Budget For Terrorism Essay, Research Paper
Budgeting Against Terrorism
This year’s budget will be required to address the new and dangerous reality of terrorism on the US home front. Over the next 5 years $50 billion dollars has been allotted to plans that are specifically geared to dealing with terrorism. In my belief in is important to separate the budget into two different categories of counter-terrorism. The first category allocates money in response to the attacks of September 11th. This money will contribute to programs that offer monetary assistance to both those directly affected by the attacks and those suffering from the negative economic impact of the attack. Approximately $30 billion dollars will be allocated to these programs for the first 2 years of the budget. In the following three years the monetary aid will be decreased to $20 billion dollars and that money will be funneled into maintaining security concerns both at home and abroad. The second category of programs seeks to combat terrorism on the home front. The programs included here will focus on preparing the US for and against more attacks. For the first two years the remaining $15 billion dollars will be given to these programs. After two years that $15 billion will be increased to $25 billion dollars because of the assumption that as the war on terrorism continues new avenues of terrorism will develop and new security measures will have to be developed.
In the first 2 years $25 billion dollars of aid will be distributed into economic aid programs. $10 billion dollars will go as aid to US commercial airlines and the other $15 billion will go to increasing the benefits of the unemployed. It is important to help the airlines recover because of the money the represent in business and tourism. Also there is the issue of the lose of jobs in aviation since the attacks. In the 2-month period since September 11th 200,000 jobs have been lost in aviation. With the unemployment rate at it’s highest in the past 20 years the government cannot afford an even larger decrease in jobs. After 2 years this $10 billion will be decreased to $7 billion. This is an optimistic assumption that within this time period the airlines will be able to stabilize from the emergency and also be able to adapt to the new demands on their business. However, it is important to continue the aid for the final 3 years because it is unlikely that all the new changes that need to be made can be accomplished in 2 years and also because you have to allow time for the consumer trends to swing back to a place of normalcy in which more people are utilizing the services of the airline industry.
The $15 billion increase in unemployment benefits will include both a lengthening of weeks unemployment is received. The time period will be increased for two reasons. Firstly, the job market is currently suffering because of a lack in consumption by the US public, which is a trend that is hard to predict. Secondly, increasing the time period helps worker efficiency. If workers take more time to search they may find jobs that are more appropriate for their skills, which enhances efficiency. There will be no formal time decrease on the amount of aid given to the unemployment program. Rather the aid will be adjusted over the five-year span in accordance to the unemployment trends being experienced. The hope is that after the first 2 years of the US dealing with this new threat and recovering from the attacks that an increase in consumer confidence will help the job market. If this is the case then the allotment to unemployment will be decreased by $5 billion.
The last part of the aid category focuses on specifically aiding New York City. For 2 years this aid will be $6 billion dollars and then after will be decreased to $3 billion. This money is in addition to the emergency aid already provided to the city, which approximates $20 billion dollars. Instead of going simply to debris clean up and over time this money will try and help rebuild the New York economy. After the first 2 years the program will begin to focus more on increasing security through more personnel and training geared towards counter-terrorism. It will also help with the economy by trying to entice businesses back to the area with building and city tax incentives. The severity of the damage that the city of New York has endured will take many years to repair. The costs of life that will result in millions of dollars of benefits that need to be paid to the effect of the stock market floundering has put the city in definite economic trouble and that is why the instead of stopping the aid once clean-up measures are completed it will be decreased and continued.
The second category of the budget against terrorism focuses on counter-terrorism measures. In the beginning of the budget $15 billion dollars will be allocated to these programs, which will be increased by $10 billion in the last 3 years of the budget to allow for heightened security measures. This money is allocated in response to the expected costs of more terrorists attacks and thus can be considered a public good since everyone will benefit from a reduced likelihood of attack. New York State Governor Pataki calculated that to recover from the attack the state would need $54 billion dollars in aid. If you take that $54 billion and multiple it times a modest 20% chance of another terrorist attack the outcome is $10 billion dollars. An expected costs of $10 billion dollars per attack is rather high when it is considered that total of $15 billion dollars a year can help prevent further economic loses not to mention the lose of life from these attacks. The money allocated towards counter-terrorism will focus on three areas: bio-terrorism, increasing airport security, and increasing security in major cities. $10 billion dollars will be allocated to help prevent bio-terrorism. This money will go to the budget of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The money will to hiring trained epidemiologists and public health advisors in all 50 states. This money will also improve the state and local laboratory facilities to test suspected biological and chemical agents and to enhance communication networks. Included in this fund will be insurances that medicines such as Citpro and the small pox vaccine are being produced in case there becomes a widespread need for them.
Next is the issue of airport security. The budget will allocate $7.5 billion dollars to help advance airport security in the next 5 years. $1 billion dollars of this will go to employ 25,000 federal airport security workers. These workers will be paid approximately $30,000 dollars a year plus benefits. This enhanced security will help reduce the risk of more airborne attacks by making it more difficult for hi-jackers to board plans. The other $6.5 billion in airport security will go to tightening FAA regulations in regards to such things as cockpit security and matching baggage on airplanes with the passengers. The FAA has not previously required baggage to be matched because of an executive order issued by President Ronald Reagan, which stated that federal agencies imposing regulations on businesses must demonstrate that the benefits justify the cost. Before the attack on September 11th the FAA estimated that the cost of a bombing would be approximately $200 million dollars, which did not justify the $6.5 billion needed to establish the matching baggage program. However, the actual costs of the attack dwarfed the FAA’s assumptions seeing as how the property damage alone in New York City has been estimated upwards of $30 billion dollars. The remaining $1.5 billion dollars will go to help major cities across the US prepare for and prevent terrorist attacks. This program includes counter-terrorism training for local police and fire departments, money to help fund heightened security of national landmarks, tunnels, and bridges, and also funding for increased emergency medical services in the case of a large disaster. If all these programs are effect than their benefits outweigh the costs as has been proven by the large sum of economic damage that New York City endured because of terrorism. The increase in this categories budget from $15 billion from the first 2 years to $25 billion in the last 3 years of the budget will address what needs develop due to the ongoing war against terrorism. For instance, the increase could be needed by the CDC in the case that more biological threats develop or it could be needed as an increase in home front personnel such as the National Guard.
The reason that I feel it is important to focus the counter-terrorism budget on domestic aid and domestic security is because it is at home that we are posed the largest threat. The fight against terrorism abroad will be traditionally funded by the defense budget but since the fight against terrorism at home is new it requires the funding of its own budget. It is important that US citizens regain confidence in their safety because once they do so their spending habits will return to normal and that will help boost the economy through consumption and through investments. It is also important that we aid those who have been affected to show the rest of the country that even if our best efforts to prevent more attacks fail that their government will help them recover because these attacks are not just against them but are orchestrated against our country as a whole.