Feds massively overstate anti-drug spending


Talk about fuzzy math. A study to determine if federal agencies overreport how much they spend on drug treatment found the agencies to be off by $1 billion.

Recent Must Reads

1/26 – On environment, AAA gets an F

1/25 – Dubya’s a Dog

1/24 – Men in tights (that fit)

1/23 – Torch your backyard

According to a report by the RAND corporation, the overreporting was caused by some wacky accounting: The Department of Veterans Affairs figure, for example, was more than 30 percent too high because of that agencies creative definition of drug treatment: Treatment of, say, a broken arm was classified as “drug treatment” if the arm was attached to, say, a heroin addict. The Border Patrol reported that 15 percent of its budget was spent on drug treatment, but that figure appears to simply have been made up: The agency decided 10 percent seemed too low and 20 percent seemed too high.

The RAND study concludes that the bogus figures, estimated to be off by about 20 percent governmentwide, make it nearly impossible for the drug czar’s office to plan, or to mention hold agencies accountable for their performance.

IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT MEDIA BIAS

We believe that journalism needs to stand for something right now. That the press is the enemy of secrecy and corruption. That reporting without a sense of right and wrong only helps liars and propagandists succeed. And that we're in this fight for the long haul.

So we're hoping to raise $30,000 in new monthly donations this fall. Read our argument for journalism that is fair and accurate and stands for something—and join us with a tax-deductible monthly donation (or make a one-time gift) if you agree.