Do We Need a Department of Homeland Security?

Writing in The Washington Times, Cato Institute legal policy analyst David Rittgers makes the case for abolishing the Department of Homeland Security:

George W. Bush was right before he was wrong. Mr. Bush initially opposed the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, but he bowed to political pressure and formed a new bureaucracy and increased domestic-security funds. Ten years after Sept. 11, it's time to rethink the very existence of that department because the additional layers of government and wasteful spending do not provide enough security to justify its existence....

In creating Homeland Security, Congress lumped together 22 previously unconnected federal agencies under a new Cabinet secretary. That's a problem, not a solution. And while members of Congress routinely clamor for consolidating Homeland Security oversight in one committee, that seems unlikely: 108 congressional committees and subcommittees oversee the department's operations. If aggregating disparate fields of government made any sense in the first place, we long ago would have consolidated all Cabinet responsibilities under one person — the secretary of government.

Read the whole thing here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    NO.

  • Mainer||

    The Department of Homeland Security sounds like something from Nazi Germany, doesn't it ? Seriously, it sounds positively un-American.

  • ||

    Yup. The name has creeped me out from the first time I heard it.

  • Apogee||

    Actually, Das Ministerium für innere Sicherheit sounds more like something from Nazi Germany.

  • R||

    Forming the DHS always struck me as a rather retarded thing to do, even from a statist standpoint.

    "Hey, our massive bureaucracies aren't functioning properly due to petty infighting and turf wars, so lets add another massive bureaucracy on top of all the other massive bureaucracies. That will solve the problem!"

  • Colonel_Angus||

    One One to rule them all.

  • GroundTruth||

    The DHS always had potential to morph into the American KGB. Given the unaccountable, heavy handed beaurocracy that is has turned into, I'd say it's well on the way to fulfilling that potential. Madison must be rolling over in his grave (although Hamilton might be smiling).

    Hell yeah, shut it down and break it up!

  • McGehee||

    We didn't even need an OFFICE of Homeland Security. Its function could have been served by coordinating among existing agencies in the way the National Security Council was established to do.

  • ||

    Disband/dismantle/destroy/whatever the DHS. Just get rid of it!!! Take next year's budget, dole that money out to verifiable US citizens in the form of vouchers for guns/ammo, and voilà: real security.

  • ||

    "Congress lumped together 22 previously unconnected federal agencies under a new Cabinet secretary."

    Part of the problem was that the agencies were not sharing information about threats because they wanted to protect their turf. The way to force them to do what they should is to give them a boss who has the authority to make them do it.

    If you get rid of homeland security how will you make the agencies share information?

  • ||

    The way to make agencies share information is twofold:

    1.) Drop most rules that keep that information sharing illegal.

    2.) When an agency refuses to share information, and it can be documented, then the requisite committees in Congress *must* cut their budget each year till they are willing to admit they *need* other agencies to know what they know.

  • ||

    "Do we need a DOH?"

    Well, I suppose we need it just about as much as a can of Ronco TM spray on hair (as seen on TV.) Or probably a better example would be 'about as much as a case of herpes'.

    I thought the DOH was a bad idea from President Bush to begin with, basically just your typical political 'knee jerk' reaction to a crisis which ends up costing tons of taxpayer's money while being entirely useless. But under Napoliano, the democrats have managed to turn the DOH into a far left abomination. If you have any doubts, just check out the DOH's guides to "Right-wing" and "Left-wing" extremism then compare and contrast.

  • ||

    Yeah, good luck with that. And while you're at it let's get rid of the Dept of energy and the Dept of Education.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement