Homeland Security Pork
This article is a perfect illustrating of the wasteful, pork-barrel, political spending that we like to call "homeland security." And to think we could actually be spending this money on something useful.
When the fire department in the tiny Berkshire hamlet of Cheshire needed a new fire truck, it asked Uncle Sam for a little help.
The response last month was stunning: a $665,962 homeland security grant.
The award was nearly 26 times the annual budget of the volunteer fire department in the town of 3,500. And the rub: The department is not allowed to spend it on a fire truck.
The town does have the Cheshire Cheese Monument, a sizable concrete sculpture of a cheese press commemorating a 1,450-pound cheese hunk given by town elders to Thomas Jefferson in 1801. But its value as a terrorist target is not readily apparent.
...Sweet said he might use some of the money to recruit high school students. Or he might put some of the windfall into a marketing campaign to lure volunteers to Cheshire.
"It'll be on billboards, TVs, and radio stations, and that kind of stuff," he said. "We'll have to spend it wisely."
How many times is this story being repeated across the country? I'm sure the town needs its fire truck, and I hope it gets it. But this is just appalling.
Posted on February 12, 2007 at 6:20 AM • 36 Comments