One of the “dire consequences” of the “sequester,” we are being told by no lesser a person than DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, is that air travel will become an even bigger nightmare as agents at TSA are laid off and overtime hours are cut. We can expect long lines at airports “on holidays and during peak summer travel times.” When was the last time a member of the President’s Cabinet held a press conference to talk to the public about overtime hours?
Not to mention that anyone who has traveled “on holidays and during peak summer travel times” can tell you that long lines are already the norm. They don’t really need to lay off TSA “agents” in order to create them, so what she’s actually saying is that air travel will be pretty much business as usual. The administration’s fear mongering is degrading into comedy.
The TSA at San Diego’s Lindbergh Airport provided us with a little stage play on March 2nd, the day after the “sequester” was imposed. They invited the media to come out to the airport at a certain time to see what the lines at the security checkpoints looked like with the new budget guidelines. Sure enough the media found lines stretching “down this hallway to another hallway, and down that hallway almost to a third hallway.” Horrendous. People were missing flights in droves.
The media also filmed groups of five and six uniformed TSA security agents strolling around the airport casually conversing and doing nothing, with irate passengers asking why they were not on duty at security checkpoints and getting no answers. The agents pretended that they did not see the media filming them
The television crew interviewed a supervisor who told them that “This is what happens when overtime hours are cut. No overtime,” she said, bitterly, “not one hour.”
Interestingly, Janet Napolitano announced that same evening that cutting overtime had not yet been implemented and would not be for several weeks, and the same television crew returned to the airport several hours later and found that there were no agents strolling aimlessly around the airport and no lines whatever at the security checkpoints.
I would say this is a new level of ineptitude, even for the well named Department of Homeland Stupidity.