7:59 AM, Jul 22, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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?
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.
Dec 9, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 13 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
A new study from the Cato Institute asks the question many travelers have pondered after a pat-down gone awry: Can’t we replace the TSA? The agency’s embarrassing record of waste and mismanagement makes a compelling case.
In more than one instance, the agency has wasted tens of millions on technology that ended up being a flop. It bought hundreds of explosive-detector machines that turned out not to work outside the lab.
'Misconduct by Transportation Security Administration workers has increased more than 26%'8:14 AM, Jul 31, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Seems the Transportation Security Administration has a problem. In short, many of the people who frisk you, paw through your luggage, and herd you like cattle through the lines at the airport are stealing on the job. Among other derelictions. And the problem, as CNN reports, is growing:
2:22 PM, Mar 11, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Claire McCaskill tweets about her experience today at an airport:
The TSA’s new uniforms.
Dec 10, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 13 • By KATE HAVARD
If you’re headed to the airport for the holidays, here are some tips to keep you off the Transportation Security Administration’s “naughty list”: Holiday puddings (even the figgy kind) are considered “gel-like” substances and must be carried in clear plastic containers of no more than 3.4 ounces.
8:05 AM, May 16, 2012 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
A notional woman named “Julia” recently made her debut on the Obama campaign’s website. Julia, it seems, needs help at every stage in her life, and if the president has his way, the government will be there to assist her in, among other things, getting a college education, finding a job, securing birth control, and providing for her retirement. But it turns out that all this assistance will not be enough for the hapless Julia as she moves through life. It seems she will also need some close air support.
Washington plays by TSA rules. May 14, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 33 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Government, and the party of government, have been through something of a rough patch lately. First, there was the GSA’s Las Vegas blowout. Then, the Secret Service debaucheries. And, two weeks ago, the video of an Environmental Protection Agency bureaucrat preening about his enforcement strategy of “crucifying” five random oil drillers pour encourager les autres.