How Trump Beat Obama on Violent Crime
While Trump is taking a beating from the media for departing from Obama’s legacy and actually doing the President’s job, an interesting FBI report has been released. We have new data on crime rates for 2017, and they have a lot to say.
We always have to start with the caveats. We only have numbers for Trump’s first year, and those numbers are still preliminary. The finalized numbers are typically available in September, so some of this could be revised. That said, what we know so far is mostly good news. Overall crime rate fell in Trump’s first year in office –reversing a two-year trend set in place by Obama.
The overall crime rate dropped by just shy of 1 percent. That’s not record breaking, but considering that it’s a trend reversal, it’s a good sign. Individual categories are more encouraging. Burglary fell by over 6 percent, and rape and aggravated assault both dropped by more than 2 percent.
On the reverse side, murder increased by 1.5 percent, and car theft rose by 4.1 percent. Those are the only two crime categories that ended higher than when Trump took office.
There are a few likely reasons for these changes. Most will suspect that the improving economy has reduced the need for crime. Simply put, Americans are in a better position and crimes of desperation are in decline.
The rising murder rate, though, merits scrutiny. Murder rose by much less this year than in the previous two, again suggesting a trend reversal, but it still hasn’t completely turned around. There are a lot of possible reasons why murder might still be on the rise, but the most likely is tied to changing police policies in urban areas.
This boils down to the fact that 50 percent of murders happen in about 60 counties. You can guess which counties they are. While murder rate rose in areas like Chicago and Baltimore, most of the country saw a decline in murder over the last year. Do we really need to say any more?
When he first took office, Obama inherited a nation that had seen steadily decreasing crime for roughly 15 years. It took him six years to “fix” that problem. Over his full eight years, the reducing crime rates slowly reversed, and in the last two, the nation fully erased any gains. Obama left office with approximately the same crime rates as when he entered.
That sounds like a wash, but it’s a pretty big negative. He managed to eliminate six years of progress in just two. That was only possible because 2015 and 2016 set consecutive records for increases in violent crime. To find a worse year than either of them, you have to go back to 1991.
The bigger problem is that these changes can be directly tied to Obama’s leadership. When the economy was at its absolute worst, crime rates still fell, so you can’t blame this on economic hardships. There is something that does correlate perfectly. The Black Lives Matter movement gained national attention in 2015. While that alone doesn’t prove that the rhetoric is responsible, it’s easy to see how police in Baltimore and similar areas felt unable to do their jobs. Violence rose as a result.
It took Obama six full years to completely kill the trend of declining violence. That shows that Americans have a propensity for improvement. It was only sustained and exceptionally poor leadership that was able to make a change. There is no question that Obama’s race baiting and demonization of police greatly contributed to the problem. His refusal to police the borders also helped more Americans die.
Trump found an easy solution: support the police and let them do their job. That alone was enough to rapidly overturn a growing and ominous problem. Perhaps more importantly, Trump is finally fixing the problem at the border. Considering the ridiculous representation of illegal immigrants in violent crime statistics, border security is easily one of the most efficient ways to stem violent crime.
It didn’t take a specialist or expert to fix the crime problem. It just took a little honesty. Thank you President Trump!
~ National Gun Network