Monday, November 20, 2006

[Davis County Watch: Spending and Waste] D.A.R.E.: On the Chopping Block

During the Republican Convention, Sheriff Bud Cox, pledged his support for the D.A.R.E. program. Meaning he intends to continue to use the Federal money he receives for it. Because, it turns out that this program depends upon the Byrne Grants. The Byrne grants are dollars given to local law enforcement to assist in fighting against drugs, and drug related crimes.

Up to now, funding for local drug education efforts have been given with no strings attached. Since 2004, however, the Whitehouse has made a continuous recommendation that the program either be cut, or that metrics be put in place to provide justification for the grants. The Whitehouse tried to cut them from the 2005 budget, but they were saved by the Legislature, funding them, at the previous years levels.

The Byrne Grants could be in jeopardy, again, unless local law enforcement can provide better metrics of their performance. Orrin Hatch, as recently as March 2004 has pledged his support for these grants but the Whitehouse has continued to identify these grants as 'Not performing'. To date no one has suggested how the success, or failure of these programs should be determined.

Accusations have been leveled at this Administration for overspending Federal dollars. Yet, we can't seem to stop begging for more from the same Government. How do we hold ourselves accountable for money we receive from the Federal Government? The answer is that we don't, unless it is required of us. If the Federal government does require that we report back on D.A.R.E, would Bud Cox think it is worth saving? Could we wean ourselves off of Federal handouts?

P.S. I had this post completely written when I came across this article echoing my sentiments. It gives, much better than I have here, some background on the Byrne grants, and reasons why they should only be given with the requirement of accountability. Now that the balance of power has shifted, so drastically, towards the Democrats, it is incumbent upon them to prove they can live without earmarks.

Posted by Tyler Farrer to Davis County Watch: Spending and Waste at 11/20/2006 02:29:00 PM