Saturday, February 14, 2009

That Can't be Right, Can It?: $1 BILLION for Bomb Sniffing

Homeland Security has managed to procure $1 billion in the stimulus package for devices that could detect bombs in checked luggage.

Considering that absent this technology airplanes are not dropping out of the skies due to bombs in checked luggage, and knowing that spending $1 billion is not a guarantee the technology and people using it will work in the future, isn't this a colossal waste of money?

Now that the Obama administration has, for the first time, identified economic fragility as posing the world's greatest security threat to the United States, it seems logical to complain that not only is the spending on this stupid, its wastefulness and especially the opportunity costs of not spending the $1 BILLION dollars on programs we know would be useful, e.g., education, public transportaion, health care, programs for supporting immigrants... the expenditure is also heightening the threat to homeland security.

(In Title VIII the Stimulus bill allocates $3.95 billion for "Training and Employment Services": how can anyone justify spending 1/4 of the amount on training the entire country on questionably useful bomb-sniffing technology?)

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