Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Why Crime Should be on the Agenda For Politicians This November

The national murder rate increased nearly 5 percent in 2005 - the biggest jump in 15 years, according to FBI statistics. Violent Crime in general was up 2.5%, the largest increase since 1991.

New York City has seen a 6% increase in its murder rate this year and Philadelphia saw a 9% increase this year and 15% increase last year. As of late August, Indianapolis has had a 39% increase from last year, Orlando, FL has already broken its homicide record set back in 1982. Boston Homicides are at a 10 year high. The Mid-West, where the majority of US manufacturing jobs used to be, is seeing the biggest increases. Let me remind you that Bush keeps saying that outsourcing is good for America.

The causes could range from a variety of sources. Of course conservatives will point to violent movies, music and then plain old personal responsibility and liberals will say guns and poverty. I have to say that when Elvis sang about hound-dogs no one started acting like dogs and when Falco sang about Amadeus people didn't start listening to or acting like Mozart, so that seems pretty unlikely. Violent movies such as On the Water Front have been around since the 50's so that can't be it. So let's look at the Liberals side: the national unemployment rate was at a five-month high in July at 4.8 percent, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Cost of living is up and minimum wages remain the same since 1996. In addition, gas prices are up and there is the constant threat of inflation. The Brady Bill has also expired and the NRA has made it harder to keep databases with gun owners. If people are working 40-50 hours a week, have plenty of cash in their wallets and don't have access to military weapons what reasons do they have and how much spare time would they have to go around shooting everyone?

Maybe it's just a lack of Social Programs aimed at helping at risk people and the lack of police presence and law enforcement. The Bush administration proposed to give $102 million for law enforcement for fiscal year 2007 (which begins in October), an 87 percent ($1.1 Billion) decrease from this fiscal year, according to the International Association of Chiefs of Police. This goes along with the Bush strategy of cutting taxes then adding a multi-billion dollar war to the budget. Good thinking, just as crime rates are rising, the threat of terrorism is up, cutting law enforcement budgets seems to be a good idea. It's typical Bush logic. Let me remind you that the London terror ring was exposed by local law enforcement. Also on the cutting board is an 11.5% decrease in funding for HUD and 39 billion dollars in cuts to Medicaid, child support programs, student loads and foster care. The Head Start program will now serve 19,000 fewer children than in 2006. All of this so Bush can push more tax cuts and start more wars. The main people who benefit from these cuts are the tax paying families who earn over $288,800 per year. The people who make over 200k per year aren't typically the ones shooting each other which just proves my point; with jobs, money, education and child support people are less likely to commit crimes such as murder. Under Bush, poor and middle class people have less and therefore resort to crime.

Way to go dick!

"Second, if I am President I will strengthen the capacity of intelligence and law enforcement at home and forge stronger international coalitions to provide better information and the best chance to target and capture terrorists even before they act. "

John Kerry, 2/27/04