Mises Wire by Ryan McMaken
With James Comey’s firing, we’re told the FBI is in turmoil, and Washington DC cocktail parties are all atwitter over the excitement of the scandal. But don’t worry about the FBI. If history has proved anything, the Bureau, no matter how much chaos it may endure, can always rely on a fat check from Congress — funded by the American taxpayers.
But why does the US need a huge national police force at all? Can’t state police forces do just as well? The FBI continues to assert never-proven claims that bigger governments are better at law enforcement than smaller onces. This myth is not only untrue, but very expensive for taxpayers.
The FBI’s Gravy Train
The FBI is very well paid. The 2017 budget request for the FBI, for instance, is for $8.7 billion. That’s up from 2014’s budget of $8.4 billion. That may not seem like a lot compared to say, the Defense Department’s typical haul of $500 to $600 billion. But as far as law enforcement agencies in the United States go, the FBI is awash in money.
It’s so much money, in fact, that if the FBI were abolished, and the sum were divided up into 50 even portions for the states, each state would receive $174 million dollars.
That’s not chump change. The entire public safety budget for the Illinois State Police in 2016, for example, was $242 million. Even if every state got an equal share of the FBI’s budget back, the Illinois state Police could increase their public safety budget by 71 percent.
Illinois, though, is the sixth largest state (by population) in the Union. Just imagine what smaller states could do with a similar amount were those monies not used to pay for the FBI’s latest efforts to raid peaceful political gatherings in Texas, or provide private luxury jets for politicians. The total budget of the Colorado State Patrol, for instance — including everything from salaries to public relations — is $144 million[…]
Permission to republish w/attribution granted by the Mises Institute.