Monday, September 13, 2004

The Costs of a Safer America

With all the talk about protecting America from terrorism, little has actually been done. Why? Because it costs alot of money. Since 9/11 we have obviously been shown how vulnerable we are to attack. Also since 9/11 policies in Washington have made it hard to spend the needed money for improvements. The Bush Administration has cut taxes (mostly for the rich) and involved our country in an expensive war in Iraq which has cost $144.4 billion so far, with more billions to be added. So we have increased expenses and decreased revenue at the same time. Our national debt has increased as a result.

The Iraq War was an option that had it not been chosen would have freed up all those billions to be spent on the protection of America at home. Consider some of the options to protecting America and the price for that protection.
$7 billion to put 100,000 police officers the nation's streets. $7 billion would fully fund for five years the 1996 Community Oriented Policing Services program, which was designed to put 100,000 new community police officers on America's streets. The administration has cut the funding for the program to $97 million in the proposed FY05 budget.

$350 million for integrating emergency radio systems nationwide. Equipment to patch together existing police, fire, and other public safety radio systems throughout the country would cost $350 million.

$3 billion to secure major roads and rails. $3 billion would secure all the major roads and railways in the nation's largest metropolitan areas. Improving surveillance, training railway workers, and developing new explosive detection equipment would increase passenger safety. The administration has focused its funding on aviation security, but has provided less than $200 million in last year's budget.

$240 million to equip the airports with walk-through explosive detectors. According to the 9/11 commission, it's still too easy for passengers with hidden explosives to make it through airport security.

$2 billion to improve cargo security. This would help cover costs associated with the Cargo Security Initiative, which deploys customs inspectors to ports around the world to screen cargo before it goes to the United States.
The Iraq War according to many experts has actually made us less safe in the world by creating more anger toward our country. The Iraq War has as well made us less safe at home as the dollars needed to improve our safety is slated for Iraq. The above list is only a partial list of ways to make our country safer. Not included in the list are needed updates on security of nuclear plants, our energy grid, and corporations that store huge amounts of dangerous chemicals. The Bush Administration is not interested in our safety at home, they are only interested in waging war halfway across the globe. Our safety begins at home.

A list of ways to improve our safety, and what it costs...


Post a Comment

<< Home