Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Pork or Protection?

This report, sponsored by Reps. Flake and Weiner, questions whether some "homeland security" spending might have more to do with pork than security. The report has the following as its first example:
Program: State Homeland Security Grant Program
Amount: $202,000
Year: 2005
Use: "Downtown" security cameras for a rural fishing village. Dillingham, Alaska secured a $202,000 Homeland Security anti-terrorism grant to pay for 70 "downtown" surveillance cameras. Dillingham (pop. 2,400), 300 miles from Anchorage, has no roads linking it to anywhere.


More here

The press release contains the typical head-scratching laundry list:

Alaska: Security Cameras for Fishing Village (pop. 2,400) - $202,000
Arizona: A Tactical Robot for the City of Peoria - $15,000
California: Kennels for Stray Animals in Modoc County - $3,500
Indiana: Truck for A County Employee to Commute to Work - $30,000
Indiana: Gym Equipment, Nutritional Counseling & Fitness Instruction - $55,000
Kentucky: A Grant to Protect Bingo Halls from Terrorists - $36,200
Maryland: Eight Large Screen Plasma Television Monitors - $160,000
Ohio: Bulletproof Vests for Dogs - $7,348
South Dakota: On-Site Paging System for the State Agricultural Fair - $29,995
Texas: A Custom Trailer for the October Mushroom Festival - $30,000
Texas: A Trailer Used for Lawnmower Drag Races - $3,000
Wisconsin: Onalaska (pop. 16,150) Fire Dept. Clowns and Puppet Shows - $8,000

How exactly is a trailer for a lawnmower connected to homeland security? Thank goodness the trailer for the October Mushroom Festival was provided for by DHS. That parade could have been something out of Animal House.

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