Created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Transportation Security Administration has largely outlived its usefulness, as the threat of a terrorist attack on the U.S. homeland continues to recede. These days, the TSA’s major role appears to be to make plane trips more unpleasant. And by doing so, it’s encouraging people to take the considerably more dangerous option of traveling by road.
The TSA still commands a budget of nearly $8 billion—which is why the agency is left with too many officers and not enough to do. The TSA’s “Top Good Catches of 2011,” reported on its blog, did include 1,200 firearms and—their top find—a single batch of C4 explosives (though those were discovered only on the return flight).
While folks are opting not to have their private parts examined, walk in bare feet in a highly public area and get their entire bodies viewed by “professional” agents, people taking the roads are risking long waits to get through pileups, some of which render fatalities.
More than 80 were injured and 2 died in a Texas Highway pileup recently, with more than 140 vehicles involved.