If by ‘cut,’ they mean ‘increase,’ it’s true

IF BY ‘CUT,’ THEY MEAN ‘INCREASE,’ IT’S TRUE…. Some New York lawmakers are complaining that the White House is making the wrong call when it comes to homeland security funding. Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), for example, said, “The fact that the Obama Administration would cut New York’s homeland security funding just 11 days after the Times Square car bomb attempt is dangerous and unconscionable.”

At first blush, the criticism sounds reasonable. Administration officials really did alert local authorities yesterday to the fact that NYC’s anti-terror budget will be cut by about a fourth. New York lawmakers from both parties, to put it mildly, aren’t happy about it.

But Marc Ambinder notes that, in this case, the cut isn’t quite what it appears to be, and funding isn’t actually decreasing at all.

When all federal funding is totaled, according to White House spokesperson Nick Shapiro, the city is getting $47 million more for port and transit security over the previous year’s budget, the last signed into law by the Bush Administration.

Remember: $100 million in port and transit security grants were earmarked for NYC from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — the stimulus package.

With that money, the total for NYC will be $245 million.

White House spokesman Nick Shapiro noted in a statement, “In fact, one out of every three recovery dollars for transit and port security went to NYC, making them the largest recipient in the country.”

Overall, NYC port and transit security funding has received a 24% increase over Bush/Cheney levels. There’s not much for Pete King to complain about here.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.