The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has decided to cease expansion of the program that allows airports to replace government screeners with private screeners.

In a stark about-face from just a month ago, when the TSA said it remained neutral on the program, they will now stop any additional airports from switching to private screeners.   The program has been very popular with the public after the uproar over enhanced security pat-downs this past summer.

TSA Administrator John Pistole said he “examined the contractor screening program and decided not to expand the program beyond the current 16 airports as I do not see any clear or substantial advantage to do so at this time.”

John Mica, Republican Representative from Florida, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is outraged and is promising an investigation.  Mica stated “that nearly every positive security innovation since the beginning of TSA has come from the contractor screening program.  It’s unimaginable that TSA would suspend the most successfully performing passenger screening program we’ve had over the last decade. The agency should concentrate on cutting some of the more than 3,700 administrative personnel in Washington who concocted this decision, and reduce the army of TSA employees that has ballooned to more than 62,000.”

So, why would Pistole stop a very successful program dead in its tracks?  Well, let me give you a couple acronyms:

AFGE and NTEU.  The American Federation of Government Employees and the Nation Treasury Employees Union, respectively.  TSA government screeners are worth about 30 million dollars a year to those two unions in dues.  If the jobs are privatized there’s no way for the Obama administration and Pistole to pay back their union cronies.  What makes sense for the American public, isn’t so good when headed towards a re-election bid.

The private contractors do the job for less money than the government screeners.  Hell, is the government efficient at anything?  No.  If you can outsource it; do a better job and save the taxpayers a boatload of money, why wouldn’t you?  Oh yeah, political paybacks are rarely deficit neutral.

We’re quick to point fingers at the Afghanistan government, but never able to peer deeply enough into the mirror to recognize our own corruption.  Once again, someone needs to go to jail.  Let’s start with Pistole and go from there.