Susan Powder had it right.  Although this time we are not talking fitting into your high school jeans, we are talking about 57,000 dollars.  Why that figure you say, well that is what it costs to incarcerate one person in the state of Massachusetts for a year.  In a time where seemingly ever tax dollar is being counted this figure is an important one to keep in mind.  We need to realize that America has more people in prison than every other nation in the world.  approximately 1 out of every 18 men in this country is either in jail or being monitored.  What does that mean?  That means that you and I pay for all of it, we pay for the trails, the court appointed attorneys, the judges and the bailiff.  Not to mention all the guards, the warden and the equipment etc that go into the prison.  What all this adds up to is if someone is going to be sent to jail, there better be a pretty damn good reason.  This is something as a society we don’t even think about.  What is a crime and when is it necessary for people to be put into jail for the betterment of society.  Violent offenders clearly need time away so they don’t harm others.  However what about white collar crime?  Is there a way for them to pay for their time in jail themselves without putting a burden on the tax payer?  If these people rob the state of funds and then go to jail, that is double dipping in my opinion because we have to pay for them to be in jail!  Those people convicted of crimes that can afford it should get a bill from us.  That is one way, another way of course is to stop the prohibition against illegal drugs.  Our nation is slowly becoming Chicago in Al Capone’s day.  The spike of murderous violence in Boston this year has been attributed to drugs.  The question isn’t why do people need these drugs, because drugs are part of society if you like it or not.  Look at every Dunkin Doughnuts and Starbucks on the corner for examples of our drug use.  These places are more popular than ever, could you imagine if the feds made caffeine illegal?  Yes cocaine and heroin are exceedingly harmful drugs.  So are alcohol laced caffeine drinks, yet they hit the shelves without anyone batting an eye until people actually start dying from using them.  Alcohol is a poison that destroys your body.  It is also a very harmful drug that was once banned, but the desire to use it was overwhelming in our society so the ban was lifted.  We are officially at the tipping point with illegal drugs.  We spent 13.7 billion dollars in 2009 fighting these drugs from getting into the country.  Couple that with the alarming number of people who are in jail for drugs and you get the idea.  The war is lost and we are paying billions of dollars to continue fighting a lost war.  That has sadly become our calling card as a nation for the past ten years but honestly enough is enough.  If we want to save billions of dollars, let’s start by cleaning up the true waste in our system and not by making the retirement age 69 when the average life expectancy for males in this country is 75.  Which means you get 6 years for something you pay into for a lifetime.  That is true insanity.  Again I have attached articles supporting the points I brought up here.  The reason I was down on the Tea Party from day 1 is that it is just the same right wing talking points with an angerier delievery.  If people in the Tea Party want true change, they need to start getting creative.  As Scott Brown has shown them, just voting Republican isn’t going to get the job done.