Republicans are hypocrites. They happily 'de-funded' the police we actually need
Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
After two weeks of police violence and protests, Republican politicians pretended to have a fainting spell over the phrase "Defund the Police".
"There will be no defunding," said a cross-mother-of-pearl Donald Trump, when Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and house minority leader Kevin McCarthy similarly feigned outrage at protesters who urged officials to inflate the nation's bloated police budget valued at $ 115 billion.
Republican leaders would make us believe that they love law enforcement and police officers, but that is refuted by an unmentioned fact: these are the same greedy minds who have been eager to disappoint the police force that protects us from the world's most dangerous and powerful criminals to protect.
In particular, they pushed for Defund:
• The US Chemical Safety Board, which monitors serious accidents at work.
• The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which monitors corporate compliance with civil rights laws.
• The Consumer Products Safety Commission, which monitors the industry to ensure that its products do not harm or kill people. The agency now admits that its funding level is insufficient to keep pace with the evolving consumer goods market.
• The Internal Revenue Service, which oversees the tax system and is responsible for ensuring that wealthy and large corporations pay the taxes they owe. Thanks to this successful effort to disappoint the police, the agency, according to ProPublica, "carried out 675,000 fewer audits in 2017 than in 2010, which corresponds to a 42 percent drop in the audit rate". A recent Treasury report found that 800,000 high-income households paid no more than $ 45 billion in taxes owed.
• The Ministry of Labor, which monitors employers and ensures that they do not steal wages, violate health and safety regulations, ignore overtime laws and / or violate workers' union rights. Amidst this particular Republican effort to disappoint the police, there are now fewer police officers investigating employers than ever before, and workplace inspections have decreased as injuries, deaths and workplace disasters have increased.
• The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which oversees the accounting industry.
• The Securities and Exchange Commission reserve fund, which was set up after the financial crisis to strengthen the agency's work force on Wall Street. The agency reports that the number of law enforcement officers who "support our investigative and trial efforts has fallen nearly 9 percent lower today" than when Trump started in office - and law enforcement has now reached a historic low.
• Law enforcement agencies overseeing corporate mergers. These efforts to defuse the anti-trust police have come with the acceleration of mergers (and some efforts have recently been made to reverse the defusion).
• The independent law enforcement agency that oversees the monopolies of the agricultural industry.
• The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which monitors the financial industry and works to protect consumers from fraud.
• Law enforcement agencies, federal agencies monitor and eradicate waste, fraud and abuse.
• The federal program that oversees local law enforcement agencies.
• The Environmental Protection Agency, which is responsible for monitoring polluters. Trump's first budget proposed, according to the New York Times, to cut EPA civil and criminal enforcement spending by nearly 60 percent and fire 200 environmental officers. By the middle of Trump's first year in office, the EPA had "less than half of the criminal special agents on duty" during the George W. Bush administration, according to an environmental group. Bloomberg News noted that Trump's recent budget cuts "could hamper the EPA's efforts to link contaminated landfill contamination to companies and other people who may be responsible for the pollution." The result: Environmental tracking has now reached an all-time low.
Trump has described himself as the "President of Law and Order," but this effort to disappoint the police has resulted in lawlessness and disorder. However, this was not mentioned by politicians and experts who claimed to be scandalized by demonstrators' demands to change the priorities of the criminal justice system.
Apparently we will be appalled at proposals to reduce funding for the militarized police force that is violently attacking peaceful demonstrators - but we should obediently accept the refinancing of the police force responsible for protecting the population from the rich and powerful.
David Sirota is an American columnist from Guardian and a Jacobin editor who served as a speechwriter for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. He also publishes the "Too Much Information" newsletter, in which a version of this article was published for the first time
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