Some days, the commentary business is unnecessary. Some issues are so obvious that no explanation is needed.
For example, I don’t need to tell you that dog crap stinks.
Likewise, I don’t need to tell you that Andy Cuomo’s plan to give free college tuition to all New York state prison inmates is insane.
Frigging, monstrously, astoundingly, psycho-even-for-this-state insane.
Law-abiding, tax-paying families are going in hock to send their kids to college, people are laboring under a suffocating burden of college debt, young people are getting shot up in Afghanistan in hopes of surviving to use their GI Bill, and Andy wants to give free college to murderers, rapists and child molesters.
More specifically, he wants law-abiding, tax-paying families – on top of their kids’ tuition and their own college debt – to pay extra taxes in order to provide free college to murderers, rapists and child molesters.
This is another shining example of the governor’s efforts to – in his words – make New York “the progressive capital of the nation.”
Sadly – or cynically – he has, by the manner of his announcement of this latest squandering of working-people’s taxes, made the issue about race.
First, he announced it on Friday to the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus of the state legislature. Then, on Sunday, he made his only public statement about the matter in a speech delivered approvingly to a black church.
Further, his office released the statistics that one-third of all black men in the state end up behind bars at some point in their lives. The ratio is 1-in-6 for Latinos and 1-in-17 for whites. Overall, blacks comprise 25 percent of the state’s population and 49 percent of the state’s prison population.
Some see those numbers as proof society is racist and trying to tear down the black man. Others see those numbers as a sign that black men should work harder to obey the law.
I’d tell you which answer is right, but, like I said, I don’t need to tell you that dog crap stinks.
And I don’t need to tell you that rewarding the monsters who prey upon this society with a ridiculously expensive education makes no sense whatsoever. Hard-working families see their children unable to afford college without taking on deadly debt or putting mom and dad’s retirement in hock, while thugs who sell drugs, burglarize homes and knock over banks get free college.
That’s Andy Cuomo’s progressive capital of the nation.
That’s what he offers this state as he swaggers arrogantly to re-election.
He will spare no effort in buying every conceivable constituency by whatever means necessary.
And so he proposes spending $5,000 a year on every inmate in the state prison system to provide them with the classes necessary to get associates and bachelor’s degrees.
As soon as he teaches them to read.
And pull up their damn pants.
Five thousand dollars per inmate on psychology and gender-studies courses while the double-bunked prison system remains a powder keg and while violent assaults against correctional officers are almost a daily occurrence.
He’s not easing overcrowding, he’s not hiring more correctional officers to fill the often empty daily posts, he’s not beefing up the parole operation to make it actually accomplish something, he’s making free college for felons an entitlement.
And he presents it all as a money-saving scheme. Sure, it’s $5,000 per inmate a year, but it costs $60,000 a year to jail a New Yorker – though the nation’s average is $23,876 per inmate – and he points glaringly at the fact that $60,000 is more than $5,000 and, therefore, he’s a genius and should get a medal and if you don’t agree it’s because you’re a hater.
Point to ponder: When Andy adds the $5,000 per year in education costs to the current $60,000 per year to house a New York inmate, the total of $65,000 per inmate per year will be within $4,000 of being three times the national average.
From a taxpaying standpoint, that is suckalicious.
The governor says New York has a 40-percent recidivism rate and that if inmates only had an education they would leave crime behind and live productive lives as social workers and Democratic voters. Giving inmates free college really saves money, he argues, because recidivism will go away.
Reminder: I don’t need to tell you that dog crap stinks.
Or that it’s not what’s in your brain that determines your conduct, it’s what’s in your heart. Criminal conduct is not a matter of intellect, it is a matter of morality.
And recidivism rates are tricky things. For example, the 40-percent rate for New York is ex-cons who return to prison. And the number who return to prison is far smaller than the number who re-offend.
Nationally, more than 67 percent of ex-cons are re-arrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within three years of getting out of prison. Forty-seven percent of ex-cons end up being reconvicted and 25 percent end up back in prison. That national average of 25 percent compares to New York’s 40 percent.
Which gives you some insights into New York crime.
And gives further context to this effort to coddle New York criminals.
The point is, criminals are bad people and we put them in prison to punish them and protect us. Their bad conduct is supposed to bring them some bad consequence, not a giant reward.
Andy doesn’t get that.
And he is taking New York one more step into the sewer, one step closer to being the progressive capital of the nation.
And I don’t have to tell you that that stinks.