Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cheney shot a liberal

Here is Molly Ivin's latest and greatest: Cheney Shoots a Texas Liberal. It's typically excellent. it turns out that Huffington actually was a liberal, by Texas standards.

Here's the part that really got to me.
Texas still keeps the nonviolent, the retarded, senior citizens, etc. locked up for ridiculous periods—all at taxpayer expense. If we could ever get to where we spend as much per pupil on education as we do per prisoner, this state would take off like a rocket. In 2003, we spend nearly $15,000 per prisoner, while average per-pupil spending was just over $8,000.
Why in the world doesn't this bother their voters? What is wrong with Texas?

In comparison, California spends six times as much on education as it does on correctional services (Per RAND report in 2004 (nb: 250 page PDF file).

Note that California's education spending still sucks: it is substantially below the average for all states, the next four larger states, almost any way you want to slice. It's almost nice of Texas to serve as something that we can be better at, what a booby prize. This is like having a more robust economy than Albania, or being a nicer guy than Dick Cheney.

The RAND study analyzes the education issue in exhaustive detail. It also states clearly that the low educational spending in California started with Prop 13 back in 1978, and Prop 98 in 1988. This information should be tattooed on every California's voter's chest; yet it continues to elude too many. California needs to raise its housing taxes. I don't know when "too late" is for an entire educational system, but I'd rather not find out. And I really, really don't want to be a liberal in Texas.


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