Indeed, reported Schwartz, drug prices declined during this period, meaning availabilty of drugs increased in response to the DPS surge, or at least in spite of it. This exchange from a recent Texas Senate Finance Committee meeting captured the seldom-spoken reality:
“Can you sit there and say there’s been a reduction of street drugs in any of our major metropolitan areas?” [state Sen. John] Whitmire continued.Instead, “'We’re not seeing any slowdown in supply,' said Greg Thrash, resident agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Austin.' From the wholesale level, (illegal drug prices) are dropping like the price of gas (was).'”
“I can’t say there has been,” [DPS chief Steve] McCraw responded. “The challenge we have now with numbers on street cost, there’s no question that it’s a good indicator of whether we are succeeding or not.”
Illegal drugs operate in an unfettered black market and their pricing reflects raw supply and demand. If prices are "dropping," more drug supply is entering the market, meaning DPS' "surge" not only didn't reduce drug trafficking, they presided over its statewide expansion with this misbegotten "Ready, Fire, Aim!" strategy.
See related Grits posts:
- DPS surge will take four years to staff; apprehension rate abysmal on border crossings
- Lies, damn lies and drug war statistics: DPS edition
- DPS border 'surge' compromised crime fighting in rest of state
- If Lege can pay $735 million for border boondoggle, why can't they scrounge $220 million from the couch cushions to abolish the Driver Responsibility surcharge?
- McCraw: Terrorist threat at Texas border a myth
- Do border surges work? For incumbent pols but not really for the rest of us
- Fiscal impact of border security: Spend less on roads
- Border boondoggle: Lack of goal, success metrics don't prevent squandering tax dollars
- Ramped up enforcement along Texas border failed to raise drug prices
- DPS won't use roadblocks without legislative approval
- DPS outsourced key border security tasks to shadowy private contractor
- Is Texas border crime 'overwhelming' or at historic lows?
- DPS, border violence, and the boy who cried 'wolf'