security Administration, which is the love of travelers everywhere, is feeling strapped. The only solution for it is…to raise ticket prices. As Catey Hill of Market Watch writes, as of yesterday, the TSA 

… will more than double the mandatory fee they charge many passengers and will no longer cap these fees. Under the old law, the fee, which is used for security, was $2.50 for each leg of a flight with a $5 cap on each one-way trip or a $10 cap on each round trip. But beginning July 21, the fee is $5.60 for each leg of a flight and that is not capped; if your layover is more than four hours on a domestic flight or 12 hours for international destinations, that counts as a second leg of the flight and you will be charged an additional fee. While that may not sound like a lot, consider what this could mean for your wallet. If you book a domestic round trip and have two total connections (and the layover is four hours or more during each connection), you’ll end up shelling out nearly $25 to the TSA. That jacks up the average domestic airline ticket price by more than 5%.

No reason to think the money will enable to TSA to do better work. The “screening process” will not become less unpleasant.

But, the bureaucracy will be appeased. Maybe it isn’t inflation. But there ought to be a word for it. 

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