Eleven days after the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and United 93 that crashed in Shanksville, PA the Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) was founded, designated to coordinate and unify 22 separately funded federal departments and agencies with a budget in FY 2002 of $19.5 Billion, during FY 2015 this exploded to $38.2 Billion to Obama’s $41.2 Billion FY 2016 funding request
DHS from their own ‘Organizational Chart’ has too many subdivisions in too many disparate fields to operate effectively as CATO Institute in September, 2011 points out.
Agencies with responsibility for: Counterfeiting Investigations, Border Security, Disaster Preparedness, Federal Law Enforcement Training, Biological Warfare Defense, Health Affairs find themselves under the same Cabinet official.
This arrangement has not enhanced the governments competence or efficiency–Americans are not any safer because the head of DHS is simultaneously responsible for airport security and federal efforts to counter potential flu epidemics.
National defense is a key governmental responsibility but focusing too many resources on trying to defend every potential terrorist target is a recipe for wasteful spending. Our limited resources are better spent on investigating and arresting aspiring terrorists.
DHS responsibilities for aviation security, domestic surveillance and port security, have made it too easy for politicians to disguise pork barrel spending in red, white and blue–Politicians wanting to bring money home to their districts and as a result, DHS appropriations too often differ from what ought to be DHS priorities.
The Dept of Homeland Security should be abolished (or defunded) and its components reorganized into more practical groupings. The agencies tasked with immigration, border security and customs enforcement belong under the same oversight agency. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Air Marshals should be abolished and the federal government should end support for fusion centers–the remaining DHS organizations should return to their former parent agencies.
Terrorism remains a serious problem but policymakers ought to be more candid with the American public. Instead of pandering to fear and overreacting to every potential threat, Washington policymakers should keep the risk of terrorist attacks in perspective and focus public resources on cost-effective measures.
- Flashback: Remember in 2010 when DHS Chief ‘Big Sista’ Janet Napolitano said that ‘Global Warming’ (not terrorism or domestic security) was DHS’ top priority.
On the 16 November, 2010 I wrote here did you know, that the nations airports are not required to have TSA Screeners? The 2001 law creating the ‘Transportation Security Administration’ (TSA) gave airports the right to opt out of the TSA program in favor of ‘Private Screeners’ subsequent to a 2 yr period.
Now with DHS funding on-hold and with a TSA (that everyone loves to hate) having humiliated travelers ever since they’ve been in existence, made children cry, trampled on the 4th Amendment–never forgetting the $30 Million of taxpayers dollars it wasted on ‘Puffers’ that didn’t work together with the roaming HCV Mobile Full Body XXX Scanners that government bureaucrats spent money on, that may without a warrant look into your home, other structures and underneath your clothing.
So what if the DHS runs out of funds (which would effectively defund the TSA) would this be such a bad thing or instead be an unanticipated victory for the Constitution?