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  • Senator John Kerry on Useless Federal Fire Act Grants

    In a recent press release touting a federal fire grant, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) noted that because “firefighters put their lives on the line every day,” we face a “moral issue” that required us to use federal funds to buy the Somerville Fire Department equipment.

    The reality is that despite billions in grants across the United States, the Fire Act program has not reduced the number of firefighter deaths or fires. As David Muhlhausen pointed out in his seminal data analysis paper on the Fire Act program, “fire grants, including grants that subsidize the salaries of firefighters, had no impact on fire casualties [and] failed to reduce firefighter deaths, firefighter injuries, civilian deaths, or civilian injuries.” More damning, Muhlhausen found that fire departments that did not received federal grants “were just as successful at preventing fire casualties as grant-funded fire departments.”

    As with most pork barrel spending, politicians should keep the “moral issue” card out of it and just admit they are doling out favors to those individuals or groups from whom they receive financial and campaign support. Don’t forget, when Senator Kerry ran for president in 2004, his constant companion on the campaign trail was none other than union head Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters. In the photo above from the 2004 Presidential campaign, that is Schaitberger on Kerry’s right.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Senator John Kerry on Useless Federal Fire Act Grants

    1. Marc says:

      Don't you think our brave fire fighters deserve the best equipment and compensation for the risky jobs they do? I have no problem spending tax payer money to assist and compensate fire fighters. They have a hard job and if a little money will help provide better trucks, equipment, and wages-I am all for it. Now, if you want to talk about pork barrel spending how about the bridge to nowhere in Alaska.

      Actually, I don't even understand why you would single Senator Kerry out on this one-he seems to be doing a good thing-not a bad one. And, morally, I would like to see our police officers and soldiers provided with the best equipment and comparible wages also,for the risky jobs they do too.

    2. Da Dog says:

      Please refrain from adding pictures of Kerry. I actually get physically ill and want to regurgitate when I see him (and a number of others).

    3. Bobbie Jay says:

      the problem is this government behind it. this is just a publicity stunt to make you feel good. they'll corrupt it before it goes to it's use. the t-shirt the man is holding should exempt the word "fighters."

    4. Karen says:

      It is inconceivable that more and better equipment for firefighters did not help them do their job. Your suggestion that Senator Kerry's support was due to their support of him in 2004. The fact is that he supported the police and firemen throughout his career.

      In 2004, there was an article of how he was there for families of firemen who died in a big warehouse fire in Worcester. Seeing that tragedy, he fought for a grant for a local college to develop a tool for locating firefighters trapped in buildings. He has also been a strong supporter of the police – back to his days as a prosecutor.

      Why does something tell me that if this were say a year from now and it was Senator Brown getting support for police and firemen, you would be praising him for his values and good priorities?

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