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TSA Makes $400K Annually In Loose Change

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the nickel-and-dime dept.

Crime 289

Hugh Pickens writes "NBC reports that airport travelers left behind $409,085.56 in loose change at security checkpoints in 2010, providing an additional source of funding for the Transportation Security Administration. 'TSA puts (the leftover money) in a jar at the security checkpoint, at the end of each shift they take it, count it, put it in an envelope and send it to the finance office,' says TSA spokesperson Nico Melendez. 'It is amazing. All that change, it all adds up.' Melendez adds that the money goes into the general operating budget for TSA that is typically used for technology, light bulbs or just overall general expenses. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) has introduced legislation that would direct the TSA to transfer unclaimed money recovered at airport security checkpoints to the United Service Organizations (USO), a private nonprofit that operates centers for the military at 41 U.S. airports. The recovered change is not to be confused with the theft that occurs when TSA agents augment their salary by helping themselves to the contents of passengers' luggage as it passes through security checkpoints. For example in 2009, a half dozen TSA agents at Miami International Airport were charged with grand theft after boosting an iPod, bottles of perfume, cameras, a GPS system, a Coach purse, and a Hewlett Packard Mini Notebook from passengers' luggage as travelers at just this one airport reported as many as 1,500 items stolen, the majority of which were never recovered."

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I suspect there is an additional handling charge (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687386)

at the end of each shift they take it, count it, divide most of it up amongst themselves, and put it in their pockets

FTFY.

Re:I suspect there is an additional handling charg (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687496)

I, for one, am happy that the TSA is staffed by people who seem to hate their job as much as we do. The alternative, that an arm of totalitarianism is entirely staffed by people who are ideologically committed, would be far worse.

Re:I suspect there is an additional handling charg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687608)

that's very true, but them not getting really reprimanded for theft of personal belongings is bull****.

There is no honor... (2, Interesting)

drainbramage (588291) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688630)

There is no honor among thieves.
They care not a whit about you or your possessions.
Whether they Love, like, dislike, revile, or hate your, what you represent, or their own life will not change the fact that they robbed you, and got paid for it, and will still probably get a raise and eventually a retirement.
The raise and retirement are also probably on your dime.

Re:I suspect there is an additional handling charg (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687574)

Uh, so then where did the $409,085.56 come from?

Re:I suspect there is an additional handling charg (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687646)

It would be suspicious if NO loose change was accounted for. I'd suspect nearly half goes in pockets.

Re:I suspect there is an additional handling charg (5, Funny)

rockout (1039072) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688396)

I doubt anyone would care if no loose change was accounted for. The frickin' budget of the TSA is over $8 billion. Who cares about $400,000? That amount (.005%) could be added or dropped from their budget by an intern in Congress.

Re:I suspect there is an additional handling charg (3, Insightful)

arisvega (1414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687610)

Those elements in the TSA are a fucking embarassement to both their agency and their country; that behavior should not be tolerated, and this situation can be easily remedied with heavy penalties that will act as a warning to the rest of the TSA lot that is there to loot while in uniform.

Re:I suspect there is an additional handling charg (4, Insightful)

JobyOne (1578377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687706)

Their entire agency is already a fucking embarrassment to their country, a few agents "stealing" abandoned pocket change pales in comparison.

Re:I suspect there is an additional handling charg (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687938)

a few "agents" stealing abandoned pocket change pales in comparison.

Fixed that for you.

Re:I suspect there is an additional handling charg (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687894)

If you have to keep your employees in line with threats and monitoring, then your primary problem is with the people who gave them the job in the first place.

Perhaps the TSA shouldn't have just settled for the least-bad applicants who bothered to show up.

Re:I suspect there is an additional handling charg (3, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687968)

Low paying crummy jobs tend not to attract the best candidates.

Re:I suspect there is an additional handling charg (5, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688686)

You DO know how the TSA recruits people, right...? They put adverts on pizza delivery boxes [bonnint.net]

You couldn't make this shit up it you if you hired a whole team of comedy writers...

Re:I suspect there is an additional handling charg (3, Insightful)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687650)

Exactly. The TSA reported that they collected $409,085.56 in loose change. But how much else went unreported that was left behind? The TSA guy making a low annual salary doesn't pocket half of the money that he finds, or splits it up with the rest of the low level employees? Or how many guys don't even bother to report any left behind change at all?

The manager doesn't skim a little off of the top before sending in the money to the TSA headquarters? If someone gives him $50 in change he might not pocket a few dollars here and there? The TSA headquarters president doesn't skim a little off of the top before reporting the money? You get $750K in coins and you might skim a thousand dollars worth, right? It's all part of the game.

This is like when a drug dealer gets pulled over with $15,000. By the time the money makes it to the station it magically becomes $10,000. Then somewhere in between the time the money enters the station and is processed it becomes $5,000. It's just part of the game.

 

Re:I suspect there is an additional handling charg (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688188)

I grew up with a guy that didn't have a lot going for him, not a lot of ambition, who finally decided it was time for work, and became a State Trooper. He told me that once when he was searching a crime scene he found a box with almost $300 thousand in it, and none of his fellow officers saw him find it. I asked him if he kept it, because it's the kind of thing I would do: There was plenty of other evidence, the money was not stolen and had no rightful owner to which it could be returned.

No, he turned it in.

Re:I suspect there is an additional handling charg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688484)

Your friend turned in the money, you would have kept it. Well, it looks like your friend at least has honesty going for him, which is more than can be said for you.

Re:I suspect there is an additional handling charg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687712)

I'd like to see the full load costs of paying TSA agents to do as described and then ship the change to a central location, suspecting it exceeds the $400k 'made'.

We'd be cost ahead by letting any non-tax funded organization manage the entire process.

Re:I suspect there is an additional handling charg (2)

ravenscar (1662985) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688102)

It would be interesting to see how much change is really taken. Perhaps one could determine, on average, the ratio of large denomination coins to small denomination coins carried in travelers' pockets. We could call this ratio A. We could then compare this ratio to that of the money collected and turned in by TSA agents - Ratio B. I think it's safe to assume that TSA agents are more likely to be selective of the coins they keep if, indeed, they keep some. I would suspect that ratio B would differ substantially from ratio A if TSA agents were keeping money for themselves.

The one other thing to consider - travelers are probably less likely to leave behind large denomination coins. As such, ratio B might differ from ratio A for reasons other than theft. One would probably have to create a representative sample when finding ratio A so as not to taint the results.

Re:I suspect there is an additional handling charg (3, Interesting)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688346)

As a teenager I worked at Six Flags Great Adventure on the Great American Scream Machine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_American_Scream_Machine_(Six_Flags_Great_Adventure) [wikipedia.org]

The way the seats were deep bucket seats and at the end of the night we would look under all of the seat pads and would find about $40 daily in change in the three trains. We would divide it up among the 8 people working the ride and it was enough to buy some drinks and snacks.

LOOSE CHANGE JEWS! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687448)

n/t

TSA Makes $400K Annually In Loose Change (5, Insightful)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687458)

Great. The we should decrease their budget by at lease this much for the next fiscal year.

Re:TSA Makes $400K Annually In Loose Change (5, Insightful)

jwest (21646) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687484)

We should decrease their budget by n, where n is their 2011 budget.

Re:TSA Makes $400K Annually In Loose Change (4, Informative)

isorox (205688) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687548)

We should decrease their budget by n, where n is their 2011 budget.

n+$400k surely

Re:TSA Makes $400K Annually In Loose Change (1)

Cyphase (907627) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687520)

HAHAHAHA!!!!!

Re:TSA Makes $400K Annually In Loose Change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687636)

Minus the value of the stolen goods and damaged goods due to the TSA efforts to stop those 'evul terrerists'.

Re:TSA Makes $400K Annually In Loose Change (4, Funny)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687814)

Great. The we should decrease their budget by at lease this much for the next fiscal year.

So instead of $8,100,000,000, they'll only get $8,099,600,000. That'll show 'em.

Re:TSA Makes $400K Annually In Loose Change (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688664)

Great. The we should decrease their budget by at lease this much for the next fiscal year.

So instead of $8,100,000,000, they'll only get $8,099,600,000. That'll show 'em.

Well yes and no. Personally I'd like to see the TSA de-funded and eliminated, but that's probably not going to happen. However having their budget actually decreased would be a nice start. When I say decreased, I don't mean deceases the way government defines it. To congress this means that if they got $8.1 billion this year and were going to get $9 billion next year and instead only get $8.5 billion, it's a decrease of half a billion dollars. I'm sure like most government programs having to get by with the same budget, or slightly less even, this could perhaps serve as some kind of notice.

Re:TSA Makes $400K Annually In Loose Change (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688140)

If the TSA had morals, they would donate that money to charity!

Re:TSA Makes $400K Annually In Loose Change (5, Insightful)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688530)

If the TSA had morals, they would donate that money to charity!

If the TSA had morals they wouldn't break stuff, harass people, molest children, steal property, or frankly exist at all.

I believe it (3, Informative)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687472)

I pick up every coin I find and put it in a large jar. Once it's full I take it to the bank and, though it really upsets the teller to have to deal with it, I end up netting around $300. Granted it takes a few years, but every little bit helps. :\

Re:I believe it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687576)

FYI Chase bank has free change counters...

Re:I believe it (1)

JobyOne (1578377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687742)

Chase isn't special. Most banks have those. OP must just have an exceptionally crappy one. I'd advise you find a bank that's less evil, BTW.

Re:I believe it (2)

WillgasM (1646719) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687942)

Even better: join a credit union

Re:I believe it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687654)

Doesn't your bank have a coin sorter? At my bank I just dump it in a machine, it spits out a receipt, the teller gives me cash. No upset teller. The cost of the machine is eaten by people using it who don't have an account at the bank(10% of the coins exchanged). It's free for account holders.

Re:I believe it (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687846)

I spend my change as I accumulate it, keeping it in the change pocked in my wallet. Very often I'll clear it out completely when I grab a coffee. Beats keeping it in a jar.

Office Space 2: The Knocked Up guys (0, Offtopic)

rjejr (921275) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687482)

3 disgruntled about to be let go TSA employees concoct a scheme to steal all of the loose change left behind by passengers to support the pregnant girl of whom one of them is the father They steal Vin Diesel's bag of Mafia money by mistake. Hilarity and ultra-violence ensue.

Re:Office Space 2: The Knocked Up guys (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687518)

It turns out one of them is an FBI plant, who was after Vin Diesel all along. He gets the girl. And the brat.

Re:Office Space 2: The Knocked Up guys (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687590)

This movie would be awesome. Vin would be up for another Razzie. Don't forget the big box of confiscated knives, guns, explosives and questionable liquids.

Re:Office Space 2: The Knocked Up guys (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688144)

Wait, one of them is the father of the pregnant girl? Shouldn't it be that one of them is the father of the pregnant girl's child?

Oh, and can one of the passengers go PC Load Letter on the naked porn scanner?

Lost property (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687504)

Surely there is legislation in place that would say this lost property has to be kept for a certain amount of time before being stolen?

In many places there is legislation that if you find some property (including cash) you must hand it to the police. Then if it is unclaimed after a certain amount of time you can request to keep it.

Why isn't that the case here?
OK, the article does say:

The TSA said it does everything it can to get items back to passengers, but if no one claims the money, it is used to finance operations.

But I don't the truthfulness of the claim "everything", as they could easily contact travelers asking if they left any money behind...

Re:Lost property (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687700)

There's usually a minimum value attached to those sorts of laws, so you can pick up a nickel without having to report it. IIRC it's often something like $20.

Re:Lost property (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687818)

Surely there is legislation in place that would say this lost property has to be kept for a certain amount of time before being stolen?

You missed the last 20 years where police departments have started supplementing their budgets with property seized from "drug dealers" (anyone with more than an ounce of pot). The public at large is now fair game.

Re:Lost property (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687902)

Do you expect people to come back and say , "I think I lost 78 cents in change when I came through here yesterday" ? Do you expect people to believe them if they did.

Trying to save loose change for people to reclaim would be a nightmare and for hardly any payoff, very little of it would be reclaimed

Never put cash or valuables in your suitcase. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687508)

My dad discovered that the hard way when he lost 200UKP from his suitcase between Vegas and the UK, replaced with a nice "The TSA searched your bags." notice.

Re:Never put cash or valuables in your suitcase. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687638)

It took that to convince your dad? For your sake I hope naivete is not genetic.

Never leave anything valuable in your checked bags. Take it as carryon, leave it at home, mail it, or check it with a gun since those bags are inspected in front of you then kept locked and tracked for the whole trip. Choose the option which is most suited to your situation.

Re:Never put cash or valuables in your suitcase. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688162)

or check it with a gun since those bags are inspected in front of you then kept locked and tracked for the whole trip.

But if you go the gun route, avoid NYC. Or, at least, doing any touristy things there. They have very strict gun laws. Just in the news recently there have been two or three tourists from out of state, that were arrested for having pistols in their possession.

Re:Never put cash or valuables in your suitcase. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688700)

You don't have to carry the gun with you all the time, just leave it in the hotel. It's purpose is to get you bag sorted into the other pile not to be toted around while you go sight seeing.

Re:Never put cash or valuables in your suitcase. (5, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688508)

Never leave anything valuable in your checked bags. Take it as carryon, leave it at home, mail it, or check it with a gun since those bags are inspected in front of you then kept locked and tracked for the whole trip.

Or you can do as Bruce Schneier does [schneier.com] , and many others have reported: Include a starter pistol in your luggage, and declare it. It seems the TSA's rules include starter pistols as "weapons", and if you have one, they'll inspect your luggage before your eyes, lock it, and store it in a separate part of the airplane. Bruce and others have reported that this not only works; it also reduces the "loss" of luggage (or valuable contents like cameras and computers) to around zero. In effect, for the cost of a starter pistol, you are using the security folks to lock and guard your luggage and guarantee delivery.

I see that another reply deals with New York's stringent gun laws. Does anyone know whether a starter pistol (or stage pistols that just fire smoke) are considered "weapons" in New York or other states? If so, it might be interesting to push for Federal registration of such pseudo-guns, to avoid the hassle of trying to register them with the bureaucracies of N different states.

Anyway, if you try this gimmick, you might want to write up your experiences. And you might want to thank the TSA "agents" for their assistance in making the flight safe for you and your belongings. ;-)

That was mine... (5, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687540)

That loose change was mine. I'd like to reclaim it.

What about "confiscated" items? (4, Informative)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687546)

All the stuff they take from you is auctioned off, as well. [eyeflare.com]

The TSA is just taking the DEA's lead. They've been funding themselves by taking property from "drug dealers" for decades. For instance, in many states, if you get busted in your car with drugs, the state can take your car, even if it's personal use amounts. Unless, of course, you still owe money on it, than they'll let you keep it so that you are obligated to make those payments, of course.

This is nothing more than thievery masquerading as a public service, but then again, one could say the same about a lot of facets of our government as of late...

Re:What about "confiscated" items? (2)

sribe (304414) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687800)

Unless, of course, you still owe money on it, than they'll let you keep it so that you are obligated to make those payments, of course.

Uhm, no. They take it anyway, and you still owe the payments. (Or at least that's how it is in some status for DUI.)

Re:What about "confiscated" items? (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688498)

You don't even have to be convicted. All property involved in a drug arrest can be seized and sold at auction before trial. If you are acquitted,found innocent, or even prove that it was a complete framejob at most you will get a form letter apologizing for the inconvenience.

Jeff Miller is stupid (2)

SiMac (409541) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687554)

Why doesn't he just create a bill to give $400,000 of taxpayer money to the USO? It's the same thing financially as redirecting this money that currently goes into the general budget to a private organization, but I guess it sounds better the way he puts it?

Then again, $400,000 is not that much money in the first place. He and a couple wealthy friends could almost certainly cover it.

Re:Jeff Miller is stupid (2, Insightful)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687658)

The point is to discourage the TSA from taking this money. He had to pick some charity, and realistically, nobody is going to object to it being the USO.

Re:Jeff Miller is stupid (1)

KPU (118762) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687872)

How about paying off the national debt?

Re:Jeff Miller is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688100)

I'd be all for a bill redirecting the salaries of Congress to a charity, say, Doctors Without Borders or Mercy Corps... They at least do something with most of the moneys they get.

But, I'm sure that they'd redirect the money to a charity run these days by the likes of Jack Abrahamoff for lobbyists suffering from the effects of their work.

Re:Jeff Miller is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688542)

Hell, I'd be for a bill redirecting the salaries of Congress to a charity, say, Doctor Who Fans Without Borders. Of course I'd honestly rather see Puppy Killers of America get that money than the folks in Congress.

Re:Jeff Miller is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688258)

Pay off the national debt? Ha! Ha, I say!

It would take 35000 years to pay of the national debt at $400,000 a year. Assuming the debt was frozen at the current level. In the time it takes to read this, the US National Debt goes up by about $400,000.

Re:Jeff Miller is stupid (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688440)

Because, assuming the bill is permanent (instead of a one-off authorization) you have created $400,000 in government debt hoping that you recover that much from the TSA. Any year they recover less, you're in the hole. And of course there would need to be another portion of the bill directing the TSA to return what it does collect to the government at large, since they are currently keeping it in their own coffers.

Now granted, $400,000 in the scope of the government is a rounding error, but why let a problem exist when the solution is as simple as "however much you collect, donate that?"--which is basically what this bill says.

Also alcohol (3, Interesting)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687556)

At the international arrivals area in Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, you go through security after you pick up your bags, go through customs, and recheck your bags. Many passengers forget to put their duty free alcohol in their bags before they recheck them, and try to carry them through security, where they are told to either check the alcohol or have it confiscated. I worked for an airline back there for several summers and would often have to check the alcohol, but sometimes they would just leave it with us(got a bottle of Absinthe this way). Once I asked a TSA guy what they did with all the alcohol they confiscated. He said that at the end of the day they were packaged up and sent off site for destruction and disposal. But we always figured that the TSA screeners would help themselves to any good stuff before they sent it off.

Re:Also alcohol (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687720)

Only the USA and China make you take your bags through customs at your point of entry. So even ex-Soviet states are more convenient to travel to.

Fedspeak Translation (1)

Cid Highwind (9258) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687776)

"Sent off site for destruction and disposal" means "someone takes it home, drinks it, and recycles the bottle".

never mind the 4th amendment... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687560)

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/flyingwithfish/2010/11/20/how-the-tsa-legally-circumvents-the-fourth-amendment/

Yet, Americans are sheep and will do nothing. According to CNN, 80% of Americans are in favor of the mm wave scanners in spite of the fact that they haven't caught a single terrorist. Ever, and they appear to be no more than 20% effective in catching weapons. And in spite of the fact that the USA is going to die under the burden of excessive debt, yet we spend tens of billions on useless agencies like the TSA. In spite of the fact that the TSA is now trying to move into other areas like buses, trains, and even roadside stops.

"Papers please"... didn't we used to ridicule the former Soviet Union for that very same thing?

But as long as people don't care about their civil rights, they will continue to lose them. As long as people continue to be driven by irrational fear, they won't care about their civil rights.

Re:never mind the 4th amendment... (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688282)

20% of Egypt was up in arms about it's leadership, too. That's not a small enough percentage of the population to safely marginalize.

You'd be amazed what 20% of the population can do, voting in a block. With only 60% voter turnout in a typical Presidential election, unless almost every other voter chooses another candidate (and by that, I mean the same other candidate), that's enough to solidly tip the balance to a different politician or party.

Amazing (1)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687570)

That might be the most frugal thing a federal agency has ever done.

Re:Amazing (2)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687960)

As much as one bashes the inefficiency of government, I've contracted with large companies and have seen a lot of bloat and BS there also. While not quite as bad as typical gov't, it's pretty close. Big organizations are just that way.

another job perk (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687618)

and the TSA employees never need to buy liquid soap or shampoo...

Re:another job perk (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687904)

I remember seeing a box full of confiscated fingernail clippers once. I wonder what they do with all those. I estimate each box is worth at least 3 grand:

About 3 clippers per cubic inch at $0.20 each[1], and the box takes up about 3 cubic feet:

(12*12*12) * 3 * $0.2 * 3 = $3110.40

(cubic foot in inches) * (3 cubic feet) * (retail value of a used clipper) * (3 per cubic inch)

* Los Angeles Clippers were worth about this much until this year.

Re:another job perk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687946)

Not that TSA employees have any use for the stuff in the first place.

Just lock your bag (0)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687622)

I'm constantly told to not lock my bag because otherwise it'll be ripped open by the security staff to search it. I don't lock it to stop the security staff getting in, I lock it to stop the lighter fingered baggage handlers from having a quick rummage.

Besides, if someone wants to get into your luggage, they'll get into luggage.

Re:Just lock your bag (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687786)

The baggage handlers are not the ones stealing, they don't have the time for that. The security staff do.

Re:Just lock your bag (5, Interesting)

Garybaldy (1233166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688002)

You solve that by getting as little as the receiver to a firearm. Put it in your bags. Declare a firearm when you arrive at the airport ticket counter. Your bag is searched in front of you. Then a lock only you have a key to is put on your bags. Rest assured you will receive the bag as is when you reach your destination. Also a great way to assure your bags actually get to your destination. As bags with declared firearms get special treatment.

It should go to the Treasury. (3, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687656)

When I was in the Government, keeping any money you made "on the side" was a big no-no. You could (in some cases) charge for expenses, but otherwise, if you made any money, it had to go to the Treasury.

Under our system of government, the Congress sets the budget for government activities. Setting up some branch of government as a money making entity, and thereby evading the oversight and control of Congress, is flat out unconstitutional. Now, I know that this is literally small change, but still...

Re:It should go to the Treasury. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688582)

But you're assuming the TSA cares about the Constitution to begin with.

To save wear on my keyboard, I'll omit a few (hundred) examples and assume you know what would normally go here.

Lint (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687662)

They make even more selling pocket lint to coat factories.

TSA: Now Hiring Vikings (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687696)

They rape and pillage.

And how much did they pay to count it? (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687704)

How much did they pay in salaries to count it and handling to send it to the financial office, where it's undoubtedly counted again, then deposited in a bank. If they're doing that at the end of each shift, in over 100 airports, 2-3 shifts per day. It might be cheaper to just tell the TSOs to put it in their pocket.

Funds should be redirected to ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38687740)

... the ACLU, EFF, or other like minded organizations. After all, these funds are acquired by means that are contrary to their constitution.

What a dreadfully biased summary (5, Insightful)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687772)

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for bashing the TSA and their dubious practices in the name of 'security' when it's warranted, but whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? I'm referring to the extremely obvious bias (bordering on the Faux News drooling fanatic level) in the article summary:

"The recovered change is not to be confused with the theft that occurs when TSA agents augment their salary by helping themselves to the contents of passengers' luggage as it passes through security checkpoints."

This isn't particularly relevant to the news post, other than to immediately bias readers into thinking that the TSA steals all that change and lines its coffers with it, when in fact it might just be left behind by passengers as the news article implies. What are they supposed to do? Sprint after a group of passengers and ask them if this is their quarter? Hate to say it, but ever since CmdrTaco left, the quality of Slashdot news posts has fallen noticeably.

Re:What a dreadfully biased summary (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688004)

They should try not stealing so much stuff.

Re:What a dreadfully biased summary (1)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688092)

Well yes what they're doing is a little dodgy, but it's the TSA - I doubt they need any further introduction. Their practices are well documented, and no one liked airport security / baggage handlers in the first place even before the TSA popularized hatred towards them, so in my opinion, the extra poke is unnecessary and brings down the quality of the submission.

Re:What a dreadfully biased summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688456)

Read that line again. It's distinguishing between theft and recovered change.

Re:What a dreadfully biased summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688580)

“I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you” -Friedrich Nietz

I'm not upset that the TSA stole from us, I'm upset that from now on I can't trust them.

Call it dreadful. It's true.

What is it they say...? (1)

Techmeology (1426095) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687792)

Look after the cents and the dollars will look after them selves.

Re:What is it they say...? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687940)

Also said, that applies even better to the TSA, is "penny wise, dollar foolish".

Not to the Military (2)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687912)

No, Florida Republican, do not give the loose change to the military service corporation. I know you want to ensure that all money goes to one kind of military subsidy or another. But you created the TSA, with its vast budgets largely wasted on abusing Americans and subsidizing contractors. Its security theater subsidizes the military by pretending to protect us, while militarizing routine travel which of course paves the way for more military and more military subsidies. Making the military further dependent on the TSA's unnecessary operations that generate that loose change further ensures we'll be doing TSA dances forever.

Keeping the loose change reducing the debt spending you created its budget out of is an efficiency. Leave well enough alone, despite your grabby Florida Republican instinct to make a bad thing even worse, and forever.

Well finally... (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687962)

They have some common cents.

How is this not theft, again? (2)

Scutter (18425) | more than 2 years ago | (#38687966)

Step 1 - Force people into situations where they're likely to have things fall out of their pockets
Step 2 - Collect all found things and put them in your own pockets
Step 3 - Profit!

Sounds like theft to me. You make it a profit center and the bosses start including incentives to maintain that budget line item. "Hey, you guys didn't shake down enough...'customers'...this week! We're not going to be able to give you a bonus this quarter."

If they really want me to believe that this isn't theft, they should be donating all proceeds from lost and confiscated items to charity. An ACTUAL charity, I mean, not the TSA Agent's Retirement Collective 501c.

A little gift... (1)

AdamThor (995520) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688030)

Leave them metal slugs, slabs of wooden dowel, low-value foreign currency. Make 'em work for it!

Just remember kids... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688090)

When you leave your change behind, you're funding domestic TERRORISM.

It pays off (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688096)

All that groaping pays off!

Re:It pays off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688486)

LOL "groaping" LOL LOL

That really made my day. Thanks, bad speller.

No surprises here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688132)

Seems they primarily hire pedos, sadist, weak of mind, and various other miscreants.

Like to abuse people? Like to sexual molest people of all ages? Want your power-trip to fly along side your poorly sculpted World view where in you hold no personal responsibility and those around you are at fault??
Find your dream job here.
http://www.tsa.gov/join/careers/careers_security_jobs_securityinspect.shtm [tsa.gov]

Notice the qualifications, I think drugs dogs could apply for these jobs and probably be friendlier.

light bulbs? (2)

ionymous (1216224) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688242)

I hate how companies tell us where some specific source of income goes. Even if it doesn't just go into a big pool of budget money, then some part of a budget somewhere is changed so that other money is available for other purposes.
The bottom line... if $300k can be added to the overall budget, then that's $300k more that can go to paying a CEO's bonus.

It's not like they weren't going to replace light bulbs without this money.

How much money do they make by stealing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688308)

What is their annual accounting for money they take from peoples' bags? Or, are they less honest with that than they are with the change jars?

boosting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688414)

article says "..boosting an iPod, bottles of perfume, cameras, a GPS system, a Coach purse, and a Hewlett Packard Mini Notebook from passengers'"

i assume the author meant stealing or taking. I never heard of the word boosting used like this before.

Sure they do. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688518)

If they are stealing laptops and iPhones, why wouldn't they pocket much less traceable loose change?

4 Full time employees (1)

Bardwick (696376) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688556)

When you put it in that perspective, it's not so much money :). Consider that there are over 50,000 union TSA agents (non-managers)

Same thing at amusement parks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688710)

I worked at a major amusement park in the mid 1970's The ride operators were always finding change after passengers got off the rides when the park shut down for the night. Over the summer operating season it was not unusual for a group of operators on a single ride to find over $300 - $400.00 in loose change. They would generally use it to have a season ending dinner. The people who carried the brooms and dustpans called sweeperettes there, would do better as they usually found dollars and up.

More Importantly... (0)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688714)

NBC reports that airport travelers left behind $409,085.56 in loose change at security checkpoints in 2010

More importantly how much of their dignity was left behind at the checkpoint after they had their asshole fingered by a former Burger King employee?

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