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TSA versus Booz Allen

I’d like to use some details from the WaPo’s story on Booz Allen’s no-bid contract this morning to put some things in perspective. The article cites the SSCI with a price tag for each contract employee:

The average annual cost ofa contract employee is $250,000, almost twice that of a federalemployee, according to an estimate recently cited by the Senate SelectCommittee on Intelligence.

I’m guessing that, since so many federal employees are unionized, this is comparing mostly non-union contract employees with a union government employees. And the contract employee is making twice as much as the government union employee.

DHS is paying those obscene rates, they would argue, because those employees provide a crucial service at the front-line of protecting our nation.

So can someone explain to me why it is that Bush is promising to veto the bill finally implementing the changes recommended by the 9/11 Commission because he wants to prevent TSA’s workers from getting collective bargaining rights? Bush apparently thinks it is a bigger risk to our country to have airport screeners–our first line of defense against something like 9/11–earn one half of what we pay for contract employees, than to let airplane baggage compartments and shipping containers go uninspected.

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