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The View from the Colonel's Saddle
Every Friday @ SierraTimes.com
I Just Don't Buy It
by Colonel Dan


I just don't buy the argument that federalizing airport security is the answer to flight safety. The only question this does answer is the one about Congress' desire to expand its power and then be able to brag on TV about what they did to "protect" America-and that goes for both parties despite initial GOP protests. Airport security is about to get more expensive and much more bureaucratically convoluted-and America is stuck with it.

In my column of 3 August 2001 entitled "Why Don't Republicans Fight?" I stated that the reason the GOP always seems to lose its fight for smaller government was because they really don't want to win that fight. Both parties want the same thing-bigger, more powerful government, despite sound bite protests. The GOP is just willing to let the Democrats take the lead in pushing for such expansion. This recent bill to federalize airport security illustrates my point.

The GOP initially took the position that they did not want federalization of airport security. We saw how long that lasted. We are now in for yet another growth spurt of federal power-growth that will cost us more, will be more bureaucratic, less efficient and less manageable. How so? If you've ever tried to fire an incompetent federal employee you'll see that it's close to impossible and the cost of the program is always more than advertised when politicians are selling us that bill of goods.

How can I say all this with any degree of certainty? A long and proven track record of incompetence is simply a matter of historical fact. I quote from "The Colonel's Press Conference" of 2 November 2001:

"The FBI failed to prevent those terrorists here from carrying out this latest mission. They mishandle files and lose things constantly. The INS has completely lost control of immigration and foreigners in America. Washington has gutted the border patrol to such an extent that we have about 100 agents patrolling every 3000 miles of border. Washington has also gutted the military at the same time they have sent our best asset-soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines-to over a hundred locations throughout the world to protect foreign borders while our own remain a security joke. Government continually wants to restrict our primary means of self-protection-personal firearms-and punish us for defending ourselves while they do little to prosecute real criminals. The EPA thinks suckerfish are more important than Americans. The IRS can't even decipher or agree on the meaning of its own tax code. The Post Office system continues to raise prices while providing less efficient service. The Department of Education loses millions every year and thinks it's more important to indoctrinate than educate. The Department of Energy lost many of our most sensitive nuclear secrets. The FAA hasn't been able to effectively deal with our air travel problems and air traffic controllers are still using vacuum tube technology to do their jobs. Government has spent 600 dollars on such things as hammers and toilet seats and 7 dollars on 5-cent bolts while confiscating upwards of 50 cents of every dollar that hard working Americans make. Politicians, for the most part, then scream that even more tax money is needed and on and on it goes. Now let me get this straight. You want to turn over the security of the airplane you are about to board to the same "conscientious" organization that brought you all of the above. Is that right? What in God's name makes you think turning this over to the federal government will make things better instead of making things worse, more complicated and more costly? Come on!"

The flying public will be charged more for such incompetence and we will never be able to hold anyone responsible or accountable.

One of the beauties of a faceless bureaucracy-for the bureaucrats-is that no one is ever directly responsible or held fully accountable. It's always some other department, federal regulation, court ruling, past administration or previous politician that gets the finger of blame pointed at them. If, in rare cases, blame can be isolated and focused, the last resort of the professional bureaucrat is to simply ignore such accusations and create another federal program to "fix" the broken one.

America will not be able to fire or sue anyone even when government employees are actually responsible for a lapse in security and disaster strikes. On the other hand, we could see compensation payments flowing like water in the event of disaster just to show the people how magnanimously caring Washington politicians really are. Either way, you, the average taxpayer, will pay big bucks for all this.

Additionally, if you think you will see FBI agents checking your bags, guess again. What you'll get are either entry-level people or many of the same screeners the government says were not up to the task as private employees but who will now be hired as government service civilians. Either way, Washington has assured us that these folks will be the answer to our problems.

In my view, it's the men and women in Congress that passed this bill and the president who signed it that we should hold accountable-by name, up front and personal. When things go badly, I'd love to drag them into court. As an Army officer, I was always held personally responsible for the decisions I made while in positions of authority.

If such personal accountability were possible, how many in those hallowed halls would put their full faith and trust in this bill? Are they so convinced that federalizing airport security is the right answer, that they would be willing to sign up to a personal liability clause?

If we could hold each and every politician and judge personally responsible for the results of their votes and decisions, I would confidently predict that we would see much better legislation and a lot less of it. I know, I know- dream on colonel, dream on you old fool!

So Mr./Ms. Politician, I just don't buy it-never have and never will. Federalizing airports will not work as touted and you won't scrap it even when things go awry and the proof of government mismanagement is irrefutable. It's plain to me that what you're doing is using this national crisis in yet another shameless move to expand your political power and every American will ultimately pay for it.

One final thought: With very rare exception, politicians generally disgust me.

Just the view from my saddle…

The Colonel

Have an opinion about this article tell the Colonel what you think email him at coloneldan_1@yahoo.com.

Colonel Dan's Biography Untitled

When honest people who hold strong opinions come together, it is natural that they state their opinions, and that those opinions occasionally clash. The articles that you see on this website represent the opinion of the writers, and are not the official opinion of this party. To see the official party position on any question, the reader is referred to the Party Platform.


Permission to reprint/republish granted, as long as you include the name of our site, the author,and our URL. www.cptexas.org. All CP Texas reports, and all editorials are property of The Constitution Party of Texas © 2002 (unless otherwise noted).



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