Adjusting Our Priorities

California’s $26 billion budget deficit has been well publicized. It’s being resolved by cutting many programs. Most of the cuts affect education, the elderly and the disabled, low income people like home health aides and people on MediCal. $1.2 billion is also to be cut from prisons. Some of this includes releasing low priority offenders or people who violated parole. Of all the groups most vocal and best organized to fight these cuts, are those who don’t want prisoners release, so much so they succeeded in having the vote tabled. One might think that a more compassionate set of values would strengthen protests towards the needy, or that some with a practical eye toward the future would suggest education ought to be priority one. Instead, it’s prisoner release. For some the objection is cloaked as a concern for safety. Regardless it tells us that our need for punishment, our lack of regard for those we put in prisons is greater than our need to be educated, or live in a society where being old and disabled has a safety net.
I, for one, find our priorities need adjusting.