Criminal justice reform shows cross-aisle success is possible: Kennedy

The Senate took the first beautiful step in passing meaningful criminal justice reform last night, which was a philosophical and legislative victory for a society that had fooled itself into thinking incarceration was tantamount to peace and safety.

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With both chambers basically in alignment the bill will soon be headed to the President once it re-passes the House, which it should easily do, and both branches should figure out how to sprinkle some miracle grow on their collective nards to sprout the courage to take the same, bi-partisan path on other pressing issues.

We can't talk about economic health and fiscal success without really tackling Washington's spending problem, and we can't do that until we whittle down the 2/3 of the budget that houses non-discretionary spending, including debt drivers like Social Security and Medicare. The federal budget topped out at over 4 trillion dollars this year with social security clocking in with a 1 trillion dollar price tag.

You don't have to look too deep into my search history to know I love older people, and our vulnerable golden Americans deserve a comfortable my pillow so they can rest their hardworking heads well into retirement. But we have to somehow rejigger the ponzi scheme that's going to go teats up in 2034, with it's less attractive cousin Medicare expiring about 8 years earlier in 2026.

Both parties have grown far too addicted to can-kicking and free spending like a bachelor party with a stack of 100's at a jiggle joint. They've made it rain for so long they've fooled themselves and voters into believing we weren't driving the caravan straight into a dystopian desert, but it's drying up and that oasis of tax cut revenue hasn't bubbled up yet.

So what do we do now? We are actually heading into an era where a mature entitlement discussion is possible, because a split government is better  for wrestling this prickliest political porcupine. Lawmakers need to buckle up and hunker down and use the cross-aisle success of criminal justice reform as a template on how to keep the country from imploding under its own dead and aging weight.