At the risk of “screwing” with the vice president, I’m going to call him out. He’s playing dirty politics using scare tactics and a curious use of statistics to again bolster the president’s job [killing] bill, while supporting the statist agenda. Consider this post part of my Symptom of the Disease series. Can you guess why?
Vice President Biden is claiming a cause and effect relationship between the number of cops on the street and the violent crimes of murder and rape. OK, I’ll buy that to a certain extent. You need a law enforcement presence to deter crime, but I’m not one to believe violent criminals frequently check to see how many cops are working the beat as compared to last month. These violent acts are crimes of immediate opportunity or they just blow up into a tragedy for the victims.
That said, over time, I would think criminals would note something as simple as not seeing cops driving by as frequently as they did before. But for those who would commit murder, rape or a violent robbery are they really thinking … there are 20 percent less cops on the street, so I’ll commit this violent crime now since there is a smaller chance I’ll get caught? I don’t know. Any psychologists out there?
On to the statistics from Flint, Michigan, one of the vice president’s examples.
In Flint — where Biden’s remarks have been criticized — he noted that the police force numbered 265 in 2008 and there were 35 murders and 91 rapes. In 2010, there were 144 cops and the city recorded 65 murders and 229 rapes.
As far as the FBI Violent Crime Statistics go, Biden is wrong. For the city of Flint, the FBI stats tell us that in 2008, they had 201 cops on the street, 32 murders and 103 rapes. In 2010, they had 132 cops and 53 murders and 92 rapes.
So in other words, if we use Biden’s sound-bite political rhetoric, fewer cops on the street reduced the number of rapes in the city of Flint. So, who provided the vice president the rape figures of 91 and 229 for 2008 and 2010 respectively, when the FBI tells us it’s 103 and 92 respectively?
Here are the Flint, Michigan statistics as published by the FBI with Biden’s claims in brackets. Note that I’m not the first one to point out Biden got the numbers wrong, many picked up on it immediately last week.
2008 to 2010 Delta
|Cops||201 ||186||132 ||- 34%|
|Murder||32 ||36||53 ||+ 66%|
|Rape||103 ||91||92 ||- 11%|
|Aggravated Assault||1,467||1,527||1,597||+ 8.9 %|
Sorry to get off track, but let’s get back to the Symptom of the Disease and what’s really at issue here. Statists who want the federal government to take over almost everything.
The current Senate legislation appropriates $4 billion for a competitive grant program for “hiring, rehiring, or retention of career law enforcement officers.” We’ve done something similar to this before at the federal level, with some states and cities winning the funds to put more cops on the street. That’s right, some won, and some others lost.
Communities who lost in the previous competitive program – that I’m certain was not effected by political influence at all – had to figure out how to pay for the cops on their own if they felt they needed them. An interesting concept, no?
See where I’m going here?
These competitive grant programs are designed to ensure winners get hooked on the federal candy, and when that federal candy runs out, the communities complain they are not getting funding from the federal government so they have to raise local taxes if the people want to “keep cops on the street and teachers in the classroom.” You’ve heard this in your own town or city … right?
Then, federal officials like Biden walk into these struggling towns like a super hero and proclaim we absolutely have to help these people by simply raising taxes on the rich again. They won’t miss it one bit.
Do you see the problem here? I know I’m sounding like a broken record, but I’ve got to do everything I can to spread the Federalism message. Article 1, Section 8 people. The root cause of these issues is a politician’s job at the local level is to beg for money from the county, county officials beg for money from the state, and states beg for money from the feds.
We all get hooked, and their will always be winners and losers. We will always run out of other people’s money.
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