I was starting to feel sorry for the 800,000 federal employees who hadn’t received paychecks for more than a month. Then Donald Trump caved to the Democrats and ended the government shutdown last week.
There’s now a bipartisan effort in Congress to enact a law that would make government shutdowns less likely. But I have a much better and more permanent solution: privatize most of the functions that Uncle Sam’s intrepid bureaucrats perform.
Take the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), for instance. A big reason Trump ended the shutdown was that so many TSA employees had called in sick that flight delays were becoming intolerable. That wouldn’t have happened if the government hadn’t been in the airline security business.
Not that it’s doing an especially good job. In 2015, the TSA sent undercover agents to dozens of America’s largest airports to test security protocols. Shockingly, the agents were able to smuggle fake explosives or weapons through security checkpoints 95% of the time. The TSA failed in 67 out of 70 tests.
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Two years later, the TSA tried again. The good news is that the failure rate fell from 95% to 70%. The bad news is … well, a 70% failure rate is nothing to celebrate.
One reason is the TSA performs so poorly is that the politicians in charge of our national security believe catering to lobbyists is more important than security.
Consider the saga of the Rapiscan scanner. It began after an inept terrorist with a bomb hidden in his underwear tried to blow up an airplane in 2009. The bomb failed to explode, but America’s national security bureaucracy went into high gear after the “Underwear…