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March 2010



The incredible entrenchment of the drug war

If any of you thought that it should be easy to change the formula of funding for the drug war, this piece will help demonstrate the sad reality.

Remember when the drug policy budget for 2011 came out? Despite constant messages from the White House and the Drug Czar that the emphasis needs to be on treatment rather than on enforcement, on demand rather than supply, the new budget the unveiled showed increases in every major category of supply-side and enforcement-side drug war with just some shifts within those areas. It’s like they gave in entirely to the lobbying pressures to keep the drug war fully funded even when we’re broke.

And yet, check out the grillinggiven yesterday to the Drug Czar in the House:

At a March 3 hearing of the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) asked, “Were you consulted, Mr. Kerlikowske, or anyone else here, when the administration proposed to cut the Coast Guard positions by 1,100, to mothball five recently upgraded helicopters, reducing the Coast Guard’s anti-drug operations in Florida, where I just happen to live, and the Caribbean – which we just cited was the main source of these people putting this crap in – that would dramatically reduce our nation’s capability? Were you consulted on these cuts?” Mica asked.

“No,” Kerlikowske said. […]

“Actually, both sides of the aisle were just stunned at the administration’s proposal,” Mica said of the proposed cuts. […]

“The Coast Guard is also stretched thin – responsible for carrying out a range of missions, from port security to disaster response, drug smuggling interdiction, and the protection of our maritime resources,” Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said at the Feb. 24 hearing where Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified about the budget.

I hate to be right, but, in my initial post on the budget, I said:

Because there are so many entrenched interests in law enforcement, well organized interests with lobbyists and guns, that nothing can ever be cut. The only question when this bill reaches Congress is how much they try to increase the law enforcement/supply side numbers.


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5 comments to The incredible entrenchment of the drug war

  • claygooding

    The lobbies and power brokers in DC have been spending our tax dollars on their big industry products so long that for any changes to occur in congress,we have to change congress.
    Look how long they kept the Viet Nam war going,even against the very vebal and sometimes violent protestations of the majority of Americans.
    Even today,we look back at that war and ask,Why?
    We,the people,have to replace every congressional member up for election in this next election. If enough of them are replaced,the ones that only have two years until they are trying to be re-elected may start trying to find out what their constituents want instead of following big industries agendas.
    And we need to keep replacing them from now on,to stop the good ol boy clubs.

  • kaptinemo

    But when the bill comes due…and it hasn’t, not yet…the price for all that wasteful DrugWar spending will eventually cost more than the employment of the present gaggle of legislators.

    These legislators are still residing in la-la land, thinking we can STILL foot the bill for anything connected with the DrugWar. One small problem: the country is effin’ BROKE. Flat busted. The Chinese have finally signaled they’ve had enough and have divested themselves of their dollar holdings. Now Japan, which is already reeling with its’ own problems, is holding our debt bag, and it’s getting more radioactive by the minute. If they decide follow the Chinese and cut their losses, then it’s Weimar Republic, here we come.

    Like most people facing a potentially terminal illness, they are in denial as to the extent of the danger. But what’s coming at us down the pike isn’t concerned with Congressional budgetary fantasies….or ideology. It just wants to be paid…and it won’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

  • claygooding

    True,and that is going to be something for the people that live through the experience to remember and talk about,as old people talked about the depression,when I was a child,only I think this one is going to be worse than the one in the 20’s. In those days,everyone pretty much knew how to hunt and grow their own foods,and they were not the slaves to technology that our society has become.
    I moved out of the Dallas area 4 years ago,because my sister and I saw this coming and I sure wouldn’t want to live in any major city during the next 5 years. It may get pretty rough in the small towns in America,but the cities will be killing fields,if our infrastructure collapses and we revert to survival of the fittest.
    Where I live now,it is only 12 feet down to the water table,so hand digging a well is not too much of a problem. And this part of the country is covered up with wild hogs,which I don’t care for the taste of too much,but I’ll get used too it.
    I will miss the electrical conveniences,satellite TV and the internet but will not miss the government and the bullshit our society has inflicted upon itself.

  • Cliff

    “True,and that is going to be something for the people that live through the experience to remember and talk about,as old people talked about the depression,when I was a child,only I think this one is going to be worse than the one in the 20’s. In those days,everyone pretty much knew how to hunt and grow their own foods,and they were not the slaves to technology that our society has become.”

    During that time we were also a creditor nation with a manufacturing base and we fed the world. Now we are Germany after WWI, but we just don’t know it yet. We are indebted to a Communist country which has bought or stolen our manufacturing base and our technology.

    Now most everything here on the store shelves is made in freakin’ China and we owe them our eye teeth. The Communist Chinese have certainly sold us the rope which we are fixing to hang ourselves with. Our nation is standing on the trap door with an economic noose around its neck while our politicians argue about what kind of rope our executioners should be using and fiddle with the lever.

  • aussidawg

    Clay, be careful with that 12 foot deep water table. If you reside outside of Dallas, the first decent water is in the third trinity aquifer. We have some land between Hamilton and Gatesville and the first trinity went bad in the mid 1970’s. The second is polluted with brine from oil field so the third is the good one, and in our area it’s 750 feet deep. But the hogs…yep, plenty to go around. Our land (not much…my grandfather’s old farm) fronts the Leon River, and in the evenings down on the floodplain, there are always at least 50-60 feral hogs rooting around for whatever.

    When the cities go nuts (as if they aren’t already) feel free to stop in and enjoy some catfish:)

    BTW…read an interesting article a few years ago in the Austin American Statesman. They were discussing the pretty poppies that a lot of the elderly folks have growing in front of their homes. They’re opium poppies…