Target: Secretary Janet Napolitano, Department of Homeland Security
Goal: Stop the excessive and unreasonable expenditure of federal tax money in the name of preparing for potential terrorist attacks.
A new report conducted by Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn reveals numerous accounts of wasteful spending and questionable purchases made by state and local governments for the sake of preparation for potential terrorist attacks. Just a few examples include: a $250,000 armored truck purchased by police in Clovis, California that was used in a community Easter egg hunt; in Columbus, Ohio $98,000 was spent on an underwater robot; Seattle police spent $80,000 on two drones that are essentially unusable due to weight and height limits and battery life. In the last decade, a total $35 billion of federal tax money has been used in programs that have allowed this extravagant and gratuitous spending.
The security program, known as the Urban Area Security Initiative, uses federal grants, which are administered by the Department of Homeland Security. It was originally instituted to only assist major U.S. cities like Los Angeles and New York City, which are considered the most likely targets of terrorist attacks. Since the program began in 2003, however, it has spread to over 60 cities, many of which would be unlikely to experience an attack. Small town police departments now own military-grade equipment that are collecting dust because they have no real use in these locations. The spending has gotten so far out of control that the government has even sponsored a zombie apocalypse simulation.
The Department of Homeland Security has failed to conduct adequate oversight of how taxpayers’ money is spent in the name of protection from terrorist attacks. Instead of actually preparing local governments and residents of areas that are realistically targets of such attacks, they have allowed authorities to go on a spending spree with taxpayers’ money during an unstable economic climate.
Sign the petition below to demand that the Department of Homeland Security stop the exorbitant spending of tax money on unjustified purchases that are useless for the protection of Americans.
Dear Secretary Napolitano,
Since the institution of the Urban Area Security Initiative in 2003, a total $35 billion of federal tax money has been used in programs that claim to prepare our country for potential acts of terrorism. Under the neglectful watch of Homeland Security, however, much of this money has been wasted on ridiculous purchases that do nothing to increase national security. Small town police departments have no need for military-grade armored vehicles. A $98,000 underwater robot has no place in Columbus, Ohio, which has no major body of water nearby. There is no legitimate reason why a counterterrorism summit needs to be held on an island off the coast of California where attendees experience a zombie simulation.
You have clearly failed in your duty to oversee the spending of federal tax money by state and local governments resulting in billions of wasted dollars. Even worse, this failure has occurred at the expense of actually preparing for potential terrorist attacks. The wasteful spending is especially deplorable during the current economic conditions. At $35 billion later, how much better protected are the citizens of the United States?
We are calling for an end to the extravagant and unwarranted expenditure of taxpayers’ money in the name of protection from terrorist attacks. We demand more vigilant oversight and more stringent regulation in granting our tax money to local governments.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security