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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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