The National Priorities Project — whose mission is to make “complex federal budget information transparent and accessible so people can prioritize and influence how their tax dollars are spent” — reports
The United States has spent more than $7.6 trillion on defense and homeland security since the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Total homeland security spending since September 11, 2001 is $635.9 billion.
The Congressional Quarterly [subscription required] points to a 2009 article estimating Al Qaeda’s annual spending ranges from a low of 10 million to a high of 300 million dollars a year.
Even anything close to that ratio represents a massive return on Evil’s investment.
“We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah,” bin Laden said in a 2004 interview.
Yesterday, Jessica reported:
[T]he House approved a 2012 Homeland Security Appropriations bill that slashes homeland spending by $1.1 billion dollars (2.6% decrease) for this year…,” including a 52% percent cut for the Science & Technology Directorate.
Meanwhile, some of the same congressional representatives who recently criticized DHS for not demonstrating what the country has gained from previous years’ homeland security spending, now warn that cuts threaten to undo the progress we’ve made in preparedness over the past decade.
I suppose a foolish consistency remains the hobgoblin of little minds.
“[T]he Pentagon doesn’t know how it spends its money,” says Oaklahoma Senator Tom Coburn.
One might say the same thing for homeland security, “because homeland security funding flows through literally dozens of federal agencies and not just through the Department of Homeland Security,” says the National Priorities Project
I am confused by what is going on in the budget world.
On the one hand, it reminds me of a sculpture in the Columbia Center — the tallest building in Seattle and a target included in al Qaeda’s original 9/11/01 hit list. I think the sculpture is called “Climbing the ladder of success.”
You may note none of the climbers have heads. As if thought, rationality and consistency have no place on a trip to success.
On the other hand, the steaming semantic gyre of budgets, cuts, expenditures, threats, vulnerabilities and missions reminds me of a poem that appeared in the August 19, 1944 issue of the New Yorker. The century’s second war was ending, quickly to be replaced by another, more complicated one.
Lincoln said in 1862 we must “think anew and act anew.” As we move into homeland security’s second decade, after its largely knee jerk first decade, we can be guided helpfully by Fenton’s question: “how can we then make decisions who have so well unlearned to decide.”