Sunday, November 25, 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which pulled together nearly two dozen federal agencies and departments under the control of new, single entity. Its responsibilities include running the US Border Patrol, the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, and FEMA.
DHS is the third biggest cabinet agency, but are we better off because of its existence?
Here are three reasons to get rid of DHS.
1. It's unnecessary. In the months immediately following September 11 attacks in 2001, President George W. Bush initially resisted calls to create a new high-level bureaucracy that would be laid on top of current activities. He was right to recognize that coordinating existing agencies would have been smarter and better. Unfortunately, he caved in to pressure to create a massive new department.
2. It's ineffective. To read the titles of Government Accountability Office (GAO) analyses of Homeland Security is to be reminded constantly that DHS is never quite on top of its game. Recent reports include "DHS Requires More Disciplined Investment Management to Help Meet Mission Needs," "DHS Needs Better Project Information and Coordination Among Four Overlapping Grant Programs," and "Agriculture Inspection Program Has Made Some Improvements, But Management Challenges Persist."
3. It's expensive. Last year, Homeland Security spent a whopping $60 billion, a figure that will doubtlessly increase in coming years. The construction of its new headquarters -- the single-largest projectever undertaken by The General Services Administration -- will cost at least $4 billion and is already years behind on schedule since breaking ground in 2009.
Since it's the holiday season, here's a bonus reason to get rid of the Department of Homeland Security: It also runs the Transportation Security Administration, whose nasty reputation for manhandling innocent travelers is only slightly more annoying than its massive and undeserved growth in personnel and cost over the past decade.
About 2.30 minutes.
Produced by Meredith Bragg and Nick Gillespie, who also narrates.