Since September 11, Congress has appropriated nearly $180 billion to protect Americans from terrorism. Total spending on homeland security in 2006 will be at least $50 billion—roughly $450 per American household. But far from making us more secure, the money is being allocated like so much pork. States and cities are spending federal homeland security grants on pet projects that have nothing to do with homeland security; state and local officials fight over who will get the biggest share of the money, regardless of whether they have a legitimate claim to it. And when Congress isn’t doling out cash indiscriminately, it’s overreacting to yesterday’s attacks instead of concentrating on cost-effective defenses against the most likely current threats. The result is an edifice that, far from preventing terrorist assaults, actually makes us more vulnerable by diverting resources from worthier projects.