Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Kennedy: Washington’s soft-on-crime policies hurt Louisiana’s small businesses

by BIZ Magazine

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) penned this op-ed in The Advocate describing how the soft-on-crime policies and anti-cop rhetoric coming out of Washington have harmed Louisiana’s small businesses. He argues that liberal policymakers, including President Joe Biden, must do more to address rising crime by securing the border and respecting law enforcement.

Key excerpts of the op-ed are below:

“Starting a business is one of the riskiest decisions one can make. Entrepreneurs embrace that risk because they love what they do, the people they work with, and the customers they serve.

“But today, many Louisiana business owners face risks far beyond their comfort levels. Violent crime has made it untenable for many business owners to keep their doors open. The threat to their employees and customers is just too great.”

“Louisiana isn’t alone. Crime-related business closures have increased nationwide. This crime wave is ravaging local economies, and Washington’s anti-cop rhetoric and soft-on-crime policies are to blame.

“For years, the loon wing of the Democratic Party has worked to tear down the entire law enforcement community. Rather than working for commonsense reforms, these activists called cops ‘pigs’ and urged lawmakers to defund local police departments.

“Where these activists failed to defund most police departments, they succeeded in demoralizing all of them. Today, police officer shortages plague communities everywhere. The New Orleans Police Department is on pace to have the fewest officers in 75 years. Baton Rouge, Shreveport, and the Louisiana State Police are facing massive officer shortages, too.”

“Many in Washington also embraced soft-on-crime policies that shortened federal prison sentences. I opposed these criminal reforms, including the First Step Act, because I believed it would lead to more families and businesses becoming victims of preventable crimes. Unfortunately, my fears were correct. Eleven percent of convicts released under the First Step Act reoffended—so far.

“At the border, cartels exploit our broken catch-and-release policies to flood Louisiana communities with poisonous fentanyl. Yet when I tried to increase prison sentences for fentanyl dealers earlier this year, Senate Democrats blocked my bill, apparently because they hate the idea of keeping poison dealers in prison.

“This cocktail of bone-deep, down-to-the-marrow stupid policies has fueled crime nationwide. Now, those who promoted these foolish ideas want Americans to think they’re imagining crime, rather than experiencing it.”

“If we let rampant crime suffocate these businesses, the economies and charisma of Louisiana neighborhoods will wither, too.

“Crime and the destruction that follows it are not inevitable. With fair policies, well-trained and supported police officers, and leaders dedicated to enforcing the law, we can reduce crime and make Louisiana a safe place to invest. I’ll continue to push lawmakers and officials to embrace policies that protect businesses, our people, and their livelihoods.”

Read the full op-ed here.

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