When cuts are across the board, that means management has no choice except to reduce expenses by a prescribed amount. Management must still assess the impact and in the case of Homeland Security, report the findings to the President and Congress.
Blurting the details in public may not be prudent, but the impact must be measured and the effect described to the degree that it is significant.
In the cases of Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, I think most Americans agree that we require 100% security. I think most people expect government to hedge on that by providing a percentage greater than 100%.
Talking percentage is vague, but the department heads, answering to the President, must describe how they will produce certain and specific outcomes with high assurance.
Now, the story here by The Hill describes Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano saying that America will be more vulnerable as a result. What does that mean? To what degree and where?
For one thing, we know that TSA security checks will be slower at the airport. So, people may have to arrive earlier.
She says that Coast Guard patrols will be reduced by 25%. That percent is greater than the percent of budget reduction, though this could result because patrol boats are wearing out and can’t be replaced, for instance. There is always the technology and equipment maintenance factor when considering Homeland Security.
There isn’t much to this story except to highlight what Governor Jindal says that is akin to what other governors are saying, and that is the President needs to stop talking and start leading and managing the situation.
It appears to this analyst that the President knows how to organize the feeling, but can’t produce results.
Napolitano’s evidence from this report is insufficient to warrant comment.
“Napolitano: Cuts will make US more vulnerable to terrorist attack
By Justin Sink – 02/25/13 02:13 PM ET
Allowing the $85 billion sequester to go forward will make the United States more vulnerable to a terrorist attack, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned Monday.
Napolitano added that the blunt nature of the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set for March 1 “makes it awfully, awfully tough” to mitigate threats faced by the nation.
“I don’t think we can maintain the same level of security at all places around the country with sequester compared to without sequester,” said Napolitano, whose agency includes the Transportation Security Administration.
The cuts will also hit the Pentagon, the Department of Justice and other national security spending, and the administration has warned the spending reductions will hurt the military’s readiness.”