Thursday, June 01, 2006

GOP is All Hat and No Cattle on Homeland Security

George W. Bush and the neo-cons can’t give a speech or address a current issue without somehow relating it to September 11th. So it seems strange that this Republican led government has drastically cut Homeland Security dollars for some of the very places that were affected on that day.

The Washington Post reports that the funds to go to New York and Washington D.C. have been cut by 40%. Other potential targets whose funds were cut were San Diego (where several of the Sept. 11 hijackers lived), Phoenix (where an FBI agent suspected that terrorists were taking flight training), Boston (the point of origin of the two jetliners that crashed into the World Trade Center), and New Orleans.

Republican Rep. Peter King from New York is quoted in the story as saying:

"As far as I'm concerned, the Department of Homeland Security and the administration have declared war on New York," Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told the Associated Press. "It's a knife in the back to New York, and I'm going to do everything I can to make them very sorry they made this decision."

The story also notes that Congress had cut Homeland Security’s Budget for 2006 by $125 million. At a time when the Republican led Congress is falling all over themselves to give tax cuts to the wealthy, the priorities seem questionable while they are also cutting Homeland Security.

Smaller cities that ended up receiving much more from Homeland Security this time are Louisville (up 70%), Charlotte (up 64%), and St. Louis (up 31%). The city of Milwaukee also received more funds this year but not nearly the huge percentages as the aforementioned cities (see this USA Today link for a useful table).

The New York Post’s headlines today seemed the most angry, saying “Terror? What Terror?” and “D.C.’s Stupid Scrooges Slash NYC Terror Aid and Splurge on the Sticks.”

I can’t blame the outrage that these New Yorkers express. After all the political capital that the GOP used from the events on September 11th, you’d think that they would actually deliver the goods to those that directly suffered that day.

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