Monday, October 24, 2011

No More Cops, Limbaugh Pleads

Laying off municipal employees invariably reduces services and quality of life. But no group of workers is as visible as uniformed police officers, so when commenting on reduction of municipal payrolls, conservatives usually pretend that cops simply don't exist. Still, Rush Limbaugh, never at a loss for something for which to ridicule or condemn the Administration, goes where few sensible conservatives will go. On Friday, he remarked

as you know, Vice President "Bite Me" has been ratcheting this up. He's running from Flint, Michigan, to any number of places trying to convince the American people to support the passage of the president's jobs bill, $35 billion jobs bill so he can hire more cops and more firefighters and more teachers, 'cause if we don't do that there are gonna be more rapes in Flint, Michigan. There are gonna be more rapes everywhere, and of course this is patently outrageous and ridiculous....

How many policemen would it take for there never to be any rapes? How many cops would it take for there never to be any robberies? Ain't gonna happen, which is why yesterday I wanted to try to go at this from the back end, so to speak, and talk to the actual criminals and ask them if they were watching all this and if the jobs bill passed, if rapists would commit fewer rapes.

Only Rush Limbaugh would claim that the presence of a police officer does not deter violent crime. He hasn't been in New Jersey, apparently. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Katz, generally a cheerleader for New Jersey's governor, reports Chris

Christie's most public approach to crime in Camden was unsuccessfully shaming police unions into making concessions to avoid layoffs.

Instead, more than 160 police officers were laid off. Many were called back, but there are still about 100 fewer police officers than when Christie was campaigning in the city. The homicide rate is up about 30 percent, to 36 so far this year, and shootings, burglaries, and aggravated assaults are all up by double-digit percentages.

Other cities, such as Newark and Trenton, also reported increases in crime after laying off police.

And the situation is dire:

Saginaw, for the first time since 2002, has been nudged from the top spot as the most violent city per capita in the U.S. with greater than 50,000 residents, based on Federal Bureau of Investigation crime statistics for 2010.

Camden, N.J., a city with 79,081 residents and 1,841 violent crimes — defined by the FBI as Murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault — has claimed the undesirable distinction.

More police officers, less crime? How about fewer police officers, more crime? Ridiculous, to Rush Limbaugh.

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