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April 20, 2007

Spending to keep us safe

The world has changed significantly since 9/11, and one of the ways it has changed is increased public and private expenditures on security. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden reviews how much this spending has risen.

"And, of course, this is a relatively new thing. We always had spending -- both private and governmental -- for security but of course the number has been ratcheted upward since 9/11," says Dr. Walden, a professor of agricultural and resource economics.

"And let's look at the changes since 2001," he says. "The federal budget for so-called homeland security has actually doubled, from $20 billion a year to $54 billion a year. Now if we look at the private sector, private sector spending on security for labor services -– that is, hiring people -– actually has not gone up dramatically, from about $27 billion back in 2001 to about $29 billion today.

"Where we have seen the big increases in the private sector has been in private security spending on equipment. Here, we have seen the annual amount go from $9 billion a year to today’s $17 billion a year.

"So if we total all these expenditures, both governmental and private, we were spending about $56 billion for homeland security in 2000, and today we are spending about $100 billion," he concludes. "So virtually a doubling."

Posted by deeshore at April 20, 2007 08:25 AM