Capitol riot reveals wasted federal spending

Capitol riot reveals wasted federal spending

The pro-Trump riot last Wednesday at the Capitol reflected poorly on the leadership of the Capitol Police, which failed to prevent it. It also revealed how much federal security spending has been wasted.

As the Cato Institute’s Chris Edwards notes:

The attack on Capitol Hill yesterday was disgraceful. It was also remarkable. After all the security breaches at both the congressional complex and White House over the years, and the many large protests in the city, you would think that the Capitol Police would have been better prepared.

The Capitol Police certainly has enough funding to be prepared. The force has 2,300 officers and a $516 million budget to defend two square miles. … [O]utlays for the Capitol Police have soared over the past two decades. In actual or nominal dollars, spending increased from $115 million in fiscal 2000 to an estimated $516 million in fiscal 2021.

As the Bull Elephant notes, America spends a ton of money on security, yet the very centers of American government remained vulnerable to attack. (Commissions that studied Pentagon waste have concluded that $75-100 billion could be trimmed from the Defense budget without doing any harm to national security):

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In the aftermath of the riot, a curfew was imposed in Washington, D.C., and parts of northern Virginia.

Hans Bader

Hans Bader

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law. He also once worked in the Education Department. Hans writes for and has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” Contact him at


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