However, there’s still no single radio network that police, fire and hospital officials can use to coordinate. Despite all we’ve learned, an emergency response today would probably go no more smoothly than on Sept. 11. We’d be safer if Congress insisted we spend a few million more to finish building a reliable radio network, while insisting that our police continue to wear their old uniforms.
But even congressional involvement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
This year, lawmakers forced the Department of Homeland Security to divvy up its spending based on state population, rather than local risk. That meant states like North Dakota and Kentucky got more DHS funding than the nation’s capitol. That makes no sense at all, since the terrorists have repeatedly vowed to attack Washington, but haven’t yet said a word about Fargo or Frankfort.
It may be politically incorrect to say this, but federal money for training, equipment and personnel should be focused where we’re likely to be attacked: New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Chicago.
This is an issue of national security, and overspending may come back to haunt us. “If you simply fund every local desire,” Heritage Foundation fellow and former Virginia governor James Gilmore told the Post, “the demand for money is going to be so great that you are going to break the back of the economy, which is exactly what the terrorists would like.”
We will win the war on terrorism.
In the meantime, it’s possible to make our homeland safer. But only if we stop blindly throwing money at the problem, and focus our resources where they’re really needed. That’s the only way to make sure we’re not, in fact, spending too much on homeland security.