The Transportation Security Administration has mushroomed into a $9 billion, 62,000 person federal bureaucracy, and the politician who helped create the security behemoth gives its performance so far a "D-."
Rep. John Mica (R. -Fla.) authored the legislation that gave us the TSA ten years ago in response to the 9/11 attacks. He gave Townhall.com an interview last week that left no doubt about his deep disappointment in the engorged bureaucracy and waste caused by his brainchild over the last decade.
Rep. Mica wants the agency as it stands now dismantled. He said the agency should consist of no more than 5,000 personnel, and they should focus on intelligence and monitoring threats. Like many of his fellow citizens, the congressman seems deeply bothered by the endless pat-downs, nail clipper confiscations, and shoe removal efforts.
But what does he think is the biggest problem with what the TSA is doing?
Congressman Mica doesn't believe these efforts have made us safe, and as he put it, “They’ve failed to actually detect any threat in 10 years.”
Mica was critical not just of the TSA's record but of its tactics as well. Referring to some of the more well-known episodes in the organization's history, he lamented that:
“Everything they have done has been reactive. They take shoes off because of [shoe-bomber] Richard Reid, passengers are patted down because of the diaper bomber, and you can’t pack liquids because the British uncovered a plot using liquids...It’s an agency that is always one step out of step.”
The scandals surrounding the TSA have been consistent and widespread over the past 10 years. There have been highly questionable expenses, including one TSA executive who collected $5.4 million salary for 9 months of work.
Even more well-known are the public groping programs known as "enhanced screenings" and allegations of theft (at least some of which have turned out to be true).
Congressman Mica wants the TSA to be privatized, and a report from his committee this past June claimed privatization would save 40% for the taxpayer.
“The whole thing is a complete fiasco,” he concluded.