Conservative Firing Line by TK Whiteman
Ronald Reagan once quipped that nine of the most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Yet if The Great Communicator were alive today he very well may tack on four more words to his anxiety inducing salutation, “… and I’m heavily armed.” As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, there are actually more armed federal bureaucrats than US Marines. Citing a report issued by a taxpayer watchdog group, of the nation’s 182,100 Teufelshunde, they are actually outnumbered by 200,000 paper-pushers with guns.
According to a report entitled the Militarization of America commissioned by the citizens advocacy group “Open the Books,” just one of the few but disconcerting totals coming to light are raising eyebrows. Federal agencies have, for example, spent $8.2 million on buckshot; $1.6 million on unmanned aircraft; and a curious $4 million on grenades and grenade launchers[…]
- Sixty-seven non-military federal agencies spent $1.48 billion on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment.
- Of that total amount, ‘Traditional Law Enforcement’ Agencies spent 77 percent ($1.14 billion) while ‘Administrative’ or ‘General’ Agencies spent 23 percent ($335.1 million).
- Non-military federal spending on guns and ammunition jumped 104 percent from $55 million (FY2006) to $112 million (FY2011).
- Nearly 6 percent ($42 million) of all federal guns and ammunition purchase transactions were wrongly coded. Some purchases were actually for ping-pong balls, gym equipment, bread, copiers, cotton balls, or cable television including a line item from the Coast Guard entered as “Cable Dude”.
- Administrative agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Smithsonian Institution, Social Security Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Mint, Department of Education, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and many other agencies purchased guns, ammo, and military-style equipment.
- Since 2004, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) purchased 1.7 billion bullets including 453 million hollow-point bullets. As of 1/1/2014, DHS estimated its bullet inventory-reserve at 22-months, or 160 million rounds.
- Between 1998 and 2008 (the most recent comprehensive data available) the number of law enforcement officers employed by federal agencies increased nearly 50 percent from 83,000 (1998) to 120,000 (2008). However, Department of Justice officer count increased from 40,000 (2008) to 69,000 (2013) and Department of Homeland Security officer count increased from 55,000 (2008) to 70,000 (2013).
- The Internal Revenue Service, with its 2,316 special agents, spent nearly $11 million on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spent $3.1 million on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment. The EPA has spent $715 million on its ‘Criminal Enforcement Division’ from FY2005 to present even as the agency has come under fire for failing to perform its basic functions.
- Federal agencies spent $313,958 on paintball equipment, along with $14.7 million on Tasers, $1.6 million on unmanned aircraft, $8.2 million on buckshot, $7.44 million on projectiles, and $4 million on grenades/launchers.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) spent $11.66 million including more than $200,000 on ‘night vision equipment,’ $2.3 million on ‘armor – personal,’ more than $2 million on guns, and $3.6 million on ammunition. Veterans Affairs has 3,700 law enforcement officers guarding and securing VA medical centers.
- 12. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service spent $4.77 million purchasing shotguns, .308 caliber rifles, night vision goggles, propane cannons, liquid explosives, pyro supplies, buckshot, LP gas cannons, drones, remote controlled helicopters, thermal cameras, military waterproof thermal infrared scopes, and more.
Permission to republish with attribution granted by OpenTheBooks.com, a project of American Transparency.