How does Washington react to a crisis? By spending and growing big government in the form of the Department of Homeland Security. And then to keep the party going, it scares the wits out of the public with “tales of impending disaster, as if ISIS were about to wade ashore in Miami.”
Writing in NRO, the Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner asks the all-important question: Do we really need a Department of Homeland Security? “From a national-security standpoint, the DHS is part of the problem, not the solution…. If one of the primary intelligence gaps before 9/11 was the failure of agencies to share information and coordinate activities, it is hard to see how more duplication and fragmentation makes things better.”
Furthermore, as Mr. Tanner points out, spending for DHS has tripled from $18 billion in 2002 to more than $54 billion last year. This from an agency that is viewed as among the most poorly managed agencies in Washington. Cobbling together disparate, unrelated agencies ranging from FEMA to the Fish and Wildlife Service, writes Mr. Tanner, is an invitation for failure.
Today, the DHS is involved in investigating everything from movie piracy to counterfeit sports jerseys to pickpocket cases in New Mexico. Read more here from Mr. Tanner, who asks whether another giant federal agency is needed to fight pickpockets, often at the expense of our civil liberties.
For an absurd example of abuse of power, all under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security, read here the WSJ’s “Gumshoes at Fish and Wildlife go after Indian headdresses.”