With many state and city governments facing the most severe financial crises since the Great Depression and the anticipated cuts in federal spending as a result of the ongoing debt-ceiling negotiations, the Topeka City Council voted to repeal its domestic violence law in an effort to cut costs. According to The Pew Center on the States, the federal government provides one out of every three dollars that state and local governments spend. Slashing federal spending impacts government on all levels; state and local government is responsible for providing many of the services that directly affect our daily lives.
Congressional Republicans are so attached to being ideologically pure—cut spending no matter what—that they must sidestep the ramifications of their extremism. Witness Ron Paul's attempt to explain away the fact that his adherence to libertarianism would result in the death of a hypothetical person who opts out of paying for health insurance and later needs treatment for a catastrophic illness.
Republicans should stop treating government as if it is nothing more than a testing ground for their ideological purity. Government austerity, in the form of deep budget cuts, has a real impact on the lives of real-life people. Ask the victims of the 18 incidences of domestic violence in Topeka since September. Their attackers were released without charge because there was no agency to prosecute the cases.
MSNBC's Chris Hayes provided excellent commentary (at 14:00) on the actions in Topeka and the broader costs of government austerity measures.