The recent security breech at the White House and the tone of the Congressional hearings harken back to 2001 when TSA was created. The heat placed on the Secret Service over their recent gaffes is reminiscent of the need for additional security imposed at airports. Perhaps the solution for paying for the TSA should be applied to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The Washington Post has run a series of exposes about problems with the Secret Service at the White House. In response to those criticisms, many proposals for added layers of security, new barriers, more check points, increasing the staffing of the police, more training, more thorough procedures, etc. Any or all of these ideas, if adopted, will result in major expansion of the Service’s budget. Under the current federal fiscal situation, where will those dollars come?
The solution for TSA was to add a “user fee” to the ticket of every passenger as well as adding at least an hour to the time consumed between entering the terminal and accessing your plane. According to TSA, it collected $1.88 billion in these fees (12/19/2013). That fee imposed on travelers has been increased. Both A4A and Travelers United have voiced their opposition to the added fee and the notion that a function essential to the nation’s economy should be paid for by individuals.
The same logic should be imposed on people who pass through the White House security check points. They are users of this facility and are the reason why an increase of the Secret Service expenses. So why shouldn’t they be assessed a fee; say $11.20 per passing through the gates on foot and maybe $112.00 per car?
The “outrage” in response to such a 1500 Pennsylvania entrance charge proposal would be deafening. Aviation has been actively opposing the imposition of a fee based on exactly the same logic. If the White House visitors lobby (a lobbyist lobby?) is successful in defeating such a WH security fee, shouldn’t the TSA fee be reversed, too?
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