Economist Martin Armstrong warns that a new bill which directs the TSA to apprehend and investigate anyone “suspected of committing a crime” would turn the federal agency into a new branch of the IRS.
The TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act (H.R. 719), introduced on Wednesday by U.S. Rep. John Katko, would require TSA Criminal Investigators to spend a minimum of 50% of their time “investigating, apprehending, or detaining individuals suspected of committing a crime.”
According to Armstrong, the legislation would create a new kind of “Berlin Wall around all American citizens” because it would provide the federal agency with a huge remit to prevent people from traveling.
“Katko is a former federal prosecutor. So he knows precisely what he is doing writing a law that is so broad, that anyone suspected of a crime cannot leave the country,” writes Armstrong. “This is any crime. Keeping gold in a safe deposit box is money laundering carrying up to 25 years in prison.”
“This bill will now result in the arrest of anyone for any alleged crime whatsoever and that will apply to taxes,” warns the economist, accusing Katko of, “converting the TSA into a police force less concerned about air safety and focused more on catching anyone the government can argue violates some law federal or state.”
“It is so broad, this would apply to domestic disputes as well,” he adds.
The legislation has bipartisan support and according to Rep. Katco will, “provide a thoughtful response to create safer airports across our country.”
Armstrong notes that the new bill follows the implementation of FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which critics say, “turns foreign banks and other financial institutions into enforcement arms of America’s Internal Revenue Service,” because it forces them to report clients to the feds or face large punitive penalties.
The TSA already delves into a treasure trove of private information about all Americans in the name of security before they even arrive at the airport, including tax identification numbers, vehicle and job history, and property ownership records.
It’s somewhat ironic that the TSA could now take on duties normally performed by the IRS given that the two bodies routinely compete for the position of most loathed federal agency in America.