Megyn Kelly: Just when you thought airport security couldn’t get anymore unbearable, well guess what? Prepare for even more scrutiny now. The TSA warning that terrorists are seriously considering a new tactic, surgically implanting explosive devices. It could mean big changes in the screening procedures again and chances are, they won’t be less intrusive. Texas Republican Ron Paul is a presidential candidate, and he is introducing the American traveler dignity act saying we should completely replace the TSA with private security firms. Good morning or good afternoon I should say, Congressman. I’m used to saying good morning on Fox & Friends, sorry about that.
Ron Paul: Okay, good afternoon.
Megyn Kelly: So you are introducing this new plan to privatize, I guess what’s now known as the TSA. How would that make it better?
Ron Paul: Well it would make it efficient, there’s no history to show that government bureaucrats are ever more efficient than the private market. But there’s two different ways how you privatize something. If you just take the airport security and the government hires out private firms, that’s not for me privatization. That’s sort of a combination of big business and big government and that doesn’t solve the problem. The responsibility should be on the airlines, just as it’s on the responsibility of the owners of chemical plants and the owners of armored cars. They take charge of that and they do a very, very good job.
And the government was in charge of security before 9/11. They did a lousy job. They prohibited guns from being on airplane and they said “nobody should resist.” And so we set the stage for 9/11. So I want the owners to assume responsibility and the burden would be on the airlines and it would save the taxpayer an awful lot of money.
Megyn Kelly: So if I run an airline right now, tell me if I’m right or wrong. I don’t think I like this plan because what’s it going to cost me?
Ron Paul: Well that’s the reason we don’t have it. The airlines are in bed with the government, they’re partners with the government. They don’t want the liability and they don’t want the responsibility. But they should have it. Yes it’ll cost them money and you’ll have to pay for it with a higher ticket but you’ll pay lower taxes. But they’ll do a better job and it’s going to be so much more efficient. They’re not going to take X-rays of you in the nude, and they’re not going to prod and poke you. They’re not going to prod and poke little kids and 95-year-old women. They’re going to figure it out because they got to treat them like customers. So that’s all the difference in the world.
Megyn Kelly: But Congressman Paul, you’re on Capitol Hill. You know that there’s a lot of waste of taxpayer dollars. Are you just assuming that if we privatize this that all the tax dollars that were going to the TSA would suddenly be given back to us?
Ron Paul: Well it should be, you can’t assume anything with the politicians and the bureaucrats because they always figure out a way to keep it there, they’re endless and if they don’t get enough then they go to the Fed and they get the Fed to do their bailing out. So it’s outrageous, it’s totally out of control. But you have to make the effort; you have to make the suggestion, what is the alternative? If you can’t depend on government, whom should you depend on? I say depend on the market, private owners take much better care of the property than government has ever done.
Megyn Kelly: Well let me tell you about some of the enhanced security measures that are now going to apparently go into place with the TSA because of these reports about surgically implanted bombs from Al-Qaeda. Here it is: more behavior detection officers, more airport interviews and pat downs, in addition, in an effort to detect traces of explosives, passenger’s skin and clothing may be swabbed. Is that what you’re talking about?
Ron Paul: Well I think that’s an outrage I mean horrible, if the private airlines were doing it, they might have one sniff dog that knows something about explosives and that’s all you would need, you don’t need all this other stuff, no it’s going to cost a lot more money and I’ve said and I sincerely believe this, if the American people can look at these pictures on TV about what they do to 95-year-old women, what they do to little kids and the groping of the groins and if the American people say, “Oh that’s okay with me” I tell you what, we’re in a lot worse shape than I think we’re in. I think we’ve given up, if we accept that, we’re in bad trouble.
Megyn Kelly: Right, well, as you know the argument is that a lot of Americans are okay with that because they feel like in this day and age since 9/11 they might have to give up a liberty, I’m just saying that’s the other side of the equation here to keep everyone safe. Before you go, I got to get this question in though, if you privatize airport screening and security, how does profiling fit into that?
Ron Paul: Well they’re allowed to, because a private company has an obligation, if you don’t like the airline and they do too much profiling then you don’t fly on that airline. But today there are not a lot of profiles, so a 95-year-old woman get’s treated like a terrorist and somebody else who really looks like he could, that guy I might want to ask him two question, oh well, we can’t’ ask him as many question, matter of fact I even back off because he looks sort of suspicious. No, a private airline has a right to be suspicious and they can in a way, but if they overdo that they’re going to have a bad reputation and the customers are going to make sure that they hear about it.
Megyn Kelly: Very interesting. Let us know how your new plan, the American traveler dignity act, let us know if it’s successful or not. Congressman Ron Paul always great to see you. Thanks so much, have a good weekend.