A recent news story reported that the cost to incarcerate each prisoner in NY State is over $69,000.00 annually. Taxpayer dollars spent on prisoners should never exceed the poverty rate because no inmate should be living better than the poorest amongst us. That rate is currently just over $12,000.00 per year.
Governor Cuomo tells us that the 2019 NYS budget gap is about $4 billion dollars.
Here is a solution. End the economic development boondoggle commonly known as the Hunger Games which is nothing more than a corrupt vote-getting scheme using taxpayer dollars and you immediately see a $1.5 billion savings. Couple that common-sense idea with reducing prison costs to never exceed the federal poverty level and we see an additional $2.8 billion saved.
This erases the budget gap while deterring crime and ending the charade of economic development in the form of feathering the Governor’s own re-election nest.
Former federal prosecutor Preet Bharara was right when he characterized NYS as a “pay to play culture of corruption.” With more than 30 former NYS elected officials either accused, indicted, resigned, found guilty or incarcerated due to ethical misdeeds. NYS government is not a swamp, but a cesspool.