Donor-class champion Rep. Paul Ryan is an enthusiastic ally of President Barack Obama’s plan to revive the disastrous 1960s rollback of criminal penalties.
If Ryan becomes House Speaker, he’s likely to force GOP legislators to vote on Obama’s rollback which would release many violent criminals back on the streets — without even creating a chance for the freed criminals to find decent jobs in Obama’s stalled, migration-flooded economy.
The mass-release is being rushed through the Senate by a well-funded, stealth lobbying campaign. The same lobbying front is expected to push House legislators to rubber-stamp a matching bill late this year, or early 2016.
Ryan is pushing hard for the 1960s-style rollback. “We need to make redemption cool again in society,” Ryan told an audience at the North Carolina Business and Economic Development Summit, held in September 2015.
“‘We,’ meaning the political system overcompensated in the 90s, with our sentencing [policies],” Ryan said, according to an news article that is posted at his website.
“I think the federal government can take the lead on having more discretion for judges on non-violent crimes [because] there are alternatives to incarceration that have proven to be more successful to getting people on the right path and into work,” he said.
Between 1960 and 1980, crime rose fourfold in the United States, and judges and cops backed off from enforcement under heavy pressure from 60s-era optimism, demonstrations and the complete failure of older Americans leaders to defend the nation’s generous and very successful culture. The nation’s murder rate roughly doubled from 1964 to 1973.
Amid the rising crime, civic culture shifted — people socialized less and watched more movies about violent crime. Mainstream movies applauded tough cops and vigilantes — “Dirty Harry,” in 1971, “Death Wish” in 1974, and “Taxi Driver” in 1976. Cult-movies and science-fiction movies were also built around city-wrecking levels of crime, such as “The Warriors” in 1979 and “Escape From New York” in 1981.
President Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980, partly because his promise to help stop crime. Once Congress acted to revive tough policing and sentencing, criminals were removed from society and placed in jails. Then the crime-spike gradually dropped in the 1990s, and has continued dropping since.
“Two facts about crime and sentencing dwarf everything else we’ve learned for the last 50 years: When we have more prison, we have less crime. And when we have less prison, we have more crime,” said Bill Otis, a critic of the jail-release programs pushed by Obama and Ryan.
The post-1980 drop in crime has saved thousands of innocent lives and freed hundreds of millions of Americans to enjoy their towns and communities.
But Obama may be fundamentally transforming that beneficial trend.
Crime has taken a jump in 2015, amid his campaign to stigmatize and then regulate state and local police forces. For example, murders climbed 16 percent nationwide in the 60 biggest cities during 2015, according to the FiveThirtyEight.com website. That jump adds up to 482 additional dead Americans.
Crime is expected to rise further as Obama’s allies in Washington and the states release more criminals, even before Congress votes on a prison-release bill. For example, Obama’s allies in the federal sentencing committee are releasing 6,000 criminals by early November. An additional 40,000 criminals may be released by the committee, without any review by the politicians that face elections.
In California, the state’s voters have begun their own rollback in sentencing – and the crime rate is climbing fast. Under the new law, passed state-wide in 2014, California now only issues fines and jail sentence of up to one year for thefts or frauds under $950, and for personal use of most illegal drugs, including heroin and cocaine.
“In the 11 months since the passage of Prop 47, more than 4,300 state prisoners have been re-sentenced and then released,” the Washington Post reported Oct. 11
“Drug arrests in Los Angeles County have dropped by a third. Jail bookings are down by a quarter,” the Post reported.
Unsurprisingly, crime has risen. “Along with the successes have come other consequences, which police departments and prosecutors refer to as the “unintended effects.” Robberies up 23 percent in San Francisco. Property theft up 11 percent in Los Angeles. Certain categories of crime rising 20 percent in Lake Tahoe, 36 percent in La Mirada, 22 percent in Chico, and 68 percent in Desert Hot Springs,” the Post reported.
Also, anti-drug efforts have crashed. “Now more addicts [are] declining drug court, because spending a few days in jail on a misdemeanor charge was easier than 18 months of intensive rehab… Enrollments had dipped by more than a quarter in many places across the state,” says the Post’s article, which focused on the downward spiral of James Lewis Rabenberg, 36, a construction worker from Illinois.
The ideal example of a Prop 47 case,’ a public defender had written in a motion to delay sentencing, because Rabenberg had no history of violence and had never been convicted of selling drugs. He had moved to California a decade earlier from Illinois, lost his job in construction, become addicted to meth, lost his house and then been caught several times with drugs…
By April 26, he had been arrested for six misdemeanors in less than four months and been released all six times, so he was free to occupy a table outside Starbucks when a man named Kevin Zempko arrived to have coffee with his wife…
Rabenberg noticed Zempko looking his way and began to stare back, mumbling, gesturing, standing up and now pulling something new from the pocket of his coat. It was a small wooden steak knife. Rabenberg slammed it down on the table. He picked it up again, jabbed at the air and started moving with the knife toward Zempko, who stood up and placed a chair between them…
By the time two police officers arrived, Rabenberg seemed mostly confused and tired. ‘Disoriented” was how a police report described him. The officers handcuffed Rabenberg and placed him in the back of their police car… The arrest had been for possession of drugs and brandishing a deadly weapon — now misdemeanors under Prop 47. Rabenberg was booked into jail and released three days later.
“Meanwhile the number of unsheltered homeless people in downtown San Diego had grown 24 percent based on the city’s latest count, and more than 8,000 homeless people stayed in the city on any given night,” admitted the Post.
In July 2014, Ryan released a report which explicitly said the federal government should reverse the policies that forced down crime in the 1990s.
“The federal government instituted mandatory-minimum sentences for drug offenses in response to the rise in crime during the 1970s and 1980s,” said his report, “Expanding Opportunity in America.”
Although crime rates have fallen since the 1980s, the unintended consequence of these mandatory minimums is that some low-risk, non-violent offenders serve unreasonably long sentences… In response, a bipartisan group of legislators has worked over the past year to develop a sentencing-reform proposal [which] seeks to balance the interests of public safety with the needs of individual justice.
Ryan’s report doesn’t mention the most obvious option to expand opportunity for Americans — reducing the inflow of foreign labor that sidelines Americans, such as Illinois and Californian construction workers. The inflow also drives down Americans’s salaries and employment rates, and increases welfare spending and Wall Street profits.
In fact, during 2013, Obama raised the inflow to one foreign worker for every American who turned 18. Correspondingly, wage growth stopped and the stock market gained roughly $5 trillion in value that year. During that year, Ryan quietly lobbied for House passage of the Senate’s immigration bill which would have at least roughly doubled the current inflow of foreign workers.
Without a reduction in foreign labor, there will be very few good jobs for the criminals that will be released by the Obama/Ryan sentencing rollback.
Even Obama has said that increased labor reduces Americans’ paychecks. Companies “can say to themselves… ‘If we do hire more workers, we’ll tell them, “This is how much we can afford, and if you want more, then we know that there’s a bunch of other people that we can get.”’” he told Kai Ryssdal, the host of Marketplace, early October.
Since 2000, every additional job in the U.S. economy has been won by immigrants. “Although there has been some recovery from the Great Recession, there were still fewer working-age natives holding a job in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000, while the number of immigrants with a job was 5.7 million above the 2000 level,” said a June 2014 report by the Center for Immigration Studies.
Since the 1980s, Ryan has fought every attempt to reduce the annual inflow of foreign workers because of his ideological conviction that everyone can be persuaded to adopt a bourgeois lifestyle and also vote Republican.
Now, Ryan champions sentencing policies that will increase crime, while also pushing policies that would amnesty 11 million migrants in the United States and invite millions of additional foreign workers into the country to complete against young Americans.
His budget plans seek to impose major cuts cut Medicaid and Social Security, even though the GOP is increasingly reliant on votes from older Americans and blue-collar Americans to offset the millions of immigrant voters sought by Ryan and his network of wealthy donors.
Paul Ryan was born in 1970, and grew up in the low-crime, orderly, heavily German community in Janesville, Wisconsin. He didn’t see or feel the impact of the 1960s reforms on America’s civic life.
“The flood of violence from the 1960s through the 1980s reshaped American culture, the political scene, and everyday life,” Steven Pinker, a psychology professor at Harvard University, wrote in his 2011 book, “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.”
Mugger jokes became a staple of comedians, with mentions of Central Park getting an instant laugh as a well-known death trap. New Yorkers imprisoned themselves in their apartments with batteries of latches and deadbolts, including the popular “police lock,” a steel bar with one end anchored in the floor and the other propped up against the door. The section of downtown Boston not far from where I now live was called the Combat Zone because of its endemic muggings and stabbings. Urbanites quit other American cities in droves, leaving burned-out cores surrounded by rings of suburbs, exurbs, and gated communities. Books, movies and television series used intractable urban violence as their backdrop, including Little Murders, Taxi Driver, The Warriors, Escape from New York, Fort Apache the Bronx, Hill Street Blues, and Bonfire of the Vanities…
A fear of crime helped elect decades of conservative politicians, including Richard Nixon in 1968 with his “Law and Order” platform (overshadowing the Vietnam War as a campaign issue); George H. W. Bush in 1988 with his insinuation that Michael Dukakis, as governor of Massachusetts, had approved a prison furlough program that had released a rapist; and many senators and congressmen who promised to “get tough on crime.”
Those passages are from Pinker’s book, in a chapter titled “Decivilization in the 1960s.”
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