Friday, August 12

HOMELAND SECURITY SPENDING OUT-OF-CONTROL

I suspect my regular readers may not remember these two posts of mine, but I do.

The first was about the Department of Homeland Security wasting taxpayers' dollars incredibly on a shrink-wrap machine for the city of Olympia, Washington, to bubble-wrap the victims of a terrorist attack, should one ever occur there!

The second was a post in which I characterized the Department of Homeland Security as "more boondoggle (and an engine of pork barrel spending), than comprehensive protector of the people."

Well, a column by Rick Casey in today's "Houston Chronicle" (registration required), entitled "Tossing pork at terrorists," picks up on these themes. Casey writes:

If it sounds like one of those Homeland Security boondoggles that have been making the news lately, that's because it is.

My colleague Eric Hanson wrote earlier this week about a Homeland Security grant that puts $1,400 two-way police radios in schools throughout Fort Bend County.

Funded with federal Homeland Security money, the program provides one radio per campus. Two persons per campus were given workshop training on how and when to use it.

Casey continues:

Consider two things.

First, with few exceptions al-Qaida has favored large cities with its strikes, especially in Europe and the United States: New York, Washington, Madrid, London.

So Homeland Security money in rural Needville, whose 2,500 total students wouldn't fill most urban high schools, is not exactly playing the odds.

This is the same political dynamic that led to a $7,750 Homeland Security grant being sent to the volunteer fire department in False Pass, Alaska. Or money used to buy, among other things, 150 traffic cones in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Hey, those places may not have terrorists, but they do have congressmen.


And that's been my point all along. A Republican president and a Republican-controlled Congress have not shown fiscal restraint in a time of war and they've set up yet another white elephant, massive bureaucracy in Washington that spends our tax dollars shamelessly and recklessly.

If the Department of Homeland Security and the president were doing their jobs vis-a-vis national security, they'd be securing our country's porous borders. That should be a front-burner requirement and it's not been.

Kudos to Rick Casey for this eye-opener. I hope the citizens of Houston read it and will write to the president and their Congressmen. I hope my readers do something as well. A start would be to sign the following online petition.