As crime rates soar across the US (as the situation in NYC, Chicago and other major cities rapidly deteriorates), President Biden has decided to defy progressive Democrats and call for more federal funding for police and prosecutors as part of his 2023 budget plan that's set to be released Monday.
At the risk of angering progressive Democrats like AOC and her fellow members of "the Squad" (who haven't forgotten about then-Senator Biden's support for the 1990s crime bill that filled America's prisons with non-violent drug offenders serving lengthy sentences), Biden will propose more than $32 billion in new spending to fight crime, according to two White House insiders cited by Axios.
Over the weekend, the Biden camp also leaked its plans to include a proposal for a minimum 20% tax on the wealthiest Americans' total earnings (including unrealized capital gains).
The funding for police is intended to show Americans Dems aren't soft on crime (a major liability heading into the midterms). And also possibly part of an effort to curry favor with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who has recently reengaged with the White House to hash out a more limited iteration of Biden's 'Build Back Better' plan.
The crime-fighting budget proposal would pencil in $20.6 billion for the next fiscal year for DoJ discretionary spending on federal law enforcement, crime prevention and intervention. That's an increase of $2 billion over the $18.6 billion enacted for the current fiscal year.
The proposal also would mandate $30 billion in new spending over the next decade on a variety of programs to expand law enforcement and crime prevention. Details on those programs have not yet been released.
Here are a few other details from the proposal, courtesy of Axios:
It would more than double the funding for community policing through the COPS Hiring Program. It also would add $500 million for so-called community violence interventions — a tenfold increase.
It would pay for nearly 300 new deputy marshals and related personnel.
It would pay for 140 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) agents and investigators working on gun-trafficking strike forces in five major U.S. cities; and 160 ATF investigators working on gun-dealer compliance.
It would significantly increase funds for law enforcement agencies to trace firearms found at crime scenes.
But just as with Biden's "Billionaire Minimum Tax", Axios reminds us that budget proposals are often devised with optics in mind; there's no guarantee that they will become law. At this rate, it seems like Biden will do almost anything to get 'BBB' off the ground.