- The Washington Times - Monday, March 2, 2015

Former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas says Americans would be better off if Congress transferred the few constitutional functions performed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to other parts of the government and then shut the rest down, saying the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is ineffective at stopping terrorists but “very effective” at harassing innocent Americans.

“More terrorist attacks have been thwarted by airline passengers than by the TSA!” Mr. Paul, a past presidential candidate, wrote in his weekly column.

He relayed the story of Lucy Forck, a 3-year-old who he says was subject to an intrusive screening and had her stuffed animal taken away, and a Campaign for Liberty staffer who was forced to throw away a jar of Nutella.

“I am sure all airline passengers feel safe knowing that TSA is protecting them from sandwich spreads,” he wrote.

“Ending the TSA would return responsibility for airline security to airports and airlines,” he wrote. “Private businesses have a greater incentive than a government bureaucracy to ensure their customers’ safety. Those conservatives who think this is a radical idea should try to think of one area where they trust government bureaucrats to do a better job than private business owners.”

Rushing ahead of an end-of-week deadline, Congress last week approved a one-week extension of funding for DHS, and will have to tackle the issue again right away. Some conservatives are objecting to any measure that does not also roll back President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, while Democrats have called for a “clean” bill to fund the department for the rest of the fiscal year without any of the language blocking the immigration actions.

Mr. Paul also said Americans could do without the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), saying it places adherence to bureaucratic rules ahead of aiding natural disaster victims.

“Ten years after the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, it is clear that this department has failed to protect our security, but has infringed on liberty,” he wrote. “If Congress really wanted to enhance our security and our liberty it would shut down this unnecessary, unconstitutional department.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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