If you start at $11/hour and work a 40 hour week that is $440/week x 52 weeks = 22,880 - not much of a salary when you have to pay a portion of your salary for those medical, dental and vision plans. 2 of my neighbors work for the TSA and 1 of them has been there for 5 years and he makes less than 40,000. Not the worst salary but far from the best.
I agree the taxpayer funding is very high but I don't think a whole lot of those tax payer dollars are going to pay or recruit good TSA agents. In fact, TSA is having a staffing shortage.