Dec 10, 2020
Georgia's Republican Senate candidates in the January 5th run-off election, Kelly Loeffler and David Purdue, are lying that their Democratic challengers, Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warner, want to defund the police.
In truth, if local police departments lose significant funding in the near future, it will be due to Republicans like Loeffler and Purdue siding with Mitch McConnell in refusing to provide financial assistance, or enough financial assistance, to cities and states.
Warnock and Ossoff should campaign on the premise that electing Loeffler and Purdue is what will actually defund the police (and fire departments and schools) in Georgia and elsewhere--Increased costs and decreased revenue due to the Covid pandemic means that the State and its cities and towns won't have enough money to fund the costs of essential services.
Already back in June, Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed a state budget which cut spending for the fiscal year by 10%. And it's likely to get far worse before it gets better.
According to Politico , because Covid is ravaging their budgets "Cities are slashing their police-department spending." A Police Executive Research Forum survey of 258 police chiefs and sheriffs found that nearly half were experiencing or expecting budget cuts this year. It's likely to get worse next year. Los Angeles is preparing to eliminate nearly 1900 filled positions, including 951 police officers, leaving the fewest officers in 25 years. Seattle approved $3 million in cuts to the police department, reducing its size by up to 100 officers.
While the Federal government has massive borrowing power at low interest rates, it is illegal for most states to run an annual deficit. Accordingly, without massive Federal stimulus support to cities and states, they will have to drastically cut back. What's going to be the first lose funding: essential government services like police, firefighting, education and public health.
In short, if Congress doesn't pass another major stimulus package which includes hundreds of billions of dollars to cities and states, police and other vital services in Georgia and throughout the country will be drastically defunded. There will be far fewer police on the streets of American cities and towns, and fewer firefighters, teachers and other essential workers as well. It will be like The Hunger Games with police, firefighters, teachers and first responders all fighting over which get the fewest cuts.
Democrats, like Warnock and Ossoff support such a stimulus package, while Mitch McConnell--cowardly supported by Purdue and Loeffler--has been blocking it since July.
(Warnock and Ossoff also want to significantly reform policing, routing out racial bias, holding police accountable for misconduct, having trained social workers instead of heavily armed police be first responders to things like domestic violence, changing the militaristic training of police, reducing the amount of weapons of war supplied to police.)
But when police (and teachers and firefighters and other essential state and local government workers) are defunded and fired in the next few months, blame it on Republicans like Purdue and Loeffler.
Warnock and Ossoff should be running in part on the slogan that "defunding the police" is what will happen if their Republican opponents hold the Senate.
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