I am really so tired of hearing about the TSA lately. They have been in the news for these xray body scanners and personal groping pat downs (that are more like feeling ups). I can’t read anything related to the TSA without thinking about what a colossal waste of money this is. In these budget conscious times for the federal government they are wasting billions on this folly and not getting a great return on this investment. Let me explain.
As far as I know since 2000 there have been 2977 deaths related to air travel incidents in the U.S. involving terrorists actions at an estimated cost in property and insurance losses of $21 billion. Obviously this equates to 298 deaths a year extrapolated over ten years time($2 billion 100 million/yr). According to the CDC, heart disease alone (being the #1 killer of Americans annually) was responsible for 616,067 deaths in 2007 alone. While the “baby boomers” generation is heading into their senior years, this number is sure to rise quite rapidly over the next few years unless there are some serious advancements in this field. According to the American Heart Association the total costs of heart disease in 2009 for the United States was $165.4 billion.
Lets contrast this now with the cost of the TSA. The total TSA budget for fiscal year 2011 is slated at $43.6 billion. Up from $6.8 billion in 2008. Do you feel $36.8 billion safer than when Obama was elected? Was the average American lifespan increased since 2008? I doubt it. According to the American Heart Association the NIH (National Institute of Health) 7% of the NIH budget is allocated to heart disease treatment and research. In 2011 the NIH budget is slated to be$32 billion. That means that $2.24 billion will be spent on heart disease at the federal level. States also spend on this type of research but the figures are in the low $100 million territory or less, if at all.
So lets be clear here:
$43.6 billion will be spent on trying to save the lives of 298 people a year (on average)
$2.24 billion will be spent on trying to save the lives of 616,067 people or more a year (2007 actual)
Obviously this is the information I am giving you in it’s simplest form and there are equations and factors which I am not touching on for both of the above line items. This would be a master thesis for some college if I would delve any further into these mitigating factors and circumstances but I think this perspective we are seeing should give us pause for a few reasons.
Either the federal government doesn’t give a rats ass if you live or die or they are just grossly incompetent, or both (I’m going with both). Or better yet they could be lining the pockets of their defense industry friends with the purchase of all the bullshit TSA needs. $43.6 billion worth of bullshit. Which would be borderline racketeering and criminal enterprise. If the federal government really wanted to make us safer, healthier and happier they would surely spend some or all of that TSA budget to affect the mortality rate of heart disease. Throw in half of the Pentagon budget to boot, with their $500 billion or so and we should make some real headway on the treatment and prevention of heart disease. Which in turn would save us money on treatment and prevention of heart disease in the future. As well as increasing the lifespan of the average American which would affect all 300 million of us. If the average lifespan increases so should tax revenues.
These are some of my thoughts, when I think of the TSA or the War on Terror or the overblown and unnecessary military spending in this country. These kinds of things really just illustrate how incompetent and corrupt the federal government has become. It has become a monkey on the backs of the people. Wasting all of our money. And our kids money. And their kids money. And their kids, kids money. We need a better return on all our investments. We need a fundamental change in the power structure of this land. The sooner the better.
I have listed below some of my sources for this post as well as some of the inspiration.
There are a few reasons that I have decided on this endeavor. Some I know and some I am sure I will discover in the future. I will try and talk about a few of them here.
I have recently had to resign from my job and I now have a shitload of time on my hands. Realizing that I can’t surf the web all day to look for a job I am realizing I am going to have to try some new things in my life. Growing up as a child I used to be very artistic and creative. Those days have been long gone for some time now. I have been thinking for years that I need to get back in touch with my creative side and writing is one way that I think I can do this. I am better than most, with my use of grammar and I have a large vocabulary as well as a vivid imagination. I hope to nurture some of these creative aspects of myself through this blog.
I have a thirst for knowledge. I always am eager to learn. I am open minded and I thought that starting a blog might be a great way to expand my knowledge and learn some new things from new people about the things that I enjoy and love to discuss. I also want to express my opinions on matters of importance to me. I do feel that I have something to share with the world and I am hoping also that the world has something to share with me.
I also want to establish a presence on the web. Understanding that the web is a big part of our future I felt it important to get started on this. Only 10 years ago did I have my first exposure to the internet. I have learned so much in that time. I have refined my thoughts and ideas and have discovered new things that I never knew existed (most of which I am sure to touch on writing this blog). I would like to give any readers of my blog a chance to voice there opinions and build on their comments to ignite a useful discussion.
Keeping in touch with friends and family is another aspect of this blog I may eventually find useful as well. While I no longer live in my hometown and have moved out of state, this could be a good way to communicate with those I care about and miss talking to in lieu of using the telephone (which I really do not care for all that much).
I guess that’s about it. This is my first blog post and it seems appropriate. Thanks for reading.