President Barack Obama and Rep Nancy Pelosi have been running around like Chicken Little for the past couple of weeks screaming that ‘the sky is falling, the sky is falling.’ The dreaded sequester was going to plunge us back into the Dark Ages and according to Rep Maxine Waters, 170 million of America’s out of the total 120 million working, will lose their jobs if sequestration is allowed to happened. (She did revise her figures to 750,000 once the error was pointed out to her.)
Yet, I’ve heard several news reports that all the sequester does is put us back to the spending levels from about 3-4 years ago. The same holds true for many of the other areas such as food and meat in grocery stores. We didn’t see empty shelves in the meat departments then, did we? Was our military less capable of defending us in 2009 than they are today?
If you flew anywhere in 2009, you will probably see the same type of lines at TSA security stations today as you did back then. But TSA was smart and planned for the impending doom of the sequester. Knowing they were going to have their budget slashed so severely that dangerous terrorists would find it easier to board planes, they took $50 million and made a new contract with VF Imagewear for purchasing of new uniforms.
Yep, that’s right. $50 million worth of new uniforms is far more important than saving jobs and protecting the country from 3 year old kids in strollers and 90 year old grandmas with walkers. After all, just after setting aside the $50 million for uniforms, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned that the sequester will force TSA furloughs and that the public should be prepared for long lines at airports, saying:
“We are already seeing the effect on the ports of entry, the big airports for example. Some of them had very long lines this weekend.”
“Look people, I don’t mean to scare, I mean to inform. If you’re traveling, get to the airport earlier than you otherwise would. There’s only so much we can do with personnel and please don’t yell at the customs officers, the TSA officers. They aren’t responsible for sequester.”
“You will be measured for your new uniforms at your first orientation session. TSA will provide your initial uniform issue consisting of 3 long sleeve shirts, 3 short sleeve shirts, 2 pairs of trousers, 2 ties, and one belt, sweater, socks, and jacket.”
So the next time you fly and have to stand in those mile long lines that Napolitano warned us about, make sure you compliment the TSA agents on their uniforms. Oh yeah, and it would help if you comment that their nice uniforms could be the real reason some of them have been furloughed or lost hours. I’m sure they’ll appreciate your concern.