Thursday, July 14, 2011

Drones For South Texas

If there's one thing all politicians can agree on it's security measures.  Public safety seems to be a campaign staple, especially along the border where communities have to deal with drug, and human smuggling, among other things.  But operations have been beefed up recently as authorities are now using National Guard troops, and unmanned aeriel vehicles to patrol the border. 

South Texas can now boast that it will have two UAVs in operation, all thanks to some sort of magical funding that is commonly referred to as 'emergency supplemental appropriations.'  As their name implies, emergency supplementals should be utilized when any unforseen event arises, such as a natural disaster.  If money was needed to respond to a big flood, that funding would be tacked on to the usual yearly budget.  Critics, however, have noted that little oversight is applied to these spending bills. 

In this age of budget deficits, it's astounding how the purse strings haven't been pulled in more forcibly by Congress.  Here's a comment from our very own Blue Dog Democrat, Henry Cuellar.
“As Congress meets these urgent needs, we must also realize that America cannot afford to continue running trillion-dollar deficits forever. After years of irresponsible and wasteful spending, we have been left with an enormous debt and a severe lack of fiscal discipline. We must follow up on today’s emergency appropriations by passing strong, enforceable laws to limit deficit spending and put our nation’s budget back on track.” 

(Emphasis mine)
I have no problem with politicians wanting to add more Border Patrol agents along the border, or more cops to patrol cities, but how can their positions be funded with "emergency" funding when the problems associated with the drug trade have existed for years?  Add to that the extras (I don't want to say luxuries) of Guard troops and expensive aerial monitoring systems. 

I'm all for border protection but I would like for it all to be a part of the yearly budget process.  And I would really love it for our representatives to explain it to me why they're for fiscal responsibility but spend like the Rapture is upon us.


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