New York City has spent $1 billion on antiterrorism efforts since the Sept. 11 attacks. But the city says it has yet to receive a dollar of antiterrorism money from the federal government. Washington has provided millions to help clean up the damage. But an estimated $44 million in antiterrorism money now in the pipeline has apparently not reached New York, the city that bore the brunt of the most disastrous terrorism strike in American history.
So begins an editorial in the NYTimes today. The remainder of the argument is basically an indictment of the cynical political calculations which continue to determine the disbursal of antiterrorism funds.
It is a flawed formula, which seems to focus less on places directly threatened by terrorism than on areas that are of importance in next year's election. City officials figure that compared with New York City's $44 million, North Carolina will get $51 million, Ohio $64 million and Florida over $86 million. On a per capita basis, the latest allocation gives New York State residents about $3 per person, while Iowa gets $6 and Wyoming $22. Certainly these states need resources to combat terrorism, but it is hard to argue that they stand as high as New York, Washington or Los Angeles on Al Qaeda's potential hit list.
See an earlier post for more on the heavy defense responsibilities of the federal government as spelled out in the Constitution.

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Published on May 10, 2003 4:28 PM.

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