Probably the most frequently made argument nowadays for releasing prisoners early is that we simply don't have the money for the amount of incarceration we undertake.
The argument is baloney for a variety of reasons the media generally refuse to discuss. For example, how much do we hear about the expenses saved by people who do not become crime victims because the fellows who would do the victimizing are in the slammer instead? Another fact discussed in very quiet tones, if at all, is that the amount available for debt reduction from cutting back prison spending is less than a drop in the ocean of red ink, as demonstrated here. It's a little like insisting that you can save on your yearly car maintenance expenses by not putting a 10-watt bulb in the glove compartment.
Of course the whole thing is a fairy tale anyway. What this administration does when it wants to fund something it actually cares about (i.e., expanding dependency on government) is borrow to the hilt, or raise taxes, or print it, or all three. For a true priority item, the money is always there, one way or the other. All the angst about fiscal constraint can be and is shelved when an administration priority hoves into view.
One such priority, and I use that word advisedly, is deluxe military transportation for the first dog, Bo, who got his own helicopter ride and Secret Service escort to Martha's Vineyard for the President's non-Motel 6 vacation.
Being President is a very hard job, and no one should begrudge Mr. Obama his vacation, including with the family dog. But with money so tight that criminals have to be released -- so it is said -- couldn't Bo have just settled for First Class and a bunch of pretty stewardesses? It's better than I do.