Colorado, like other states, is in financial peril. Taxpayers have been losing their jobs, or coping with pay cuts and furloughs. They don't have more money to give state government, making it difficult for the state to maintain roads and fund schools.
Yet hope is not lost. State government has hemorrhaged billions in past decades on a wasteful expense that should be immediately slashed: prisons. State officials must act quickly to facilitate significantly less spending on prisons, with a goal of shutting several of them down.
This column has repeatedly questioned the wisdom of the state's tough-on-crime, lock-'em-up and throw-away-the-key corrections politics. It has chastised politicians who know so little about basic economic principles that they view prisons and inmates as economic development.
At least one member of our local legislative delegation gets it. Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, is the former Fountain police chief and author of a bill that started a sentencing review process designed to address Colorado's embarrassing and expensive overpopulation of prisoners.
Traditionally, Republicans have been the party of limited government and maximized freedom. The party long ago lost sight of those principles in order to embrace the imposition of social engineering, in which government is grown at taxpayer expense in order to enforce pseudo-conservative ideals. In Colorado, prisons provide the best example of big-government Republicanism.