Tuesday, December 11News That Matters

Jeff Sessions' new budget: ramp up imprisonment and deportations, squeeze everything else

Having Jefferson Beauregard Sessions as the nation’s top law enforcement officer continues to be exactly the wreck his critics warned it would be. As attorney general, his priorities are exactly what they were as longstanding racist senator: curtail civil rights, curtail voting rights, and refocus the nation’s law enforcement on imprisoning as many Americans as possible with as little regard for expense or rehabilitation as possible.

While the would-be “Trump budget” decimates most federal departments, Sessions’ Department of Justice gets off relatively unscathed, money-wise. Instead, the scathing is self-inflicted, as Sessions excises the parts of his duties he doesn’t like in order to spend the money on the things he does.

The new budget reflects these priorities. And it would pay for them in part by making the Civil Rights Division take on the work of another office within the Justice Department without additional resources or personnel. The division would absorb the Community Relations Service, created by the 1964 Civil Rights Act and known as the department’s “peacemakers.”

That would trim all 54 positions from the CRS, with the Civil Rights Division supposedly simply absorbing those duties on top of their existing—though if Jefferson Beauregard has anything to say about it, ever-shrinking—workload. He also proposes to shift the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to the Treasury Department, in a presumed effort to get those ever-hated enforcers of federal gun laws out of his hair entirely. Well, not entirely:

The department also wants an additional $13.2 million to process applications for the purchase of machine guns, guns with silencers, other firearms, and explosives such as grenades.

The real problem in America is that we are responding too slowly to our citizens’ requests to buy machine guns, silencers, and grenades. Surely, we are monsters.