We received tons of positive feedback on our latest Fiscal Friday (thank you!) but also received some criticism we believe stems from confusion. Just to reiterate, we support our troops and gun ownership. What we do not support is U.S. tax dollars militarizing domestic agencies like the EPA, VA and IRS which have a proven history of corruption. We believe there are ulterior motives behind the militarization of these agencies and the federal government is not being honest about their purchases. We also believe Americans should know how and what their money is being spent on. If you have thoughts on these purhcases, please feel free to share your feedback in the comments below. We love to hear from you! — Bess Byers
Hi everyone, welcome back to Fiscal Friday. This is Bess Byers, with A Generation Empowered. In wake of last week’s tragic shootings, social media has been a blaze. #BlackLivesMatter. #BlueLivesMatter. #AllLivesMatter. What no one is mentioning is #MilitarizationMatters. That’s right, between 2006 and 2014 the federal government spent $1.48 billion to militarize domestic agencies with guns, ammunition and supplies.
Our friends at Open the Books released an in-depth report on the militarization of America. In addition to the sheer cost, it includes several other frightening findings:
1. Non-military federal spending on guns and ammo jumped 104 percent, from $55 million in ’06 to $112 million in 2011.
2. Since 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has purchased 1.7 billion rounds of ammunition. As of January 1 2014, DHS estimated its bullet reserve at 22 months, or an estimated 160 million rounds.
3. Between 1998 and 2008, the number of law enforcement officers employed by federal agencies almost doubled, from 83,000 to 120,000. From 2008 to 2013, the number of DHS officers increased from 55,000 to 70,000.
In eight years, DHS has spent over $584 million on guns, ammo and equipment. The agency employs over 240,000 people in various agencies like FEMA, TSA, the Secret Service and Immigration Enforcement. Included in these purchases is 453 million rounds of hollow point ammunition, which are banned in international warfare per the Hague Convention. That’s more than one hollow point for every American!
The top five federal agencies to purchase guns, ammo and military-style equipment are: The State Department, at $217M, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at $210M, U.S. Customs and Border Protection at $162M, the federal prison system at $157M and the Assistant Secretary of Health at $121M.
Other agencies to purchase such equipment include: the TSA at $29M, Office of Policy, Budget and Administration at $25M, DOE at $15M, National Park Service at $11M, IRS at $10M, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at $4.7M, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at $3.4M, EPA at $3.1M, the Bureau of Public Debt at $2.7M and the Social Security Administration at roughly half a million.
One agency most concerning to us is the IRS, who spent $10.71 million between ’06 and 2014. This includes $6.5M on guns and ammo, and $4.2M on equipment including Glock pistols, 40 caliber ammunition, HK416 rifles and HK mags. The IRS currently employs over 2,300 Special Agents and while that number has decreased over 1,000 personnel in the two last decades, the IRS’ investment in military-style equipment has more than doubled. Then again, the IRS only exists through force and fear, because if you don’t pay taxes you go to jail.
Other red flags in federal spending?
The Environmental Protection Agency has spent $715 million on its “Criminal Enforcement Division” from ’05 to present and has spent $3.1 million on guns, ammo and military-style equipment.
The VA has spent $11.7M, which includes over $200k on ‘night vision equipment’, $2.3 million on personal armor, $2 million on guns and $3.6 million on ammo. It’s too bad that money didn’t go to, say, healthcare for veterans.
Lastly, the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Health Services spent $121 million to purchase weapons. Why would two health agencies spend a hundred mil on military equipment? Turns out this was a “coding mistake” AKA cooking the books, to hide DOD-related expenses.
Speaking of military… Newt Gingrich recently said, (2:46) “the police are domestically what the military is overseas” and in ’08 Obama said “we’ve got to have a civilian security force that’s just as powerful.” Except military personnel are trained to kill the enemy. Police are hired to protect and serve citizens. Once we militarize police, citizens have become the enemy.
In our last video, commenters dismissed gun ownership because the government has drones and bombs. Well, you’re right, and they’ve started to use them. The Andros F5 robot, which carried explosives to the Dallas gunman, is owned by Northrop Gruman, a defense contractor and the fourth largest recipient of federal funds for the last five years.
This video isn’t meant to bash police. It’s meant to raise questions and challenge the status quo. Do not let the establishment divide us based on race, religion, sexual orientation or gender per Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.” Wake up! We have a bigger problem. It’s a federal government stockpiling military-style weapons at the taxpayer expense while touting a gun control agenda.
Before we go, I’d like to thank everyone. With over one million views, twenty-seven thousand shares and six thousand likes, our last video is our most popular one yet. I’m just one girl who loves her country, but I know we deserve something more. Americans have become apathetic. They feel today’s problems are too big to tackle. Making content, whether it’s one view or one million, is my way of making a difference. I truly believe knowledge is power.
This is Bess Byers, signing off, and remember it’s your generation and you’re empowered!