Imagine yourself as the CEO of a large corporation. You had a great idea that would increase production and efficiency but it would be costly. Over the first eight years of your project, you spent $360 million and you only saw a 2% increase in efficiency in one area and a complete failure in other areas. What do you think stock holders, investors or the board of directors would say if you asked them to provide an additional $443 million to continue your program?
Chances are that would be the last action you took as CEO. Businesses cannot afford to operate by spending hundreds of millions of dollars for projects that fail to live up to what they were supposed to do. Such a costly mistake would be enough to force many companies to lay off workers, file for bankruptcy or close their doors. However, Washington politicians, Democrats and Republicans, seem to believe that the federal government doesn’t have to operate fiscally responsible because they can always squeeze taxpayers for more money and borrow money from China and Japan, even though they know they can’t ever afford to pay it back.
That is exactly what is happening with the Department of Homeland Security. Over the past eight years, they have spent $360 million for drones operated by the Border Patrol. The drones were supposed increase capture of illegal border crossings while reducing the overall surveillance costs and increase the efficiency of the Border Patrol.
However, figures show that the drones increased captures of illegals by less than 2%. The drones were also supposed to operate radar sensors along the border in order to locate gaps in surveillance, but the radar sensors have only seen very limited operation.
It also appears that DHS officials tried to hide the actual cost of operating the failed drone program in their annual report. In 2013, they reported that it cost only $2,468 per flight hour to operate the border drones. Then the DHS inspector general reviewed all of the figures and discovered that the DHS figure did not include ‘operating costs, such as the costs of pilots, equipment, and overhead.’ The inspector general calculated that the actual cost of operating the border drones was closer to $12,255 per hour; nearly $10,000 per hour more than the DHS reported.
Now, DHS officials are asking Congress for an additional $443 million to keep the same program operating at the same level of failure as it has been operating for the past eight years. The DHS officials responsible for wasting our tax dollars should be fired immediately and replaced with people that will either make the system work as it was intended or scrap it and find a more efficient and cost effective system to help protect our borders. Unfortunately, none of the DHS people involved are elected by voters. Instead they are either nominated by our Spender-in-Chief or hired by his top disciples. No wonder the US has a debt of over $16 trillion and a very open border.