Any Taxes You Pay Can and Will Be Used Against You
Reason contributor Trey Garrison looks at the stimulus wish lists of cities in Texas, and finds lots of toys for cops:
• Frisco wants $125,000 for an armored vehicle and $200,000 for a mobile command vehicle. You know, for all that gang tank warfare going on up in Frisco.
• McKinney wants $5 million for SWAT toys and stuff.
• North Richland Hills wants $51,000 for volunteer patrol volunteers. Let's throw in $10 for a dictionary so they can look up the word "volunteer."
• Irving wants $5 million for biometric scanners, digital cameras, RFID scanners — nothing Big Brother there.
• Grand Prairie wants $1.25 million for nicer landscaping around the public safety building.
• And finally, Arlington is really gearing up for urban warfare. Arlington wants $1.6 million for SWAT toys like military grade carbines, $625,000 for unmanned aerial surveillance drones, and $130,000 for "covert ops"…more equipment for those deadly but camera-friendly no-knock raids…
• Sparks, Nevada wants $600,000 to purchase a "live fire" house its SWAT team can shoot up, and another $420,000 for a SWAT armored vehicle.
• Pleasanton, California wants $250,000 to buy a vehicle for its SWAT team.
• Gary, Indiana wants $750,000 for a host of "modernization" upgrades to its police department, including "sub-automatic machine guns" and an "armored vehicl" [sic].
• Hampton, Virginia wants a whopping $3.5 million for "Air Tactical Unit Support and Equipment," which I'm pretty sure means they want a sweet helicopter for the SWAT team.
• Ottawa, Illinois (population: 18,307) wants $60,000 to purchase, among other things, five "tactical entry rifles."
• Glendale Heights, Illinois wants $96,000 to purchase red light cameras, and another $67,000 to hire someone to monitor them.
• Toward a more Orwellian America! The following cities requested stimulus funds to supplement, initiate, or upgrade public surveillance camera systems: Brockton, Massachusetts; Buffalo, New York; Burnsville, Minnesota; Caguas, Puerto Rico; Cerritos, California; Columbia, South Carolina; Compton, California; Homestead, Florida; Hormigueros, Puerto Rico; Indianapolis, Indiana; Inglewood, California; Lewiston, Maine; Lorain, Ohio; Lynn, Massachusetts; Marion, Ohio; Merced, California; New Rochelle, New York; North Richland Hills, Texas; Oakland, California; Orange, New Jersey; Orem, Utah; Orlando, Florida; Pembroke Pines, Florida; Ponce, Puerto Rico; Riverdale, Illinois; Shreveport, Louisiana; Silver City, New Mexico; Sumter, South Carolina; Tallahassee, Florida; Warren, Ohio; and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina requested just under $85 million in security-related stimulation. But top prize goes to Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is asking the rest of the country to stimulte its economy with a whopping $135 million in public safety-related requests.
All in all, America's mayors asking for a little over $5.5 billion in public safety "stimulus."