Most readers of this blog don’t have to be convinced that the “War On Drugs” has created more suffering, ruined more lives, and cost more in both money, shattered dreams, and human degradation than all those fearsome fruits of the Poppy, Cannabis and Coca plants combined. You can even throw in the Nazi chemist’s delight – Amphetamines – and any other laboratory creations you can think of, and you still won’t come close to the destruction of human lives and communities caused by the “War On Drugs”.
Even so, I have rarely seen anything approaching an accounting that includes both what the government spends on the “War On Drugs” and the monetized costs of the widespread human damage this so-called war causes to people, families, and communities. I can’t claim any special accounting expertise, but in this series of posts I would like to first review as many of the obvious but rarely aggregated direct costs as possible, and then in the next post I’ll try to point out some of the costs that have been discounted, manipulated and deliberately hidden in order to serve the interests of those who are in the business of profiting from this so-called war- which of course is about as successful as all the other military wars that our dear leaders have waged over the past 50 years or so.
Introduction: The Insatiable Federal Appetite For Drug Money
Even if you don’t have to be convinced that the “War On Drugs” is a total loser, you might still be surprised at the massive herd of Federal pigs that are slurping that the money trough, and the total cost of feeding all that pork.
Let’s begin with the Drug Enforcement Agency. Although this agency is entirely make-work for otherwise unemployable thugs and goons, nevertheless they have managed to stay at the public feed trough for decades.
A quick glance at the “White Budgets” of the DEA reveals that over the course of its existence, 1972-2015, the DEA has cost just over $50,000,000,000 (Billion) in tax money extorted from the American people. I call the figures below the DEA “White Budget” because they reveal only the above-the-table allocations by Congress for this gang of Storm Troopers – not the hidden “Black Budget” which cannot be known, but which is probably at least the equivalent amount. That would suggest a 43 year total cost – just for the DEA – of $100,000,000,000. That’s a lot of living-wage teacher’s salaries, women & child health clinics, orphan diseases research, merit-based college scholarships, and other useless shit that we are continually reminded have to be sacrificed to pay DEA agents and bureaucrats to keep our kids safe from drugs.
So Much For The DEA – What’s The Total Federal WOD Budget?
The Federal government does a fantastic job of hiding and obscuring the amount of money it spends each year on the “Drug Problem” which, of course, it created decades ago in order to create a vast network of highly-paid public “servants” fighting day and night to preserve the American way of life and keep our kids safe. Here is a graphic showing the aggregated annual cost of what Federal agencies admit they are spending. (This graphic says nothing about what State City, County and Local agencies are spending on the WOD, nor does it include the “Black Budgets” of these agencies.) It does show that the total Federal spending on the bogus, useless, destructive “War On Drugs” is costing at least $25 Billion dollars a year (White Budget only.).
What Pigs Besides DEA Are Feeding On The “Drug Problem?
Finally, here is a list of pigs at the WOD trough and the money they are slurping down that (foolish me) could have been spent on real education, real tax reduction for working people, real disease prevention, treatment and cures, bridges that won’t fall down and roads that won’t kill you.
Some of the agencies on this list may surprise you – they did me, until I realized that when there is a load of money the size of the pile generated by the “War On Drugs” everybody wants to dive in and gulp down as much as they can. And they do.
OK – I’ll stop here for Part One.
Coming next in Part Two – costs that have nothing to do with the budgets of bloated, useless US Federal programs and agencies. For example, I’m going to try to calculate the lifetime costs to society of having 5-7 million children a year ripped from their parents because those parents are in prison for “drug crimes”. And as you’ll see, there’s more to this accounting – much more.