In the aftermath of 9/11, there was some debate whether TSA should be federal employees, or run privately, and paid for by airlines. Government does not have to actually employ people in order to regulate, supervise, and make sure standards are followed.
Similarly, there has been a longstanding debate whether air traffic control should continue to be run by the federal government rather than privatized, as it is in Canada.
Now that TSA and ATC turn out to be the straws that break the camel's back on federal government shutdowns, perhaps it would be wise to revisit both decisions!
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