Common sense seems uncommon

Published 12:55 am Saturday, November 2, 2013

To the editor:

We sure could use Ronald Reagan now.

I read with interest your article in the Friday paper about the change in sentencing laws designed to reduce the prison population. I am reminded of a line in an old James Garner movie, “Support Your Local Sheriff,” where he says, “When you’re hired to clean up a mess, you don’t just sit around watching that mess get bigger.”

Anyone who knows anything about human behavior can figure out that the criminal mind will soon realize they can have shorter and shorter sentences and more and more parole instead of prison time if they all just keep overloading the system. Pretty soon you have the monkeys running the zoo. We’re just about to that point now.

As a state employee, I fully realize the budget problems we have. The last raise I got was just two percent, and it was more than five years ago. My budget as the district engineer of the Alabama Department of Transportation in Andalusia has been cut about 18 percent, even as we are given more responsibilities. Even if a new prison does cost more than $200 million, it will cost us more in the long run to go the route the politicians have selected.

You may ask how we are going to pay for it. I think I read some time back that entitlements were about a third of the state budget. When are we going to acknowledge the elephant in the room?

Seems to me about 99 percent of politicians fall into two main categories: Those who don’t’ care about anything but getting re-elected and refuse to do anything about entitlements because it is not politically wise; and the left-wing radicals who have some warped sense of socialist utopia that they want to force on all of us. I’m sure Barrack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are proud of the inroads they have made into the formerly conservative Deep South (I’m sure I’ll be audited if the IRS gets wind of this letter).

Common sense is not so common anymore.

Bill Wofford