TSA is one of many falling off fiscal cliff
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2013 17:01
For those of you that had the opportunity of flying over the holiday; I hope you remembered your drivers’ licenses. I unfortunately did not. As a result I got to enjoy six Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) agents walking me through security. After I handed them my Arkansas State ID, a credit card with my name on it and my car insurance card, I was questioned, personally escorted through the security line, my luggage was sent independently through the security x-ray and I was treated to a full pat down. At the end of it all, as if I had any doubt in my mind, I heard the words, “You’re Clear.”
Thank goodness! I was afraid that even though I have never seen a bomb I might have some resin on my hands. Even though I bought these Nike’s from the outlet store, I was even curious there might be a knife blade in the sole. I was actually hoping to get a pat down though, my doctor said I should have a second opinion of the lump on my calf.
I’m not alone in my reaction to TSA’s thorough investigation. Even though we are innocent until proven guilty, we can find ourselves feeling awkwardly guilty in certain situations. We get uneasy when we hear the alarm sounding in the store (even if you’re not at the exit), or we take our foot off the gas after seeing a highway patrolman on the interstate (even if when we’re not speeding).
This run in with TSA came just a couple weeks after I heard about their administration facing budget cuts from the fiscal cliff. If you haven’t heard anything about the fiscal cliff in the last month of break you probably didn’t watch any TV. Besides immediate tax hikes on all tax brackets eviscerating take home pay, we could see dramatic price increases in the milk prices as a new farm bill hasn’t been passed and other governmental agencies could be experiencing large budget cuts, including the TSA.
According to a White House Office of Management and Budget report issued in September, the TSA could stand to lose more than $640 million should the fiscal cliff go into effect. This will put over 7,200 TSA agents into unemployment lines.
In all seriousness, however, the fiscal cliff should cause at least the slight level of uneasiness that the store alarm and the trooper command. Some economists fear the fiscal cliff could result in another recession with a half of a percentage drop in our Gross Domestic Product.
The Congressional Budget Office forecasts 9.1 percent unemployment by the end of next year. Instead of facing the budget shortfall our leaders have simply postponed our doom of careening off the cliff. It is evident our lawmakers can’t come to an adequate compromise of spending cuts and tax hikes.
Hopefully our government can avoid the cliff and get an “all clear” to board the plane.