National Ledger, AZ
If you want to understand how difficult it is to cut the federal deficit -- it will surpass $400 billion in the 2007 budget -- take a look at the Byrne grants. Named after New York City police officer Edward Byrne, who was killed by drug dealers, the grants have provided annually about $500 million to local law-enforcement efforts since the program was signed into law by the first President Bush. Critics on the left and the right consider the program to be ill-conceived and ineffective, and they've urged Washington to eliminate the grants. But Congress keeps pouring millions into the program.
David Mulhausen, a policy analyst with the conservative Heritage Foundation, considers the Byrne grants to be mostly "pork projects." He sees "a big accountability problem."
Mulhausen is not alone. The White House Office of Management and Budget studied the Byrne grants and gave the program a 13 percent rating for results and accountability. That's an F-.