Kudos to Koch Brothers
March 23, 2015
Yes, that’s right. Bet you never thought you’d hear me say that. But I really want to give credit where it is due! This evening I watched a senior representative from the Koch Brothers along with a prominent African American liberal on Anderson Cooper 360.
They are completely in agreement, representing a large group of people on the extreme right along with a large group on the far left. They’re in complete agreement that our penal system is totally broken. America represents 5% of the people on this planet and has 25% of the incarcerated.
Why? Because our right and left (bipartisan again) together promulgated an escalating list of federal crimes across the last century in what can only be seen now as a failed attempt to take crimes off the street and punish offenders into not committing further crimes. Many of the crimes added, along with mandatory minimum sentences, were petty crimes like shoplifting and possession of illegal drugs.
Good intentions escalated into more and more crimes designated and more and more sentences. Much of the time, what has transpired is that the offenders end up with a criminal record which virtually prevents future employment. Drug users end up using again, getting put in jail again, and again, and again. We do not offer rehab to early offenders and we put mentally ill into prison instead of into hospitals, treatment and therapy.
All of this results in a growing and horrendous expense to the taxpayers. In the opinion of these wise bipartisan groups, we can fix this easily and quickly with appropriate agreement and legislation. After all, both sides of the aisle seem to now understand that fixing it is not going to cost–we will save money and reduce the draw on government resources if we reverse this trend and spend our resources toward getting people onto their feet and contributing to society and our economy.
I thank the Koch interests and encourage this bipartisan coalition in developing and presenting legislation.
This is another example of how we have escalated poverty and inequality in our own country with policies focused on punishment as opposed to help.
So nice to see Conservative interests demonstrating that they also want to provide support for the underprivileged. If the motivation is to reduce taxpayer expense and reduce government, that’s ok with me. See–there are things we can agree on, even if the underlying motivations are different!