The question "Just how little tactical competence can a political party exhibit without becoming utterly irrelevant to the electoral process?" is about to have an answer. This little…
The Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday moved forward with legislation to increase airline passenger security fees, beating back a GOP attempt to keep them at current levels.
The 2013 Homeland Security appropriations bill would increase one-way fees for passengers from $2.50 to $5 in order to close a budget shortfall at the Transportation Security Administration.
On the one hand, since 2012 is the fifth year in a row that healthcare costs have increased between 7 and 8%, a TSA examination is increasingly the most cost-effective option for Americans' gyno- and proctological needs. Plus, Republicans insisted on paying for the shortfall with cuts to local governments and "emergency food and shelter funding." And anyway, they're not sold on the importance of any wands that are waved outside a vagina.
On the other hand, this is the lonely hill on which Democrats have chosen to make their stand? The committee vote followed partisan lines, with every Republican voting against the $315 million subsidy and Ben Nelson the sole Democrat to break ranks. Most likely, Democrats insisted on a passenger fee increase because they couldn't think of any other funding method that could irk the public more. Perhaps they should have considered a special levy on puppy owners, or an excise tax on ice cream.
The official Democratic argument is that the burden of the TSA should be borne by those who benefit from it. Unfortunately, those beneficiaries are mostly in our nation's funeral home business. Since flying is significantly safer than driving, the increased inconvenience of going through airport security increases automobile deaths due to people deciding to drive instead of fly by 500 per year. So perhaps this strategy is actually brilliant: if Democrats kill off the most TSA-phobic Americans, they'll have a chance at holding on to the Senate.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Budget, Democrats, Republicans, Senate, TSA