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June 2, 2006
More Data On DHS Grants

Using the material at the Department of Homeland Security website, I have created a spreadsheet listing the grant allocations on state and urban area levels for both fiscal year 2006 and FY 2005. The data on these years tell an interesting story. While New York and Washington DC have howled the loudest about the reduction in grants to their cities, eight urban areas saw bigger cuts by percentage. And although the two cities' percentage lost from FY 2005 allocations to both cities is substantial (40.4% each), their combined share of the Urban Area Security Initiative grants still accounts for a quarter of all UASI grants this year.

The following cities have seen higher percentages of the FY05 UASI grants disappear in FY06:

Phoenix - 60.79%
Denver - 49.76%
New Orleans - 49.60%
Pittsburgh - 49.46%
Buffalo - 48.53%
San Diego - 45.96%
Dallas/Ft Worth/Arlington - 43.22%
Columbus - 42.96

Fifteen out of forty-four urban centers got the same or increased grants, and only three urban areas got new funding in FY06: Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, and Memphis. At least in the case of Orlando, one can understand the rationale, as Disney World hosts tourists from around the world and would provide a spectacular target for terrorists. The other are also major population and travel centers. Memphis serves as a hub for Northwest Airlines, and Ft. Lauderdale is a "focus city" for US Airways. Of the fifteen which saw their funding increase over FY05, the greatest percentage increases went to:

Jersey City/Newark - 79.06%
Louisville - 70.4%
Charlotte - 63.71%
Omaha - 61.8%
Atlanta - 42.25%

These numbers are somewhat misleading, however. The only substantial actual dollar increase in the top five went to Jersey City ($15M). That increase still surpasses the amount of extra grant money for the other four combined. The next substantial increase went to the LA/Long Beach area ($11.3M, 16.43%) and Chicago ($7M, 16.13%). The amount given in increases to the eighteen urban areas, $85M, just barely surpasses what New York lost ($83.1M). No city got particularly rich in FY06, and twenty-eight saw their funding cut.

When reviewing the total DHS grant allocations by state -- not just the UASI program -- the plight of New York looks very different indeed. The overall program got cut by 33.61%, and New York saw its total state allocation cut just a bit higher than that at 38.44%. However, New York came in at 31st place in terms of percentage loss from FY05. DC finished 24th. In fact, every state and territory lost funding in the overall DHS allocations between FY05 and FY06, except for American Samoa, which got an increase of $415,717. The top ten states/territories for funding decreases are:

Puerto Rico - 69.31%
Minnesota - 62.06%
Mississippi - 61.38%
Arkansas - 61.31%
Utah - 59.57%
Tennessee - 57.79%
Virginia - 55.77%
New Mexico - 55.29%
Maine - 53.13%
New Hampshire - 52.99%

When viewed in this manner, it seems clear that a number of states have borne a far greater loss of their share of DHS funds than New York, and that the percentage loss for the Empire State roughly equals that of the overall program decrease. Also, for those who think that the loss of funds for New York was political, take a look at that top ten one more time. Notice anything? Six of the nine states went for George Bush in 2004, and at least three of these states have important Senate races in the fall. I would also note that the one territory that saw its share of funding cut the most is the only one with an active terrorist organization.

We can argue about the methodology of prioritization and the amount of overall funding for DHS grant programs, but what seems obvious from these numbers is that DHS did not act capriciously or with malicious intent. The state of New York received an overall percentage of DHS funds commensurate with its slice from FY05, decreasing slightly from 11.8% to 10.9% of overall grant allocations. Any accusations to the contrary are nothing more than misinformed hyperbole.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 2, 2006 5:01 PM

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