Department of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security Spending in Billions of Constant 2014 Dollars

Congress created the Department of Homeland Security in 2002 by combining 22 agencies, which are responsible for a vast array of activities. The largest agencies are Customs and Border Protection, the Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration, Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Secret Service.

The department spent $43 billion in 2014, or about $350 for every U.S. household. It employs 190,000 people.

Spending Cuts Summary
Downsize This!
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA coordinates federal responses to natural disasters, and it subsidizes state and local disaster relief. It also hands out various preparedness grants and runs the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA should be closed down and its activities moved to state and local governments and the private sector.
  • Transportation Security Administration. TSA’s primary activity is performing passenger and baggage screening at the nation’s commercial airports. This activity should be privatized, as it has been in many other countries. Remaining TSA activities should be terminated or moved to other agencies.

“The police state in this country is growing out of control … We must restore the freedom and respect for liberty that once made America the greatest nation in human history.”

Congressman Ron Paul, statement to the press, January 2012.