Friday, November 23, 2012
Did You Know the TSA's Budget is Eight Times the Size of the National Weather Service's?
With Hurricane Sandy and subsequent events, I haven't written about the TSA lately.
Even given what seems to have been poor execution of the threat messaging, the National Weather Service's forecasts were exceptionally good on a difficult to forecast storm. Yet, the NWS does not have the dollars it needs to insure that the meteorological infrastructure remains intact. If there is a federal agency that pays for itself, it is the NWS.
Then, there is the TSA.
So we are clear, there is a genuine threat to airline safety from both terrorists and random nuts. Yes, we need airline security. But nude machines? No. Stripping 17-year old girls nude in public? No.
The Transportation Security Administration earlier this month released updated guidelinesfor the millions of travelers expected to fly this holiday season. Included among the guidelines: Snow globes "that appear to contain less than 3.4 ounces" of liquid are now permitted in carry-on luggage.
The TSA's budget is $8 billion per year. The NWS budget is slightly less than $1 billion per year. Which agency do you think gives us the better value?
I've made a career of mitigating risks to people and properly. We are spending too much on the TSA and too little on the NWS.
If it were up to me, we would abolish the entire Department of Homeland Security. That stated, we need to keep the TSA's improvements (searching checked bags), make basic improvements (start guarding the planes themselves) and stop the "security theatre" in the terminals. In other words, dial it back to pre-September 11 levels. Greatly increase the professionalism of TSA staff. Can the nude machines, quit the grope-searches, allow people to keep their shoes on.