TSA

Unpaid TSA and FBI Agents Don't Deserve Your Sympathy

The outpouring of emotional and material support for federal workers during the shutdown is understandable, but mistaken.

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Joshua Roberts/REUTERS/Newscom

The partial shutdown of the federal government is entering its second month, with few signs that it will end anytime soon. Continuing right along with it is the national outpouring of sympathy and material support for the some 800,000 federal workers who've either been furloughed or forced to work without pay.

That's been most evident in the one-company town of Washington, D.C., where businesses have been giving away everything from free pizza and beet burgers to heavily discounted microbrews that get cheaper the longer the government shutdown goes on.

Outside the Beltway, state governments are starting to pitch in. In Connecticut, furloughed feds can now apply for zero-interest loans during the shutdown. The Oregon legislature is drafting a bill that would extend eligibility for unemployment benefits to these same folks, while the coastal town of Astoria, Oregon, is waiving their water and sewage bills.

Average citizens are donating free food to TSA agents around the country, while A-list celebrities like Jon Bon Jovi and Gene Simmons have said agents could eat for free at their respective restaurant chains.

This outpouring of sympathy is perfectly understandable on a human level: People are losing out on pay through no real fault of their own, forcing many families to ask how they're going to pay for rent or needed medical care. The unfairness is particularly rankling for the 10,000 air traffic controllers who're being forced to work a demanding, crucial job without being paid.

And yet none of that very real pain erases the fact that we are seeing an incredible outpouring of grief over something private sector workers have to contend with everyday, and who are not guaranteed backpay once the federal government gets itself together. Worse still, this charity is being directed at people whose current jobs—pay or no—are often unnecessary, ineffectual, or even actively harmful.

That's true of the FBI agents, who're fretting that they're less able to entrap people during the shutdown thanks to their snitches having been furloughed.

It's even more true for TSA agents, who are both incredibly ineffectual even when they're being paid in full (the agency's fail rate at catching contraband hovers somewhere between 80 and 95 percent) and whose job requires the violation of the flying public's privacy and dignity on a daily basis.

To be sure, forcing people to work without pay is a pretty messed up thing to do, even if the underlying job is bogus.

Nevertheless, the solution we should be embracing isn't restoring these professional molesters' compensation to 100 percent, but rather to fire all of them, and turn over security to more capable, less handsy private contractors—or, in the case of bureaucrats at the Department of Education, abandoning the work they do altogether.

Instead, the hyper-partisan attitudes the government shutdown has evoked have seen an increasing number of people lionize them, while ignoring a more fundamental question of whether some of these workers should be on the federal payroll in the first place.

Public sector unions are trying to recast the shutdown as an attack on workers everywhere, while labor activists argue in the opinion pages of The New York Times that TSA agents could kickstart a new wave of working class activism. Over at The Seattle Times, columnist Danny Westneat wonders aloud if "the humble TSA agent" could be the key to saving democracy.

The contrast between this near deification of TSA agents and the reality of their jobs is glaring, and hopefully short-lived. Nevertheless, it servers as a reminder of just how overtly political—and misplaced—all the thoughts, prayers, and free pizza flowing toward federal workers really are.

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164 responses to “Unpaid TSA and FBI Agents Don't Deserve Your Sympathy

  1. Well done, Britches.

    1. “Nevertheless, the solution we should be embracing isn’t restoring these professional molesters’ compensation to 100 percent, but rather to fire all of them, and turn over security to more capable, less handsy private contractors?or, in the case of bureaucrats at the Department of Education, abandoning the work they do altogether.”

      THIS !!!

      1. 2ND THAT!

        1. Sympathy is usually misplaced, and as a general rule is best avoided. For the most part, it probably shouldn’t be dished out to “private sector” workers either, and it certainly should never be granted to anyone who engages in criminal “speech” directed at any faculty administrator here at NYU, or elsewhere for that matter (although it clear that NYU is guided by far superior leaders than many of the “ivy league” institutions, a fact that wisely led us to sell our bookstore to Follet, so that most of the unnecessary books previously on sale there, many of which contained scandalous material, could be replaced with sweatshirts bearing our logo). See the documentation of America’s leading criminal “parody” case at:

          https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

      2. First off, you’re an idiot. Second, you’re an idiot. You’ve got No clue what you’re talking about, a reoccurring thing I’m sure. Stop believing everything you read, like this turd, because like you, she has no clue what she’s talking about. Oh, PSA, next time you have a thought, let it go. It’s not your friend.

        1. Captain Obvious|1.26.19 @ 7:35PM|#
          ‘Unsupported bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, more bullshit, bullshit squared…’
          Did you have a point bullshiter, other than you bullshit?

  2. Average citizens are donating free food to TSA agents around the country

    They can have the casserole my wife made last night – our dog seemed to like it.

    1. I sure hope you have a comfy couch.

  3. Working for “free” is a choice each federal worker is making. They should and will get back pay for actual time worked.

    They can always quit and still get back pay for time worked.

    Clearly, remaining a lazy government bureaucrat that is sticking it to the taxpayer is good enough gig to work for “free” for months.

    1. The federal workers that were furloughed and who did not work during the shutdown should get zero pay.

      In fact, nearly every one of those federal workers should be permanently laid off immediately. If the positions is needed that bad, start re-hiring a few of the federal workers.

      1. Would you also shit on our Coast Guard … plus our fallen troops and their survivors, like Trump did?

        Death Benefits Denied to Families of Fallen Troops (Military Times)
        The families of four soldiers and one Marine killed in Afghanistan over the weekend have been told that they will be denied death benefits while the government shutdown continues, leaving at least one mother in despair and disbelief.

        The families will also be denied travel re-imbursement should they choose to go to Dover Air Force Base, Del., for the solemn return of the caskets of their loved ones, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

        UPDATE: The U.S. Defense Department has restored death benefits to families of troops killed in Afghanistan after the payments were suspended because of the government shutdown. The Pentagon partnered with the Fisher House Foundation to resume the benefits, including a $100,000 death gratuity payment.

        THE PENTAGON WAS FORCED — BY TRUMP — TO THE GET DOLLARS FROM A PRIVATE CHARITY — to bury our fallen troops.

        NOW WILL TRUMPTARDS GROW SOME BALLS?

        And what would Jesus say?

        1. The Hihnfaggot has returned.

        2. Fuck off and die Hihn. The world will thank you.

      2. Exactly. They can’t cut federal spending by even 1 percent a year, but half the workers are non-essential? Seems like some easy savings right there.

    2. Have you seen the TSA agents work. Lazy is not the word I would use. That job is thankless and horrible and those people are on stage for their whole shift. I heavily question the effectiveness of the system that they work in, but I wouldn’t refer to them as “lazy government bureaucrats”.

      1. On stage is a great descriptor for security theatre.

      2. It’s true that the TSA jobs are unbearably boring. A metal detector and a dog could do those jobs much more easily.

        Oh, oh…..

      3. Pocket knives don’t steal dey own selves!

      4. So they work really hard at accomplishing nothing? They’re a real-life Dilbert cartoon.

        1. It depends on the airport. My local airport has fairly good TSA staff. So does McCarran in Vegas. Some don’t.

      5. Right?! Thanks job. Dealing with idiots all day long. Enforcing rules they have had for over a decade. I get stuck behind morons that still leave their damn water in their bag.

        1. Thank goodness they saved you from the bagged water menace.

        2. Captain Obvious|1.26.19 @ 7:39PM|#
          “Right?! Thanks job. Dealing with idiots all day long.”
          Just like an imbecile like you showing up here>

          “Enforcing rules they have had for over a decade.”
          And putting up with fucking slavers like you.

          “I get stuck behind morons that still leave their damn water in their bag.’
          Great, shitbag. Go bicycle to where you want to go.

    3. Make it legal for government employees to go on strike then, just like everyone else. Right now, they face jail time if they strike. That seem like a libertarian position to you?

      You say their job is unimportant. Fine then. Let them refuse to work for 3 days and you’ll be going to them with folded hands, begging them to return.

      If you don’t, well then their job IS unimportant.

      But why is the government afraid to find out? Get rid of the laws that make strikes illegal, and we’re on the same page.

      1. Make it legal for government employees to go on strike then, just like everyone else. Right now, they face jail time if they strike. That seem like a libertarian position to you?

        The whole point of a strike is to compel the employer to meet demands when the workforce is no longer available, consequences to the strikers be damned. If the workers think they can compel the government to pay them, they’ll go ahead and just do it. If they end up getting fired, well, that’s a potential consequence for standing up for your principles.

        Let them refuse to work for 3 days and you’ll be going to them with folded hands, begging them to return.

        Please. We got along just fine, pre-9/11, without the TSA. It’s ridiculous that people need to show up at the airport 2-3 hours early just to account for standing in long lines to get groped or scanned by government agents, using equipment that was implemented through sweetheart crony deals, and taking off their belts and shoes. There’s nothing the TSA is doing that can’t be accomplished by government contractors.

        There’s also literally nothing that the Department of Education does that is critical to educational administration in this country. Nothing. It’s primary responsibility is distributing student loans and coming up with nonsensical, one-size-fits-all policies that are abandoned just as quickly as they are adopted.

        1. “Please. We got along just fine, pre-9/11”

          Is this irony? “We were doing fine until our country got blown up”. Lol wut? I don’t care if nothing happens for next 20 years. The point is to prevent that ONE incident that can happen decades apart. So year, we were doing fine before 9/11. Then suddenly we were not doing fine anymore!

          Now there’s a decent argument to be made for the validity of TSA jobs. Fine, I get it. However:

          1. That has nothing to do with the plight of individual workers. You can detest an institution and still be remember that the employees are human.

          2. Air traffic controllers are also federal employees. The moral of the story is that not all government worker’s jobs are presumed useless.

          3. I didn’t understand your point of view with regard to the right to strike. A strike is merely a negotiation. Do you believe that federal employees don’t have the right to negotiate with their employer?

          1. Is this irony? “We were doing fine until our country got blown up”. Lol wut?

            Is this hyperbole? “The lack of a TSA caused 9/11.” Lol wut?

            That has nothing to do with the plight of individual workers.

            Except that wasn’t your argument. Your argument was that these employees are so critical that we’d be begging for them to return within days. They wouldn’t even be necessary without all this security theater.

            I didn’t understand your point of view with regard to the right to strike. A strike is merely a negotiation\

            No it’s not. A strike is a direct action.

            1. MORE PROOF: The monumental stupidity of anti-gummint gooberism
              Call out a fool .. get a bigger one!

              red rocks white dumbass
              We got along just fine, pre-9/11, without the TSA

              ridicule
              Is this irony? “We were doing fine until our country got blown up”. Lol wut?

              Is this hyperbole? “The lack of a TSA caused 9/11.” Lol wut?

              YOU SAID 9/11 = “DOING FINE.”
              What a cowardly pussy. Bellowing Conservatards (sneer)

              (For anyone who does not know, anti-gummint is not pro-liberty.
              Hating government is not loving liberty)

            2. A strike is a negotiation. It’s saying “I won’t work, till you either give me what I ask for, or fire me”. That is a negotiation. The employer has to decide whether the demands are worth the work.

              Give government workers the right to strike. This is a libertarian magazine right? I thought the right of individuals was paramount? The right of an individual to negotiate with their employer should be sacrosanct.

              But no – you guys are too afraid to let government workers strike, because deep down you know how important their jobs are. Because once they stop doing them, then the begging will begin to get them back.

              1. You caught the authoritarian statist. This one a gummint hater, NOT a liberty lover. He’d replace left-wing statism with right-wing statism, because … Left – Right = Zero.

                To clarify, most might agree that we support a right to strike as inherent, but not if combined with state compulsory unionism, which equally defends the rights of both workers and
                employers.

                Washington state passed a law that union dues could not be used for political donations.
                After the every next election, several dozen teachers sued their own union, to get their own money back. I assume you’d support the lawsuit, not the union

                1. I don’t believe in legal status for unions. I believe in the right of individuals to strike. And to co-ordinate those strikes with each other to increase their bargaining power.

                  I mean right now, federal employees face jail time if they go on strike. That is seriously messed up.

                  1. Dumbfuck Hihnsano and Bhagwad having a stupid-off. It’s neck and neck.

                    1. @Redwhatever commenting on reason.com, without any attempt at reasoning. And no self awareness about it either.

                    2. Bhagwad commenting on reason.com with appeals to emotion instead of reason. And no self-awareness about it either.

                    3. @Redwhatever Which appeals to emotion? Lines please?

                      And at the very worst, an appeal to emotion is a logical fallacy which can be debunked. It’s still an attempt at reasoning – even if it’s bad reasoning.

                      Your comments however, are devoid of any reasoning. Which is a far worse thing. They have only insults.

                    4. Which appeals to emotion? Lines please?

                      Let them refuse to work for 3 days and you’ll be going to them with folded hands, begging them to return.

                      Your comments however, are devoid of any reasoning. Which is a far worse thing. They have only insults.

                      Pathetic “you’ll come begging for them if they left!” warnings don’t deserve a reasoned response.

          2. I don’t care if nothing happens for next 20 years. The point is to prevent that ONE incident that can happen decades apart.

            Interesting logic here. Does that mean Trump’s wall is justified if it prevents ONE illegal immigrant from coming here and killing someone?

            1. If the consequences of that ONE immigrant was as high as 9/11, then yes obviously. But I think you know that’s not true.

              Security measures are to prevent “black swans”. Rare events with devastating consequences. They keyword being literally “devastating”.

              It’s the same reason why you pay insurance premiums. Someone who doesn’t have insurance can just as well say “I never paid insurance premiums. Everything was going GREAT until my accident!”

              1. Red Rocks has a PhD in Blowhardry, with a minor in bellowing.

                1. Dumbfuck Hihnsano has a post-doc in me owning him like Kunta Kinte, still salty that I made him my bitch on gun control.

                2. Why do you bother changing socks? Everyone knows it’s you Hihnfaggot.

                3. Shut up, babydick.

              2. Wait a second. How does one determine what is “worth it”? How much damage did the 9/11 attacks really do to America? Thankfully, some people have tried to tally this up in a handy dandy unit of value exchange: The US dollar.

                https://www.cbsnews.com /news/the-cost-of-9-11-in-dollars/

                The Actual Disaster
                >7 billion in monetary compensation to survivors
                >9 billion in lost earnings from the remaining lifetimes of the 3000 dead
                >0.5 billion in compensation to clean up the mess
                >22 billion to rebuild NYC
                >0.5 billion to fix the Pentagon
                >>Total: 39 billion

                Economic “Damage” (value that wasn’t actually lost, just spent elsewhere)
                >20 billion in lost airline revenue from 2001 to 2002
                >40 billion in insurance payouts related to the attack
                >>Total: 60 billion

                Government Spending
                >5 billion in aid given to airlines for the government imposed ban on flights for three days
                >0.2 billion cost per year for NYC’s anti-terrorism activities. Now going on 18 years for an estimated total cost of 3.6 billion
                >408 billion to run the Department of Homeland Security since 2002
                >43 billion to run airport security for ten years, now going on nearly 20 years so estimate that at 80 billion (I’m being generous to Uncle Sam here)
                >2 billion to kill Osama Bin Laden
                >>Subtotal not including the two items below: 498.6 billion

                1. >>Grand Total: 5987.6

                  I realize this list isn’t complete and one could spend all day arguing about the exact accuracy of the numbers, but what it does give us is a ballpark. The actual attack might not have cost EXACTLY 40 billion dollars but it’s safe to say that it was somewhere around there. Because of the 40 billion dollars of actual damage around 60 billion dollars of American money changed hands in a way it wouldn’t have otherwise done but it didn’t disappear into a black hole. And because of that 100 billion dollars worth of “stuff happening” the government decided to spend 500 billion dollars directly fighting terrorism here at home and over ten times that much fighting “terrorism” around the globe.

                  If someone robbed your house would you consider spending over ten times as much as the amount stolen and about five times the total grief it caused you to prevent it from happening again worth it? Would you consider spending ten times as much as that worth it to hunt down burglars everywhere and bring them to “justice”? To me, that’s nuts. That’s Batman. I don’t at all agree that the premise of Batman is a basis for rational government.

                  1. I’d add in the political consequences, and ALSO the wars that were fought as a result of 9/11. So that includes Afghanistan and possibly Iraq.

                    Because an event like 9/11 leads to a cascading series of responses. You’ve only counted the direct impact. A better metric would be to calculate what wouldn’t have happened if 9/11 was averted.

                    If we’d prevented 9/11, we wouldn’t have had 2 wars. What do the calculations say when we take that into account?

                    1. If we’d prevented 9/11, we wouldn’t have had 2 wars.

                      Fuckin LOL at this proglydyte advocating the most extreme response for an ever-growing bureaucracy, not realizing that the nation’s intelligence agencies fucked up before it even happened.

                    2. @Redwhatever Where is the advocacy? Could you point it out please?

                    3. Bhagwad again displays his lack of self-awareness.

                  2. And realistically, an event like 9/11 will mean that the government spends a disproportionate amount of money trying to prevent it from happening again. It has to – because if it doesn’t, they risk looking politically weak and not doing anything.

                    It’s a political reality. A second 9/11 attack will entail further costs that seem illogical to you and me, but which are a political necessity.

                    It’s far cheaper to try and ensure that it never happens in the first place.

              3. If the consequences of that ONE immigrant was as high as 9/11, then yes obviously. But I think you know that’s not true.

                You do realize the 9/11 perpetrators were here on student visas, right?

                1. @Redwhatever You mean they were here legally? 🙂

                  1. Good argument for cutting back on that, too. 🙂

      2. Bhagwad|1.25.19 @ 12:42PM|#
        “Make it legal for government employees to go on strike then, just like everyone else.”
        Fail. Goverment jobs are ‘not like everyone else’. You either knew that and hoped no one would notice, or you’re a fucking lefty ignoramus who is stupid enough not to know that.

        “Right now, they face jail time if they strike. That seem like a libertarian position to you?”
        Sure does, fucking slaver.

        1. Lol, find me a libertarian who agrees with you that supporting the right to strike makes me a slaver.

          If you deny the right of an individual to negotiate prices with their employer, you are neither a libertarian, nor a conservative…and I hazard a guess that you’re not even American.

  4. “And yet none of that very real pain erases the fact that we are seeing an incredible outpouring of grief over something private sector workers have to contend with everyday”

    I’ve been thinking something rather like this for the past week or so as I see more and more groups coming to the aid of “those poor federal employees”. Yeah, what about the rest of us? Any normal business that shut down for an indeterminate time that extended beyond a month would be well recognized to be defunct, and its employees would understand that they better start reading the “positions available” ads.

    An as for the TSA, I still favor an extended, very well supervised, unpaid vacation, with meals included, for each of them, at taxpayer expense. At Leavenworth, or someplace similar.

    1. Who is this turd? I hope they didn’t get paid for this. Ever heard of spell check? Oh, and here’s some advice, before you start swinging the dead cat of superior morals, you’re there one who’s a party of a hack media machine that couldn’t report the truth if they wanted to. I went to school, and in my professional training, reporting isn’t supposed to have personal feelings in it. Oh, I get it, this isn’t reporting, it’s entertainment. Got it. Keep reading your own stories while touching yourself thinking how woke you is.

      1. Who is this turd? I hope they didn’t get paid for this. Ever heard of spell check?

        One typo and this proglydyte waste of carbon molecules starts crying about someone stealing his political whore gig.

      2. Stuff it up your ass captain idiot

  5. If they want sympathy they can find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis.

  6. As the least likely workers to find themselves suddenly unemployed, federal workers probably feel more entitled than the rest of us to live “paycheck to paycheck.” I smirk every time some one appears on tv and acts like living “paycheck to paycheck” is the law or something. Hey, if you reached age 30, you should have 6 mos. emergency funds near at hand. Cut out your video game buying or pub crawling or Cancun vacationing or etc. etc. Or go after deadbeat dad for the back child support, and keep your knees together in the future.

    1. Bravo!! This summarizes one of the problems with government very well. The laws that keep the government from firing people are what ratchets up the costs so dramatically. Civil servants indeed.

    2. “Hey, if you reached age 30, you should have 6 mos. emergency funds near at hand. ”

      You mean credit cards? Most have more than one. Borrowing money is a short term solution at best.

      1. I think he means in a savings account, at least that what I was taught by my parents – 2 – 6 months worth of expenses saved that is readily accessible in case of unemployment, sickness,…

        1. “I think he means in a savings account”

          No, I don’t detect sarcasm. I’m sure he was being serious.

          1. mtrueman|1.25.19 @ 12:16PM|#
            “I think he means in a savings account”
            No, I don’t detect sarcasm. I’m sure he was being serious.

            Fuck off, asshole

      2. You mean credit cards?

        No, dumbass, 6 months of savings for a rainy day. That means enough cash on hand to pay for housing, three meals a day, and transportation for that entire time period.

      3. No he doesn’t mean credit cards. Its why he doesn’t mention credit cards. He means cold hard cash in the bank.

    3. I saw a NASA engineer on TV today visiting the local foodbank. One missed paycheck and he was going hungry.

  7. Average citizens are donating free food to TSA agents around the country

    Anonomously, one presumes.

    1. That disgusts me. When govt. victimizes small business owners and no one gives a shit. These govt. employees, who will receive full backpay, get an outpouring of luv,ic generosity.

      They can all eat shit.

  8. Don’t get me wrong, I love federal workers and I think the government should be restarted. But American taxpayers know these workers have a nice gig and wouldn’t have much patience if they starting protesting in the streets. Hopefully this experience will be used to justify scaling back governments.

    I have less sympathy for illegals. Because we are making these sacrifices for them and they are silent. Show some appreciation. Yes I understand that 99.99% will be too scared to speak out for the usual reasons. But what about the remaining 10,000? Are they all too busy playing x-box? Tell us that you appreciate our values. Renounce welfare and talk about freedom and equal rights. Honestly at this point I don’t even care if it’s true. #lie2me

    1. The illegals, especially those who work in the service and hospitality industries, are getting laid off as well, due to the number of furloughed Federal workers not travelling for meetings, etc. and not buying lunch near their workplace.

  9. I could care less , fuck the pieces of shit . Waste of money everyone of them

    1. Including the military? They’re federal workers too you know.

      1. No, they’re the military. Which is its own category, and far superior to this goldbrick democrat voting civilian assholes

  10. ENTIRE HuffPo Opinion Staff FIRED, thoughts and prayers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ekPvq9U1ug

    1. First thought: I hope they just told a recruiter to fuck off.
      First prayer: I hope they just got a loan from the friendly neighborhood loanshark.

  11. “To be sure, forcing people to work without pay is a pretty messed up thing to do, even if the underlying job is bogus.”

    Although (oddly enough) inspired by Team Red, this looks like a prelude of the vision of Team Blue, when we will all work for government without pay.

  12. Eat shit and die, whoever you are.

    Not a lot of people like their jobs. We do them so we can afford to live the rest of our hours with some measure of leisure and enjoyment. People don’t work for the public sector because they are evil souls with communist heats. They do it for the same reason you write dumbass columns or whatever useless task you do on a daily basis. For food, shelter, and movies. Libertarians, is there any political group more pointless at this moment in time?

    1. Fine, we work to eat. That’s sort of an underpinning of why a free market works – most of us want to keep on eating.

      But not many believe that a paid job today means a paid job until he doesn’t want to work any more.

    2. Gleefully molesting people on a daily basis and getting paid to do it is, in fact, very evil.

      1. I see little ‘glee” in the TSA workers I’ve encountered. Most seem quite unhappy. But +1 for your narrative.

      2. Tony molests young teen boys for free all the time.

    3. *Libertarians, is there any political group more pointless at this moment in time?*

      The Whigs?

      1. I was going to say Progressive Socialist Democratic Party.

    4. Tony has sympathy for death camp guards. They were just working to afford to live.

    5. If a contractor comes to your house, takes your money, and doesn’t deliver what you agreed upon, do you feel bad asking for your money back? I think government employees don’t deliver the value for what they’re being paid and should get fired, and I don’t feel bad for disrupting their income while sending the message that they should find another job!

  13. Bullshit. Federal workers don’t have the right to strike unlike private employees. To teach you guys a lesson, they should just go on a mass strike for two days. You’ll be begging them to come back on your knees, with tears in your eyes. It’s easy to say “Your job is not important”, when you know that they can’t leave it.

    Reason.com is supposed to be a libertarian magazine. Is it not a libertarian position that every person has the right to go on strike? A strike is nothing but a negotiation with the employer.

    Try this crap in France, and Macron’s head would be rolling on the Place de la Concorde within the week.

    1. It’s illegal for a private employer to fire striking workers. Want to change that?

    2. To teach you guys a lesson, they should just go on a mass strike for two days. You’ll be begging them to come back on your knees, with tears in your eyes.

      This is the second time you’ve made this assertion. Since you seem to be one of these particular employees, I’ll just go out and say, do it. I dare you.

      Try this crap in France, and Macron’s head would be rolling on the Place de la Concorde within the week.

      The Yellow Vest protesters are fighting against the high “save Gaia” taxes your kind loves so much.

      1. You do realize that it’s illegal for federal workers to strike right? Punishable by jail time.

        Hmm…I wonder why that is. Looks like someone is afraid of what will happen if they all decide to stop working.

        But…but…that would mean that they’re indispensable! Uh, oh…

        Give them the right to strike, and they’ll take you up on your dare. Btw, I’m a freelance writer, and don’t work for the government.

        1. You do realize that it’s illegal for federal workers to strike right? Punishable by jail time.

          So what? If you’re not willing to go to jail or even die for your principles, like the original union members were, what good are they? You’re doing nothing here but talking shit.

          Hmm…I wonder why that is. Looks like someone is afraid of what will happen if they all decide to stop working.

          It didn’t affect my life one iota before 9/11, it wouldn’t affect my life one iota afterwards. Stop projecting your social helplessness on others.

          Give them the right to strike, and they’ll take you up on your dare.

          They already have the right as free individuals. Freedom to strike doesn’t mean freedom from consequences.

          Basically, you’re revealing that these people are ball-less eunuchs that need someone else to fight their battles for them.

          Btw, I’m a freelance writer

          Someone who’s even more useless than a TSA position.

    3. Which Federal workers?

      Which ones do I need on the job? Which ones will I be beggin to come back?

    4. Bhagwan sounds like a federal worker.

      1. “Bhagwan sounds like a federal worker.”
        Perhaps, but pub-sec union stiffs may not be that imbecilic.

  14. “And yet none of that very real pain erases the fact that we are seeing an incredible outpouring of grief over something private sector workers have to contend with everyday, and who are not guaranteed backpay once the federal government gets itself together.”

    I translate this in my mind to “If we can’t help everyone, we shouldn’t help anyone.” And if that is what you really mean, well then, pull up a chair because I have a list of people that if we can’t help them all, we shouldn’t help any.

    1. I don’t know of anyone in the private sector working without getting paid. Christian may have crossed the streams on this one.

      1. Interns and of course volunteers. But none in the private sector get paid retroactively for time not worked due to a strike (although sick-outs exist).

        1. I was referring to workers who are supposed to be paid for their work. You’re right about interns, though Stossel would disagree with both of us. Volunteers are a different animal.

  15. The other side of this story is that people who depend on the Coast Guard are helping out the Coast Guard. Not all federal jobs are worthy like the TSA and yes the Coast Guard could be handled by the states along the coast Why should a person in North Dakota care about fisherman. let the fisherman pay fees directly to the coast guard and pass the fee on to the cost of fish

    1. Not all federal jobs are worthy like the TSA and yes the Coast Guard could be handled by the states along the coast

      There’s really no reason the Puddle Pirates shouldn’t be under the DoD. If the Coast Guard devolves to a state-run enterprise, they’re going to need to raise funds to pay for it. Fishing licenses and usage fees aren’t going to cut the mustard.

      1. I think it could be run just like the state fish and game and state fire management. teh feds could pitch in money if the Coast guard enforces Federal Drug regulations but their main job is rescue or used to be anyway.

  16. One report said the Smithsonian was losing a million dollars a week during the closures. If they are making that much money they don’t need the federal government, open the doors and pay the workers from the daily take. its how most business work.

    1. Is a million a day enough to cover costs? Probably not. I could see this as govt owned and privately managed

      1. I’m sure a Million a week is enough to pay the tour staff maybe not teh science portion however lots of museums do run entirely privately including all investigative work

    2. That’s actually how CBP works, some of the money collected by Customs pays for Customs operation. Customs is the second largest revenue collector behind the IRS, so there’s a lot to go around, over $40 billion/year. May be more, may be less this year under Trump’s tarriffs, depending on how much less we buy from China et. al.

  17. I think that’s going a bit too far: They don’t deserve any more sympathy than anybody in the private sector who gets laid of, but that’s a non-zero amount of sympathy.

  18. I have more sympathy for Federal contractors, who are laid off through no fault of their own, or even of their companies, but won’t be getting back pay when/if they go back to work.

    1. This is exactly right. I’m in a contractor about to run out of money. The contractors are going to be what makes this break.

      Right now, you’ve got 800k feds sitting around, knowing they’ll be paid. But there are more contractor employees than feds. As companies begin to run out of money, you’ll get to possibly millions of people not getting paid, with a big portion of them not getting paid back.

  19. I’m much more worried about the firefighters and air traffic controllers. They should be beyond politics. Privatize or at least put on the state level.

    In the meantime the Demos won’t give in because that makes them vulnerable to shutdown blackmail for anything Trump wants going forward. It’s like giving in to a blackmailer. You know he’ll come back. Also a terrible precedent for any future president in the future if he gets his way on a particular demand for a shutdown. You can anticipate president Cortez shutting down the government to implement her favorite bill 20 years from now if Trump wins this round

    1. shut downs are not a new practice for presidents to get what they want. It worked for Clinton but only because the media loved the democrat in office as always

  20. My wife is a civil “servant” and we’re without her pay. There’s nothing wrong with someone voluntarily offering zero interest loans to people like us.

    After all, she’s guaranteed to get paid after this boondoggle is over.

    1. There’s nothing wrong with someone voluntarily offering zero interest loans to people like us anyone they damn well want to lend to.

      FTFY.

      1. Well of course.

        I was just responding to what seemed like a criticism of this in the article.

        1. Goobers be goobers.
          And they run in packs, like wild dogs.

          1. Dumbfuck Hihnsano runs solo because no woman wanted to grow old with him.

    2. Actually, there is something wrong with a zero interest loan if the lender can get interest greater than 0, in an economic sense. It’s only justified as a marketing expense, and I think it feeds into the idea that federal employees should be treated preferentially just because they’re a large addressable market.

      Anyone ever wonder why uniformed military are invited to board first? It’s because the US government is the largest customer of the US airlines, and that deferential treatment is a friendly little kickback.

      There is also nothing wrong with your wife finding a job in the private sector where her employer creates wealth (evidenced by profits) as opposed to destroying wealth (evidenced by tax budgeting), although from an economic perspective, if going to the private sector causes her income to drop, there is something wrong with it. However, it’s in my best interest to encourage you to consider another sector, so there you have it.

      1. When you seize power as a dictator, you can command lenders what to do with their own money. Also wrong on why the military board aircraft first. Would you pay kickbacks to Amazon by showing preferences to one of their software programmers?

        Based on your disregard for patriotism and for honoring the men and women of our military — do you also approve, for the four soldiers recently killed in Afghanistan, the denial of death benefits and burial expense, with their families denied flights to witness the solemn return of their caskets to the U.S.? The Pentagon finally funded those costs …. by getting money from a private charity.

        Please understand why I cannot join your sneering.

        so there you have it.

        Yes, I do get it.

        1. Fuck off and commit suicide, you pathetic excuse for humanity. The world will thank your family.
          Can we them to help? I’m sure they are equally tired of your idiocy

          1. Like women, Dumbfuck Hihnsano’s family doesn’t want to have anything to do with him, either.

  21. Positively refreshing to read an article by someone who is not a PC lemming.

  22. . . . turn over security to more capable, less handsy private contractors

    Honestly, and this says a lot about how far we’ve fallen, they don’t even have to be less handsy. They just need to be *competent* too. I can put up with my balls being fondled in the name of security IF I WAS GETTING SOME SECURITY.

  23. Don’t fault the people just working for a paycheck. Fault the Patriot Act, the Congress, and the DHS management that put that bullshit inplace and write the rules for the clownshow over terrorism.

    1. Since about 35% of my income goes to the federal government and I never see the benefits of it again (to say nothing of the debt which somebody I care about someday will eventually have to pay some part of it), it’s worth at least a few minutes of my time to discourage people from considering federal employment, and to encourage others to allow federal employees to be exposed to a competitive job market like the rest of us.

      1. Of course, but I do not want people who can’t work anyplace else as fed employees. I want good dedicated people in there too. If only humans ran reasonable and corruption free companies and governments like Vulcans…

      2. Since about 35% of my income goes to the federal government

        Says a manipulated tool of the progressive elites. Billionaires don’t pay that much. Average rates:

        Core Middle Class ($40-100k) – 8.8% income + 7.65% FICA = 16.5% total
        Millionaires and billionaires – 28.3% income + 3.5% FICA (varies) = 31.8% total

        Or you’re Canadian, and this is not relevant.

        (to say nothing of the debt which somebody I care about someday will eventually have to pay some part of it),

        GOOD FOR YOU! You opposed both the higher spending and the tax cuts. which made Trump the first President to ever increase the deficit by over 40% in a single year, in a booming economy (47%) — with Trump already adding more 8-year debt than Obama did AFTER 8 years! My own children and grandchildren bless you!!

        1. Dumbfuck Hihnsano forgot about Medicare(because he’s getting senile), and fucked up the $40K-100K income tax rates (it’s 22-24%, Dumbfuck Hihnsano).

          1. No, he didn’t forget — the 7.65% he quoted is SS+Medicare. What he conveniently left out is that it’s actually 15.3% FICA when you take into account the money employers take out of paychecks before you even get to see the numbers.

            1. Also, lumping $40K earners into the discussion seems marginally dishonest to me, as that group basically pays no income tax at all.

        2. Hihnfaggot fucks up AGAIN! (Smirk)

          Shitposts a bunch of phony numbers. (Sneer)

        3. Fuck off and die, you slimy piece of shit.

  24. None of these furloughed workers should be paid back pay unless they worked while furloughed.

    After two missed paychecks these furloughed workers that are not working should be laid off… just like the rest of the workers in the U.S.

    I have read that the grand poobahs in charge of the EPA, and the Department of Education both say that 95% of their employees are “non-essential”. FIRE THEM!

    1. So you defend slave labor. And don’t know what “essential” means here, as defined by gummint, thus you are taught what to think by gummint.

      And this:

      Death Benefits Denied to Families of Fallen Troops (Military Times)
      The families of four soldiers and one Marine killed in Afghanistan over the weekend have been told that they will be denied death benefits while the government shutdown continues, leaving at least one mother in despair and disbelief.

      The families will also be denied travel re-imbursement should they choose to go to Dover Air Force Base, Del., for the solemn return of the caskets of their loved ones, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

      UPDATE: The U.S. Defense Department has restored death benefits to families of troops killed in Afghanistan after the payments were suspended because of the government shutdown. The Pentagon partnered with the Fisher House Foundation to resume the benefits, including a $100,000 death gratuity payment. here.
      ==
      THE PENTAGON WAS FORCED — BY TRUMP — TO THE GET DOLLARS FROM A PRIVATE CHARITY — FOR OUR FALLEN HEROES.

      NOW WILL TRUMPTARDS GROW SOME BALLS?
      (Most will screech at ME)

      1. Dumbfuck Hihnsano thinks libertarians should worship the MIC.

      2. Fuck off and die, Mikey; the world will thank you, as will your family.
        Just fuck off and die.

  25. I feel for working stiffs who are struggling with the mortgage and the food bill. Even TSA employees. Sympathy, no. Empathy, yes.

  26. This shit is literally why libertarianism is going nowhere in this country. All the people raised to be good subjects are in thrall of their government.

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  29. This ant-gummint mentality is what destroyed the movement. Over 60% of Americans self-identify with libertarian values, but 91% of them reject the libertarian label. Per Cato

    “… we (also) found that only 9 percent of voters with libertarian views identify themselves that way.” -David Boaz and David Kirby (page search for the words)

    More thoughtful readers will conclude the libertarian ideology is in severe conflict with libertarian values. That’s like devout Christians rejecting the Christian church)

    Today’s narcissistic values show why. The movement no longer has any interest in CREATING a free society, or evolving toward one, and has NO viable policy proposals, for anything. . Libertopia is a society of entirely like-minded people — like the Davidians, the Mooneys and Jim Jones’ People’s Temple.

    Now a cult. Driven by snarling and sneers.

  30. “We are seeing an incredible outpouring of grief over something private sector workers have to contend with everyday, and who are not guaranteed backpay once the federal government gets itself together,” echos my sentiments since the media started reporting on these poor, poor furloughed federal workers. Thanks for writing this Christian.

    1. ANOTHER whiny loser and Trumptard (same thing)

      something private sector workers have to contend with everyday

      HOW OFTEN ARE PRIVATE SECTOR WORKERS
      1) Forced to work without pay?
      2) Sent home, shut down the company, because of the CEO totally failed to deliver a major promise?

      NO profit-making corporation would — or could — do that. ONLY government.
      The CEO would have his or her ass fired. EXCEPT government.

      Trumpsters specialize in LAME excuses for failure.
      Trump gives them so much practice.

      EVERYBODY loses, now and again. Most of us take it as adults,

      1. Dumbfuck Hihnsano standing up for big government.

      2. Fuck off and die, you pathetic piece of shit.

  31. Pelosi, Well, Manhandles Trump With Two Tools, a Feather and a Sledgehammer
    By Eleanor Clift

    She said more than once that she is respectful of the office Trump holds, ‘perhaps more respectful than he is.’

    NOW is when we learn what Pelosi really is. It was reasonable to wonder if she’s just another Trump on a power-ego trip.

    Will she negotiate this ?. For all those Dreamers?
    Or is she a bully, like Trump. “My way or the highway?”

    The real, Art of the Deal is a win-win. NOBODY agrees to lose, DUH, and only a spoiled-brat bully would think otherwise. (which is WHY he keeps failing at it)

    NOW is her time to give TRUMP a win.

    “Mr. President, I will personally sponsor $7 billion for a wall, if you support permanent legal status for Dreamers.”

    (Let each Dreamer earn their own citizenship)

    If she pulls this off, SHE will be the best Democrat candidate for 2020. (I doubt she’d want it)
    She’s not the progressive wing, not a wuss like Hillary, and not thug like Trump.

    P.S. If she offers and he refuses ? going public will guarantee a Senate impeachment conviction.

    1. Fuck off and die Hihn.

  32. Government employees can easily search for a public sector job. Just as I did when I was without work or not satisfied with my income stream.

    1. That’s not the point. They already have a job, are presumably satisfied with it, and do NOT need you to tell then when to look for a different job.

      When have you ever had to work without pay … and why do you endorse slavery, literally?

      This is a libertarian web site. We defend the right of each and every worker to decide, each for themselves, when and if the negatives of a job outweigh the positives. It’s included within the individual liberties enshrined in our Constitution

      Further, nobody sacrifices their individual rights by freely choosing to work in either the public or private sector.
      Same Constitution. Same moral principles.

      Short version: THEY decide, each and every one, if hey are not “satisfied with (their) income stream.” Who else?
      And 71% of Americans support them against our President. “Will of the People.” Which is why he caved.

      1. Dumbfuck Hihnsano loves his big government bureaucracy (because it’s paying his medical bills).

        1. It would be awesome if he were out in hospice and they just turned the morphine drip all the way up.

      2. Fuck off and die Hihn. You can make the world a better place.
        And it’s pretty likely that your family and those who have personal contact with you will agree.
        Fuck off and DIE, you pathetic piece of shit.

        1. THE PC THOUGHT POLICE ARE BACK!
          AUTHORITARIANS DEFENDING SLAVE LABOR.
          THUGS — OF THE ALT-RIGHT.
          LOSERTARIANS FOR TRUMP.

          I STAND WITH NOLAN LIBERTY FOR THE INDIVIDUAL OVER THE COLLECTIVE

          They already have a job, are presumably satisfied with it, and do NOT need you to tell then when to look for a different job.

          When have you ever had to work without pay … and why do you endorse slavery, literally?

          This is a libertarian web site. We defend the individual liberties enshrined in our beloved Constitution, They include the right of each and every worker to decide, each for themselves, when and if the negatives of a job outweigh the positives.

          Further, nobody sacrifices their individual rights by freely choosing to work in either the public or private sector.
          Same Constitution. Same moral principles you piss on

          Short version: THEY decide, each and every one, if hey are not “satisfied with (their) income stream.” Who else?
          71% of Americans support them against our President. “Will of the People.” Which is why President Pussy caved


          Poll: Only 7% of Voters Back Wall Funding to End Shutdown

          69% of Americans Don’t Think Trump’s Border Wall Is a Priority

          “Manipulated-Pussies-for-Trump,” SELF-humiliated AGAIN.
          LOSERtarians. (sneer)

          1. Dumbfuck Hihnsano has another bitchfit.

  33. The fact that a substantial proportion of TSA staff are incompetent boobs doesn’t imply, ipsto facto, that they all are undeserving of their jobs and pay. At least some must be dedicated and competent. Assuming you respect the underlying objective of keeping bombs and guns off planes, then this means there are competent people doing a worthwhile job. It’s not fair to punish those guys just because of the bad eggs.

  34. THE greatest political takedown since Ford Theater Sen. Michael Bennet, floor of the Senate
    Highlights.

    In 2013, under Obama, BIPARTISAN border security, 68 Senate votes … $48 billion …350 miles of wall .. drones for every mile of border … NO VOTE IN THE GOP HOUSE under the Hastert Rule, named for a Republican IN PRISON Speaker Boehner humiliated. Ted Cruz voted NAY

    While our government is shut down … over a BROKEN PROMISE by the President … China has made the first landing on the dark side of the moon. MAKING CHINA GREAT

    Obama builds walls, gets $48 billion for border security. Trump shames our fallen heroes.

    OBAMA WALL: 350 miles, $48 billion total
    TRUMP WALL: 0 miles, $0, walked away from TWO deals, one with $25 billion, now groveling at Pelosi’s feet for $5.7 B

    Caught in a death spiral between two GURLS — Coulter OR Pelosi — cannot avoid the wrath of one, whatever he does.
    Everyone on the planet knows Coulter shamed him into breaking a deal he’d agreed to.

    Can Trump finally SELF-inaugurate into a REAL President?

    1. Dumbfuck Hihnsano still assmad that he gets owned like Kunta Kinte.

  35. I agree entirely with your views on the TSA and FBI. Considering the abuse of power documented here at Reason, and engaged in by ‘agents’ of both government agencies, I fail to see any reason to sympathize with either group. The same applies to the BLM and the IRS as well. Forbes has an article concerning the relevancy of Lois Lerner’s targeting conservative and libertarian groups for audits, as we approach tax season, and the Bundys are still fighting the BLM concerning their property rights. Its too bad we seem to fear our government, rather than government respecting our natural rights.

  36. Let’s not go with Trump’s accusation that the FBI or other law enforcement entrap people by using informants. Entrapment is inducing a person to commit a crime the person would have otherwise been unlikely to commit.

    Nobody induced any of Trumps associates to do anything they weren’t already doing…. They were criminals before, criminals now….

    1. Yea Flynn was a real noodnik!

  37. And yet none of that very real pain erases the fact that we are seeing an incredible outpouring of grief over something private sector workers have to contend with everyday, and who are not guaranteed backpay once the federal government gets itself together.

    Private sector workers regularly face being told that they might not receive their next paycheck but are expected to still work?

    Where?

  38. Amen Christian! We need to make it easier to fire Public Sector Employees. Maybe then they would learn some Private Sector Discipline and Fortitude!

  39. It is amazing the the MSM has discovered the plight of the worker put into the unemployment lines due to government actions all of the sudden. All for 800,000 federal employees, just a very small .001% of the American workforce, who were pretty much guaranteed back pay by law early on into the shutdown. It was very nice to read all the human interest pieces about how a bureaucrat that makes $150,000/year and owns a $500,000 house in Arlington, VA could not make ends meet or how they have to live paycheck to paycheck since building up savings is so hard when you are so underpaid.

    Perhaps when the next dozen or so small towns who rely on the local coal mines for jobs look at completely boarding upwhen the next Dem president makes an announcement all coal fired power plants will be banned, all those reporters from the NE corridor will hop into a car and provide similar coverage about their plight .

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