TSA hauls in $400,000 in change left behind by passengers

Rick Moran
I have a scathingly brilliant idea; let's look under the couch cushions, under the dressers, and lift the rugs in every home in America and use all the loose change we find to reduce the national debt.

TSA might be on to something here. The Hill:

Airline passengers left more than $400,000 at airport security checkpoints operated by the Transportation Security Administration in 2011.

TSA found $409,085.56 in spare change last year that was unclaimed by passengers, according to figures released by the agency. Historically, if no one comes back to get the leftover money, it stays with the TSA.

A Florida lawmaker is trying to change that, however: Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) filed a bill in April of 2009 that would require TSA to transfer money that is not claimed by passengers when they leave airport security checkpoints to United Service Organizations.

Miller said Thursday in a statement provided to The Hill that the amount of change left at airport security checkpoints in 2011 could be put to better uses than the TSA's operating budget.

"TSA keeps travelers change accidentally left at checkpoints as an appropriations backfill for agency activities," Miller said. "There is no incentive for TSA to try to return the forgotten change to its rightful owner.

Miller has the right idea, but the wrong entity. Take it away from the TSA, yes. But present it to the Treasury Department - preferably by the truckload - and allow them to reduce the debt with it.

Or dump it all on the White House lawn and tell Obama there's his pay for the year.


I have a scathingly brilliant idea; let's look under the couch cushions, under the dressers, and lift the rugs in every home in America and use all the loose change we find to reduce the national debt.

TSA might be on to something here. The Hill:

Airline passengers left more than $400,000 at airport security checkpoints operated by the Transportation Security Administration in 2011.

TSA found $409,085.56 in spare change last year that was unclaimed by passengers, according to figures released by the agency. Historically, if no one comes back to get the leftover money, it stays with the TSA.

A Florida lawmaker is trying to change that, however: Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) filed a bill in April of 2009 that would require TSA to transfer money that is not claimed by passengers when they leave airport security checkpoints to United Service Organizations.

Miller said Thursday in a statement provided to The Hill that the amount of change left at airport security checkpoints in 2011 could be put to better uses than the TSA's operating budget.

"TSA keeps travelers change accidentally left at checkpoints as an appropriations backfill for agency activities," Miller said. "There is no incentive for TSA to try to return the forgotten change to its rightful owner.

Miller has the right idea, but the wrong entity. Take it away from the TSA, yes. But present it to the Treasury Department - preferably by the truckload - and allow them to reduce the debt with it.

Or dump it all on the White House lawn and tell Obama there's his pay for the year.