America set a tragic milestone, from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2022. Gunfire, assaults, vehicular assaults, and car chases killed at least 230 on-duty cops, the Officer Down Memorial Page reports.
The “Defund the Police” crowd’s demonization of law enforcement personnel has cratered morale, recruitment, and retention in precinct houses nationwide.
The Police Executive Research Forum tracked 19% more retirements and 47% more resignations in 2022 than in 2019, the year before the George Floyd riots turbocharged anti-police abolitionism.
Shattered lives are the ultimate measure of policing’s decline. Urban violence jumped 29% from 2020 to 2021, per the latest National Crime Victimization Survey.
Robust public and political support can reverse these trends, and the Tax Code can help, too.
Police guarantee domestic tranquility and embody the rule of law. Fittingly, the activists who endeavor to destroy Donald J. Trump are the same ones who aim to eradicate the police.
Trump released a tough public-safety agenda in February, including record outlays to hire, train, and retain police. He can fortify his plan by excusing cops from the federal income tax.
Republican lawmakers in Georgia, Kentucky, and New Mexico have introduced bills to free cops from state income levies. Given Trump’s tight bond with cops, he is perfectly poised to take this idea nationwide.
U.S. GIs’ combat pay already is federally tax-exempt. As America’s streets increasingly resemble battlefields, cops should enjoy this same privilege.
What about this idea’s fiscal impact?
Cops offer their communities significant economic benefits, both short- and long-term. Every life shielded, every business saved, and every kid who attends school without fear — all this tax relief’s price tag.
Princeton economics researcher Steven Mello estimated in 2019 that “each additional sworn officer reduces victimization costs by about $352,000.” These huge societal savings far outweigh foregoing $7,180 in federal taxes that a typical cop pays on a $58,320 median salary, according to Comparably.com.
After an April campaign stop in Fort Myers, Florida, Trump bought pizzas for all the officers who worked the event. A relevant Facebook post scored 270,000 likes.
If such a small, but heartfelt, gesture can generate that much goodwill, imagine what liberating cops from the federal income tax would do. This dramatic reform would boost officer morale, attract recruits, incent seasoned vets to postpone retirement, and warn criminals that the sheriff is back in town.
The Trump campaign’s anti-crime plan could transform American law enforcement. Trump economic adviser Stephen Moore speaks tantalizingly about futuristic “freedom cities,” each patrolled by a “super police force.”
Trump should encourage U.S police squads to become the envy of the world. Every cop should be well-paid, well-trained, highly motivated, and dedicated to the rule of law, especially as it’s in peril.
Trump’s public-safety blueprint confirms his far-reaching second-term vision. His sequel could become America’s most consequential administration.
As China and other predator states grow increasingly belligerent, as America’s culture wars intensify, as artificial intelligence and other new technologies offer both unprecedented prosperity and unforeseeable risks, the next president of the United States may face greater challenges than Lincoln, FDR, or Reagan. Law enforcement at every level will be essential to maintain domestic tranquility during these turbulent times.
The key test for The Blue, however, may come before a President-Re-elect Trump returns to the White House. If Trump prevails, especially in a photo finish, expect massive unrest in Democrat-led cities — even worse than the violent election denial that the Left ignited after Trump upset Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Do not be surprised if secessionist fever erupts in California, New York, and other major Democrat states. A lame-duck Biden Administration would have little appetite for quelling such radical-Left insurrectionism.
Between the November 5, 2024 election and the inauguration 11 weeks hence, local police forces may have to keep America intact. Excusing this country’s cops from the federal income tax would fortify them to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor. Joe Diamond is the producer of WABC Radio’s Cop Talk program.