Because the crime rate is at a 30-year low, federal aid for state and local anticrime programs can safely be cut to help reduce the federal budget deficit and while boosting budgets for antiterrorism projects, the White House contends. President Bush’s Office of Management and Budget issued details of major proposed spending cuts for fiscal 2006, including many in the criminal justice area, last Friday. The document was not online as of the weekend.
Explaining why it wants to eliminate $626 million in various “justice assistance” grants, the White House says that more than $4 billion of them since 2001 “have not been able to demonstrate an impact on crime.” Another $168 million in “discretionary” grants have been earmarked by Congress–more than 200 of them currently–“making it virtually impossible to target resources to priority crime needs,” OMB says. Some $10 million to hire community policing officers under the federal COPS program should be eliminated because of “the lack of demonstrated results as well as a crime rate at a historic low,” OMB says. Similar comments are made abvout other programs, such as the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program, which the White House wants to reduce partly because it found a lack of demonstrated results.