NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


March 13, 2006

Since September 11, 2001, Congress has appropriated nearly $180 billion to protect Americans from terrorism. Unfortunately, all of this spending appears wasteful, fraudulent and abusive, says Veronique de Rugy of the American Enterprise Institute.

For example:

  • The 2006 Department of Homeland Security budget of $41 billion allocates $14 billion to finance activities from Coast Guard rescues to hurricane aid.
  • In September 2004, the Senate attached $2.9 billion to the 2005 homeland security bill for disaster aid to farm states affected by droughts, floods and freezes.
  • Homeland Security used $50 million for an exercise program that meets the intent of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

Furthermore, de Rugy found that cities facing the highest risk of terrorist attacks did not receive the most homeland security funding per capita, with the exception of Washington D.C.:

  • The highest risk cities are New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and Philadelphia.
  • Yet, the entities receiving the most homeland security funding per capita were the Virgin Islands, $104.35; Guam, $90.36; Northern Marina Islands, $54; Wyoming, $37.74; American Samoa, $37.54 and the District of Columbia, $34.16.

Members of the independent, bipartisan 9/11 commission suggested homeland security base funding strictly on an assessment of risks instead of "pork-barrel-style" spending. Following the commission's recommendations, the Department of Homeland Security began pushing for a complete overhaul of the grant formula and a more risk-based approach to homeland security in general, says de Rugy.

Source: Veronique de Rugy, "Are We Ready for the Next 9/11?" Reason, March 2006.


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