by Gary North
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.