Beware a 2000-recount repeat and other commentary

2020 watch: Beware a 2000-Recount Repeat

“As a survivor of the 2000 recount,” former George W. Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer at Fox News warns of a repeat. If this November’s election is close, as it likely will be, it could “test our nation’s divisions in dangerous ways that go way beyond” 2000. With near-even results, both candidates will accuse each other of cheating and go to court. “The absentee ballot count” will be critical, and whoever’s behind will demand that “every vote” be counted, including potentially many ballots that have been invalidated. His opponent, meanwhile, will insist that “either rules matter and ballots get rejected” or they “get made up on the fly.” Fact is, “in-person voting remains the best” way to conduct elections. And it can be done safely. States should focus on that rather than on “risky mail-in voting.”

Business desk: A Cost-Free Economic Boost

At RealClearPolitics, Brian Johnson, head of industry-backed Recovery Coalition, says Congress can help the economy without spending any new money by letting companies cash in their Government Business Credits now. GBCs are “earned by companies that develop innovative solutions” or social benefits, such as “investments in underprivileged communities.” The “billions” owed them are “already accounted for in the government’s budget, so this isn’t giving out new money.” But companies have to wait up to 20 years to cash in, which might have “made sense at one point” but not during the pandemic. “Congress should let companies recall this interest-free loan,” so they can keep employees working and “inject money into our economy,” without using tax dollars or adding debt. “It’s a win-win-win.”

Urban beat: More Cops = Less Crime

Far from “punishing and removing bad cops,” critics’ “calls to defund police forces across the country” will lead to smaller departments — and trigger “a clear public-safety risk,” University of Pennsylvania law professor Jonathan Klick and criminologist John MacDonald contend at City Journal. “Social-science literature provides overwhelming evidence that bolstering police forces reduces crime,” allowing “departments to engage in community policing and proactive police strategies.” Studies in such cities as Washington, London, Philadelphia and New Orleans have led experts to “a basic consensus that more cops lead to less crime.” Police forces do need “institutional reforms” to “weed out bad cops,” but defunding departments when most US cities remain “under-policed” shouldn’t be one of them.

From the right: Will Biden Accept Defeat?

Establishment media who question whether “President Trump will ‘accept’ the results of November’s election” haven’t asked “another, equally pressing question,” observes the Washington Examiner’s Byron York: Will “Democrats accept the results” if Joe Biden loses? A report from the bipartisan “Transition Integrity Project,” a “secretive” group of “some of the most ardently anti-Trump voices in media and politics,” played out four different election scenarios, with Biden winning in two of them, Trump in one and unclear results in the fourth. “In only one” of those cases did the losing candidate “refuse to accept the result” — and that candidate was Biden, not Trump. In that scenario, the group predicted “a constitutional crisis,” with Democrats threatening “secession.” So even “some of the president’s most passionate opponents,” it seems, “believe Democrats might willingly throw the Constitution aside” to prevent a second Trump term.

Libertarian: High Time for Home Tests

The Food and Drug Administration last week issued rules for at-home COVID-19 test kits. “It’s about time,” snarks Reason’s Ronald Bailey. Most current tests take 10 to 15 days to deliver results, yet the FDA has dithered on approving at-home test kits. Fortunately, multiple companies have been working to come up with something and may “soon deploy rapid at-home” tests, with one likely ready in “late summer or early fall.” At-home tests aren’t as accurate as lab tests, yet frequent, repeated testing can make up for that. Washington can provide 300 million Americans with “kits costing $1 each” for only “$15.6 billion” — a “bargain” when it’s already spending trillions on its coronavirus response. If it does, Americans will finally have the “confidence” to “venture out of lockdown.”

— Compiled by Karl Salzmann & Adam Brodsky

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