Friday, February 25, 2005

Deep-Seated Insecurity: President Bush Plans to Cut Power to Police Neighborhoods

Anybody who lives in urban neighborhoods understands all too well that security and police response are vital to protecting the community.

Nonetheless, President Bush stands ready to slash the strong community policing program, COPS, in order to stay on top of the mounting deficit caused by imprudent tax cuts and by the drain of the wartime Pentagon budget.

The crime wave that recently hit West End neighborhoods, which are not exactly low income areas, shows that urban neighbors can never have enough community policing. It is the same for north-by-northwest neighborhoods. We will be the biggest losers if Congress approves Bush's cut against COPS.

According to the Center for American Progress:
[A]lthough the president often cites state and local law enforcement as America’s first line of defense against terrorism, his fiscal year 2006 Department of Justice budget cuts vital funding for these very agencies. The budget not only increases the burden on communities already suffering from crippled state budgets, but weakens our national security at a critically important time.
The budget slashes aid to state and local law enforcement by 46 percent, from $2.8 billion to $1.5 billion. Entire programs are eliminated or substantially scaled back. The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which provides grants for state and local agencies to hire new officers, is cut from $499 million to $22 million, while the administration proposes to eliminate the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which provides critical assistance to states housing criminal aliens; the Edward Byrne Grants, which provide general assistance to state and local law enforcement agencies; and the Juvenile Accountability Block Grants (JABG), which assist communities in improving juvenile justice programs.
Does the idea of less cops on our streets sound like a good idea, Nashville? Probably sounds great to criminals, thugs, and "gangstas." If you like more lawlessness, you'll love the Bush cuts.


  1. The deficit was caused by increases in spending. The economy was in a recession and if there would not have been tax cuts to make the economy grow, their would have been a much lower ammount of revenue coming into the federal govt. You guys need to quit associating deficits with tax cuts. Deficits are caused by two things, recessions and spending. I realize that it is much easier to say that tax cuts caused the deficits than it is to gain a minor understanding of fiscal economics.

  2. How's this for "a minor understand of fiscal economics": deficits are caused by a greater demand for services without the cooresponding political will to fund those services through taxation. Why do "you guys" always leave the revenue part of the equation out and blame it only on spending? If you have a "major understanding of fiscal economics," it also has a "major" flaw.

    I'm assuming that Americans want the services or they wouldn't exist. Since they want the services, the only question left is do you raise taxes to pay for them or do you borrow the money to pay for them (which in tandem w/tax cuts runs up the deficit)?

    Nonetheless, you did not even deal with the issue at hand: slashing resources for police forces that make our community safer. My guess is that many Americans can live with the deficit or with higher taxes if they know that their families are protected in their neighborhoods.

  3. So you think that you can continue to raise taxes and raise taxes and there will be no effect on GDP growth and no effect and tax revenue. Do you really think anyone will strive to be in the higher brackets when their tax rate is 70% like it was in the Carter years. You remember the Carter years, you know the good old days.

  4. Actually, I would settle for a return to Clinton's eight years of budget surpluses.

    You remember those surpluses? And CDBG and COPS were at their highest funding levels. The block grant and community policing programs were revitalizing and securing downtown cores.

    New York City experienced a renaissance in the 1990s and became one of the top tourist destinations again because federal dollars were pumped in.

    Even Downtown Nashville's revitalization was spurred with the 1994 completion of the BellSouth ("Batman") Building, which was partly funded by MDHA using federal Block Grant funds.

    Amazing what kind of positive affects federal dollars can have, isn't it? But when you are set on demonizing tax revenues in toto and indiscriminately, it's hard to see the half-full side of services.