Friday, November 26, 2010

The Thievery Becomes More and More Transparent

by Rich Miles

A "boondoggle" is defined as a government program which is claimed to be intended to perform a service for the people of a country, but which in reality is a major waste of government funds with virtually no benefit to the people.

It's also defined as "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security". One of the biggest, if not THE biggest, boondoggle in the history of the world. And I do not exaggerate.

Homeland Security is a conglomeration of some 8 or more Cabinet-level sub-departments which were, before the attacks of 9/11/01, separate departments with their own budgets, staffs, and other levels of autonomy.

However, after the 9/11 attacks, it was decided (by whom, it's hard to trace to this day) that national security, or "homeland" security, would be better served if all or nearly all those who served in that regard were under one legal aegis, rather than 8 separate entities.

One of the ways in which this was supposed to be beneficial to America was supposed to be in the realm of cost savings. Much brouhaha was made of the waste of government resources pre-Homeland Security, and how the combining of all those departments would save billions of dollars each year.

Not very many people believed this, especially Democrats. But those who were old enough to remember, also remember how difficult it was to resist anything the White House was trying to do in this regard. The atmosphere back then gave new meaning to the term "juggernaut".

So, all in all, the Dept. of Homeland Security was destined to be a-borning from the day it was first proposed. There was absolutely no way to stop it once it got underway. And so it was.

I'm sure it was a good idea in fine. But those of us who had any sense of realism about the function of government realized that, far from reducing the costs associated with homeland security, the combined form of the eight agencies were far more likely to cause sharply INCREASED costs.

And so it did.

I had intended to provide some monetary statistics in this piece to demonstrate my  premise: what DHS cost last year, what the same departments cost pre-DHS, etc. But despite the supposed savings due to combining the departments, it's very difficult to pull all those numbers together. Almost as if the departments were still separate, and the government is trying to keep it a secret from us dim, dumb taxpayers.


My friends, my fellow taxpayers - we are being had in the worst kind of way. Obama has not tried to close the cash spigot, no one has even mentioned the possibility, at least as far as I have seen - and I do try to pay attention to such things.

If we wish to balance our federal budget, a good start would be to "undoggle" the boondoggle that is Homeland Security. But it's going to take a brave president to take on that bag of wildcats. Because the Republicans will put on their shiniest patriot armor, and accuse the Democratic president who makes this move - for it will be a Democrat - of being weak on national defense.

And on and on and blah blah blah. One can almost predict exactly what the debate will consist of - and thus it will take many years and many trillions of wasted dollars.

And why say anything else? God help us, if there is one.

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