DHS Considers Casino Shuttle “Protected Infrastructure,” Hands Out Money


Michael Hampton
Homeland Stupidity
May 31, 2008

It’s May again, that time of year when the Department of Homeland Security hands out millions of dollars of your hard-earned money to whoever it wants for the strangest of reasons, or none at all, in the name of “infrastructure protection.” Today’s stupid spending: $184,415 for a casino shuttle.

DHS gave out $11.2 million of your money under the Intercity Bus Security Grant Program this year. And that program is just one small program of many under the $844 million Infrastructure Protection Activities umbrella, where the money that was taken from your goes to everything from petting zoos to Wal-Mart.

The money, ostensibly to help secure bus lines, winds up going for things like GPS systems and driver training, things that bus companies should have been doing on their own.

In the case of Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Ramblin Express, who knows what the company is doing, since its owner is “too busy” to talk to the press. Ramblin Express has received over $382,000 to date under the program.

Homeland security expert James Carafano derided the program as a “ridiculous”.

“This is checkbooks gone wild,” said Carafano, a senior research fellow at conservative Washington, D.C., think tank The Heritage Foundation. “This is so stupid.”

Carafano said if private companies or local governments feel the need to improve security or take steps to guard against terrorism, they should foot the bill, not turn to Uncle Sam.

“People are more than willing to spend other people’s nickel,” he said.

Such don’t make the nation safer and divert money from more worthwhile efforts, such as the mission to “get the terrorists,” Carafano said. — Colorado Springs Gazette

It isn’t making anybody on those buses safer. What it is doing is the same thing government always does: take from you and give to themselves and their friends.

As the Gazette said in an opinion piece accompanying the story:

If bin Laden knew about the money spent on gambling buses, he would certainly chuckle. He’d see that his plan had worked, and that Americans were wasting their money on nonproductive schemes, going forth without common sense, robbing Peter to pay Paul, allowing government to sell a false sense of security to the little people who pay the bills.

It’s bad enough that a few savages have managed to embroil this country in a war that has cost the lives of thousands of Americans and brought the nation’s economy to its knees. It’s a kick in the teeth when the actions of terrorists manifest in shenanigans such as terror grants for the few, at a cost to the many. — Colorado Springs Gazette

“Homeland security” has simply become the catch phrase for the latest government gravy train. Say the magic words and those dollars being stolen from your hard-earned pay suddenly get redistributed to anyone who wants them. And you don’t even get any real security in the tradeoff.

This story is just one of uncounted thousands of government grants issued every year in the name of “homeland security.” Doubtless a few of them actually have some focus on security, but Ramblin Express should be securing its own buses from fare receipts, not from taxes taken from every American by force.

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