Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Rules Set for Giving Out Antiterror Aid

NYT reported Facing cuts in antiterrorism financing, the Department of Homeland Security plans to announce today that it will evaluate new requests for money from an $800 million aid program for cities based less on politics and more on assessments of where terrorists are likely to strike and potentially cause the greatest damage, department officials say.

It is about time. Just using the program as a mechanism to send federal pork all over the country, where it was used to buy air conditioned garbage trucks and other such foolishness was sheer stupidity.
The changes to the program, the Urban Area Security Initiative, are being driven in part by a reduction in the overall pool of money for antiterrorism efforts.
If it takes a cutback in funds to cause money to be spent the right way we need more cutback in funds for other programs. In fact we need more cutbacks in funds for other programs in any event, but having the reduced funds spent wisely is an additional benefit.
For 2006, Congress has appropriated $120 million less in these urban grants than for 2005. Domestic security grants in general, including the urban area ones, have been criticized because they have sent more antiterrorism money per capita to sparsely populated states like Wyoming and Alaska than to states like New York and California.

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