The White House is planning to cut budgets for counterterrorism funding for police, firefighters and rescue departments across the country by more than half next year according to the AP. Homeland Security had asked for $3.2 billion to help states and cities protect against terrorist attacks in 2009 but the White House decided otherwise and will ask Congress for just $1.4 billion.
The plan calls outright elimination of programs for port security, transit security, and local emergency management operations in the next budget year.There's no doubt that DHS funds have been regarded as a plentiful supply of pork for many congresscritters and that funds have to be more carefully targetted, but scaling back funding for port security - still probably the single most vulnerable sector of U.S. infrastructure - or for information centers the White House itself had previously said were essential?
"This budget proposal is dead on arrival," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. "This administration runs around the country scaring people and then when it comes to putting their money where their mouth is, they say 'sorry, the bank is closed.'"Instead, the White House intends to put taxpayers' money where the GOP bases's votes are. There will be money for creating more secure driver's licenses - which is more about pandering to the GOP's anti-immigrant xenophobes than actually securing the nation against terrorists - for example. In any case, if people actually thought the nation was safer from those Osamas under every bed, they'd be less likely to vote Republican.