Feds massively overstate anti-drug spending

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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.

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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.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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