Obama wants to increase airport security tax

Waiting to check in

We’re currently getting charged $2.50 per passenger to go through the security theater* at our airports. Now the Obama administration wants to increase this fee. Quoting from this article at the Economist:

“The Homeland Security portion of Obama’s proposed 2010 budget (PDF) includes a plan to raise the fees by an as-yet-undisclosed amount in 2012. The increase, the White House says, is needed because the current fee only funds about 36% of airport security costs.”

So let me get this straight: not only do we have to go through the inane, annoying and useless experience of getting scanned, uber-prodded and turned over every time we want to board a plane, but now we’ll have to pay more for that unsavory experience as well? Thanks a lot, Mr. Obama. I can see my vote went to a good cause.

As I said before, I think we should be doing away with the whole darned thing. What happened to accepting the risk and moving on? That’s how the United States was founded and built. It wasn’t built by wimps who wanted to make sure no letter openers or nail clippers got on the plane with them. Why zap us with X-rays, make us take off our shoes, put us through air blowers to sniff us (I’ve half a mind to fart when I go through those things just to see what happens), open up our luggage, and generally speaking stink up the whole flying experience when we don’t really need any of it?

It’s shocking to hear that, isn’t it? Truth of the matter is we wouldn’t really need any of it if security were done right, and if people had the courage to step up and disarm the terrorists when and if they dared do something on a plane. Since the general populace is a bunch of pansies who’d rather have big-brother government do everything for them, now we have to put up with cretinous security checks and starting next year, with increased fees for said security checks. Hooray for democracy, where the majority rules with a pudgy, slightly damp and sweaty fist, tired from holding the remote control too long.

* Term coined by Bruce Schneier.


4 Comments

  1. I agree with Adam’s points. And although I support the President’s concern about the Christmas Day fiasco, I urge our leaders to stop thinking that the same OLD methods will work.

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  2. Adam, right on! Thank you for putting things into their proper historical context. It definitely shows how ridiculous this has all become.

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  3. I couldn’t agree with you more.

    More than two years after the foiled “liquid explosives plot,” which was prevented by good old-fashioned detective work prior to any of the suspects ever reaching an airport, we are still forced to buy tiny toiletries whenever we want to travel because we might try to blow up the plane with our toothpaste.

    More than seven years after the failed “shoe bomber” attempt, we are all still forced to remove our shoes and trod on who-knows-what’s-growing-there floors through the metal detector like so many cattle.

    Let’s also not forget that the requirement to show ID before boarding a plane happened in response to TWA Flight 800, not because of any security risk, but because the airlines wanted to be able to know with some certainty who was actually on their flights in case of emergencies (so they’d know whose families to notify, etc.). It also conveniently wiped out the ability for customers to resell their plane tickets, since the name on the ticket would now have to match the name on the passenger’s ID. Of course, real terrorists could never make a fake ID, right?!

    Recently, the TSA has announced their intentions to force crew and passengers of general aviation flights to go through background checks and watchlist matching if the aircraft they’ll be flying on weighs more than 12,500 pounds. Let’s just ignore the fact that these are primarily corporate jets, whose passengers and crews typically all know each other because they’ve flown together for years and years. No, let’s make them have to submit to the same security theater as the airlines every time they want to go somewhere. The response from actual pilots to this “notice of proposed rulemaking” has been unanimously opposed, but I’m sure the TSA will just ignore all of them and force it through anyway. And once the TSA gets this new rule shoved through, there’s no doubt they will eventually extend it to cover all general aviation aircraft regardless of weight. So a guy who wants to take his wife up for a weekend flight in his single-engine Cessna (which weighs less than a compact car and can store maybe 100 pounds in the baggage compartment) will have to get a background check for himself and run his wife’s name through the TSA watchlist. Absolutely ridiculous.

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