Editorial

12/11/2013

New, pricey training facility unnecessary

How will Americans know if Congress and the administration of President Obama are sincere about reducing the nation's soaring debt? By telling the U.S. State Department, in no uncertain terms, that it will not get $1 billion in tax-dollars for its own personal training facility. It can send its people to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center for training like other federal agencies.

That is the preferred option. The only other is to needlessly spend $1 billion in tax-dollars this nation does not have on a facility to provide training exclusively to State Department personnel.

The nation cannot afford to build, staff and maintain training facilities for every government department with law enforcement responsibilities or protection duties. Those elected or appointed to serve the people of this nation should not have to be reminded of that year after year. Serving the public is not supposed to mean taking the public for everything government can get or wring out of it.

Congress is blindly and wildly swinging a budget ax at just about every program funded by the federal government via U.S. taxpayers. They ask voters to accept this cowardly way of controlling costs without question. It doesn't matter what the program does, who it serves and whether reductions will result in any ill effects. Those elected to office say this step is necessary to get a grip on the trillions of dollars in debt created by free-spending politicians.

Yet here the State Department is talking about building and staffing a $1 billion facility to duplicate services available at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. The nation already has more than one FLETC base. In addition to the main campus in Brunswick, outposts can be found in Artesia, N.M., Charleston, S.C., and Cheltenham, Md.

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-1, cited a study by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry which documented FLETC's ability to handle the department's needs. It will be interesting to see what Secretary Kerry does with the information. It will tell us just how serious the federal government is about tightening its belt.