Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Less Defense Spending = More COPS

On the wonderful site called Opinione, Il Principe talks about Military spending.

The power of the military industrial complex in America and its related cousin the national security state apparatus is lost on the American people. Why is that more Americans do not see the huge amount of expenditures going to the military while their standard of living and economic prosperity decline?

As The Grand Prince points out, it's not only the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that drain the public coffers; it's the maintenance of hundreds of military bases throughout the world. He's often written about how many there are here in Italy and how unnecessary they seem to be.

Il Principe spells it out for us:

According to the 2008 official Pentagon inventory of our military bases around the world, the military wing of the American Empire consists of 865 facilities with over 190,000 troops in 46 countries and territories. The cost to maintain these military outposts is estimated to cost over 102 billion dollars a year. Most of these troops and military installations are positioned to protect the sources and movement of oil.

One side-effect of this tremendous diversion of resources is that "police forces in America are under staffed leading to higher rates of fatal shootings by police officers."

The correlation is easy to make if you consider the tendency that some law enforcement officers have to shoot first and ask questions later due to the high rate of gun ownership and availability of firearms in America.

What do you think about that? Is that why cops shoot people? To me it makes perfect sense. Policemen, whose departments are understaffed, while trying to cope with an increasingly armed criminal element would tend to be a bit trigger happy.

A partial solution is coming in the form of a recent federal grant program known as COPS, short for Community Oriented Policing Services. This program is an attempt by the Obama administration and the Democratic leadership to direct more funds into local American communities. Part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 allocated $1 billion to the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) for the COPS Hiring Recovery Program (CHRP). Approximately 5,500 additional sworn law enforcement officers will be added to agencies across the country through funding provided by this program.

The funding of more law enforcement officers with the COPS grant is a proactive approach to addressing the proliferate amount of illegal handguns on the streets of America, respecting the rights of legal gun owners, while also keeping the safety of police officers in mind.

What's your opinion? Do you agree that the understaffing of police departments in many places is part of the problem and that hiring additional cops will help? What about the bigger question of military spending and unnecessary military bases throughout the world? Is that something we need to change?

Please leave a comment.


  1. The lack of comments by the Pro gun crowd readers of your blog is an example why the half trillion dollar Department of Power Projection and Intimidation never gets reduced or cut , while other departments helping Americans affected by the severe recession are the first ones to be cut or downsized. It was sad how much political drama went on over a measly extra two billion dollars for Americans to trade in gas guzzling SUVs for more fuel efficient models. Just another example of how federal tax dollars should be spent in America and for Americans instead of on the bloated Empire of U.S. military bases around the world.

  2. MikeB,

    Cops on the street are paid by several different means: city property taxes, county property taxes, or state sales tax or income tax.

    So, according to Il Principe it makes sense for the FEDERAL government to take money from individuals, run it through an inefficient bureaucracy and then send part of it back to the cities so they can higher more cops?
    If the government wasn't taxing, they would have more money to spend on consumer items (sales tax), buy larger or more property (property taxes), or start businesses (business taxes)....all of which stay at the local level.

    Next, how about showing how more cops per person makes a difference in the crime rate.

  3. If the US military industrial complex was not so powerful, there would not be 45 military bases in Italy alone taking hundreds of millions of American tax dollars and giving it to Italians who vote for fascist political parties and enabling the Italians to live a far better life than most Americans. At least the tax dollars spent in America although not efficient as any bureaucracy like the CIA, NSA, DIA, FBI, etc...the money is still spent in America for Americans.