Proposition 34 would save California taxpayers billions of dollars and leave the state no less safe.
It is one of the most wasteful and inefficient domestic programs ever conceived, costing state and federal taxpayers billions of dollars while succeeding in its objective only a small fraction of the time. It's an embarrassment for one branch of government in particular, the executive branch, which zealously protects its turf by playing on emotion and fear while ignoring the magnitude of the problem. Over and over again, judges have recommended that the program be reformed, or halted, because it is arbitrary and capricious. Over and over again, the local lawmakers responsible for it have refused to accede. So still the program rolls on.
Few want to make the capital investment it would take to fix the problem. Instead, the program's supporters, and there still are many, say the answer is to speed up the process. But shortcuts like that are precisely what has doomed the program in the first place. "Good enough for government work" doesn't work here. For the program to succeed, things have to be done right, from the start, and that means a level of financial commitment no one, ever, has been willing to bear. Many people respect the theory behind the program. But in the practical application of it no one cares enough about the details to ensure they are done right.
ANDREW COHEN ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
The expensive, wasteful program exists in a place wracked by public debt, a place where state and local taxes are perennially the highest in the land. Hard-working parents can barely afford to send their children to close-by public universities because the venue's finances are in such bad shape.