RealNews

Spotlight on costs of homeland security

Eighteen months after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington triggered government measures to prevent further attacks, the administration of President George W. Bush is starting to grapple with the costs of homeland security regulations. Since September 11 2001, the federal government has introduced more than 60 regulations aimed at tightening homeland security, affecting everything from airlines to banks to farmers. But in trying to protect the country against terrorist threats, an administration that came to office promising to subject every regulation to a rigorous test of costs and benefits threw the calculator out the window. “When you end up having a crash effort like that, you can expect you’re not going to have the same degree of care and meticulousness you have in another situation,” acknowledges John Graham, the man responsible for assuring the government implements what he calls “smart regulations”. As head of the office of information and regulatory affairs at the White House Office of Management and Budget, Mr Graham wields enormous power to block new regulations if they flunk the cost-benefit test. Full Story

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