Your tax dollars—the national security ones that are actually part of the federal government's explicit duties in the Constitution!—at work!
The United States is fighting terrorism — one snow cone at a time.
Montcalm County recently received a $900 Arctic Blast Sno-Cone machine.
The West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC) is a federal- and state-designated agency responsible for managing and administrating the homeland security program in Montcalm County and 12 other counties.
The WMSRDC recently purchased and transferred homeland security equipment to these counties — including 13 snow cone machines at a total cost of $11,700.
But before you go getting all huffy, do note that Arctic Blast gets rave reviews (4.5 stars out a possible 5!) on Amazon. Suck on that, al Qaeda!
Frequent Reason contributor and presence John Mueller is a political scientist at Ohio State and a fellow at Cato who has written smartly on overreaction to fears of terrorism. He focuses on the creation of a self-perpetuating publicly funded industry devoted to doling out money, favors, and jobs that have no connection to the actual risks posed to people. From a 2006 conversation with him:
We shouldn't spend billions of dollars trying to protect tens of thousands of "potential targets." One target identified by the Department of Homeland Security was a water park in Florida called Weeki Wachee Springs, whose response was to suggest they get some federal funding. There are countless other examples: a small town in Washington state, for instance, that has decontamination suits no one knows how to use.
We should save the money and then if something happens, we should use it to fix things, and then go after the people who actually did the crime.
To the point of waste: Try to scope out the bottom line on the pic to the right. It's a K-9 unit SUV for Ohio's Miami Unversity that proudly boasts "Purchased with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security." Because Officer Smuckers (as I assume all police dogs are named) is desperately needed to keep the American heartland safe from the enemies without and within.
Mueller and coauthor Mark G. Stewart recently sat down with Reason to explain "Why We Should Fear Bathtubs More than Terrorists." Take a look: