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Guess which political party just presided over the largest defunding of law enforcement? It’s the Republican Party. 

For the past year we’ve been hearing nothing from Republicans but “Be afraid of Democrats! They want to take away funds from our law enforcement!” — despite the fact that not a single local Democratic candidate actually supported that idea.

But Republicans have done just that. In Congress, Republicans just refused to include any money in the new stimulus bill for our desperately strapped state and local governments. 

They effectively denied needed funds not just to law enforcement, but to fire and rescue and every other public service that we depend on. State and local revenues have been hard hit by the COVID crisis. Unlike the federal government, our state cannot run a deficit to cover the shortfall. 

But Republicans had other priorities: enacting a 100% tax deduction for business meals — so-called “three-martini lunches” — for their wealthy patrons, corporate fat cats, lobbyists and lawyers.  

They say that it would bring business back to restaurants hit hard financially by the pandemic.  

How many Rappahannock restaurants will benefit from more business lunches and dinners during a pandemic? Meanwhile, our police and fire and rescue make do on dwindling state funds.

Let’s put the stimulus to work where it is needed, providing help to state and local governments, and to workers and farmers who have borne the financial brunt of the pandemic.

Mary-Sherman Willis


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