Wednesday, June 30, 2010

U.S. Justice Department budget for FY 2011 -- more waste

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies has reported its bill for U.S. Justice Department Appropriations for FY 2011, with a summary here.

Let's try to keep in mind that the President's budget for FY 2011 is estimated to be in deficit by $1.342 trillion ($1,342,000,000,000)! This is spending by us that supposedly will be paid back by our children.

Total spending in the department would grow from $28,077,664,000 in FY 2010 to $30,031,638,000 in FY 2011. This is $295 million more than the President's request! Of course that fact -- planning to spend more than the Administration asked for -- is not new, but in these circumstances it is depressing that this habit appears to be unbreakable.

The biggest one-year growth is $638,126,000 for the Federal prison system. It would increase spending from $6,188,086,000 in FY10 to $6,826,212,000 in FY11.

However, the congressional earmarking of law enforcement spending is staggering!
Look at this 38 page list of congressional earmarks for law enforcement.
The Subcommittee approved $697,590,000 more for grant programs to state and local law enforcement agencies than was requested by the Administration, and $484,033,000 more than was spent in FY 2010.

This is a form of incumbent protection. Members go back to the voters and tell them that while local budgets had to be cut because revenues were down because the economy shrank and property values collapsed, "I was able to wangle money from Uncle Sam" to run our police department. I saved police jobs with money we don't have. This behavior, if by anyone other than a Member of Congress or Senator would lead to bankruptcy!

Oh, regarding a couple of law enforcement agencies:
The FBI would get another $305 million to total $8,203,186,000, but that is $61 million less than the Administration asked for.

The DEA would get another $105 million to total $2,124,317,000, $5.8 million less than the Administration asked for.

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