Pay a Cop $152.78/Month, Gore Promises

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Vice President Gore is positioning himself as Mr. Crime-Fighter.
In a July
19 press release
from his office, we learn that Mr. Gore has
proposed the hiring of an additional 50,000 local police officers
and 10,000 local prosecutors.

In a speech to law enforcement officers in the Kansas City, Missouri,
suburb of Raytown, he took credit for supporting Mr. Clinton’s proposal
to put 100,000 police on the streets. Then he cited statistics showing
a reduction in crime. The two facts are connected, the press release
implied.

We must do it again, he says.

“I want to focus on the brave women and men on the front lines
of our safety and security,” said Gore. “We need more police.
We need more crime-fighting prosecutors. And then we have to give
them all the tools and resources they need to make even the toughest
crime ‘hot spots’ safe and secure.”

And what will the U.S. government pay as its fair share? A whopping
$152.78 a month. I mean, nothing is too much for “the brave men
and women on the front lines.”

The press release did not actually cite this figure. It did report
the total cost to the U.S. government.

Gore’s initiatives would cost $1.1 billion over ten years, be
paid for out of the budget surplus and provide:

50,000 MORE POLICE

Gore would continue the COPS initiative to fight crime and hire
an additional 50,000 more police officers to protect families
in communities across the nation.

10,000 COMMUNITY PROSECUTORS

Gore would help communities hire 10,000 local and state prosecutors
to ensure that criminals are tried without delay and put behind
bars. Gore’s plan would provide competitive grants to communities
and states that match federal investments.

TARGETED INVESTMENTS TO COOL OFF CRIME “HOT SPOTS”

Gore would establish a fund to target investments in crime “hot
spots.” This fund would provide resources to hire more police,
pay cops overtime in troubled crime areas, equip neighborhoods
with the latest crime prevention technologies, and help local
law enforcement work in cooperation with federal authorities.

So, leaving out the “targeted investments” — not costs, you
understand — I took the figure given by the press release:
$1.1 billion over ten years. As I calculate this, that comes to
$110 million a year.

I got out my trusty calculator (my $35 Casio wristwatch —
eat your hearts out, Rolex users) and divided $110 million by 60,000
people: the combined police and prosecutor crime-fighting force.
The yearly salary turns out to be $1833.33 per employee. Divided
by 12, that totals $152.78 a month. Before taxes.

Of course, this figure will have to be reduced by whatever those
“targeted investments” cost.

So, when you think “Al Gore,” think Gangbusters. Of course, I listened
to “Gangbusters” back in 1950, when $152.78 might have hired a police
officer for a month.

In Raytown, Missouri.

August
3, 2000

Gary North is the author of Crossed Fingers: How the Liberals
Captured the Presbyterian Church, which is available free of charge
as a downloaded text at www.freebooks.com.

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