The shutdown makes it clearer than ever — now is the time to privatize TSA


In an op-ed in The Washington Examiner, McIntosh explained that the shutdown makes it clearer than ever — now is the time to privatize TSA. In the piece he writes:

“The shutdown vividly demonstrates the need to fully privatize the Transportation Security Administration. Now there is the potential for a bipartisan consensus about doing just that.

“With a budget of $7.8 billion, TSA is the fourth most expensive agency under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, even bigger than Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The results, however, have not improved with the passing of time or dollars.

“Whether to run the TSA as a private security service isn’t a new debate by any means. It dates to the creation of the TSA. But the government shutdown provides the latest piece of evidence in a long litany of reasons why airport screeners should be returned to the private sector, where they will be better compensated, better trained, better motivated, and better managed.

“Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress agreed that our nation’s airport security needed to be revamped, but disagreed about how to treat airport screeners. The Senate-passed Aviation and Transportation Security Act made all airport screeners federal employees, while the House of Representatives preferred to make them private workers under the management of the newly created TSA. Ultimately, the Senate and House agreed on compromise legislation, which federalized the airport screeners, but gave airports the option of opting out after three years at the TSA’s discretion.

“It’s now 18 years later, and there are reams of data and plenty of time to assess how well the new status quo is working. Multiple reports are unequivocal: the agency is underperforming. TSA suffers from all the faults of an over-bloated government program with inflated costs and subpar results.”

You can read McIntosh’s piece in its entirety here.