Matt Towery

For example, do we need to lock up endless numbers of people for possession of drugs they choose to use to destroy their own bodies? They can end up costing our heath system and can sometimes become more dangerous people, but those are ifs and buts. Our war on drugs has been just as big of a failure as the one on poverty. Meanwhile, we aren't doing such a great job keeping our kids, or even these days our prosecutors, safe.

Perhaps guards to protect our kids in school would be money well spent. And when it comes to the public in general, telling neighborhoods to hire private security to repel criminals from attacking them (which one local metro-Atlanta official reportedly suggested) is no answer. We must prioritize how we protect, punish and educate -- remembering what government is really supposed to pay for, and what it's not.

Despite the serious nature of the charges and considering just one day's worth of headlines, it seemed a bit excessive when bail was first set at $7.5 million for former Atlanta Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall. And having Hall and her alleged cohorts potentially take up millions in the cost of prosecution and potential jailtime seems less important than recognizing once again that government should stick to what it is supposed to do. Regardless of the cheating scandal, Hall and her team failed miserably, again proving the weakness of "government education" in America.

When it comes to public safety, government is supposed to help protect us from deadly harm and defend us from hostile invasion, which would include guarding our children with real live law enforcement and not volunteer substitutes and keeping the really bad people off the streets.

As for public education, it has become an "acquired right" over the years. It should be accomplished through charter schools or innovative free enterprise, without government waste or supervision that becomes a bureaucratic nightmare, such as was the case in Atlanta.

Just like in basketball, it always looks good when you can run up a score on offense against a weak opponent. Allegedly, Superintendent Hall did that with test scores, and now the state seeks to return the favor. But with really bad folks out there running up the score on serious and deadly crimes, it seems time to put our defensive players to work guarding against the real threats that surround us on a daily basis.

Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a pollster, attorney, businessman and former elected official. He served as campaign strategist for Congressional, Senate, and gubernatorial campaigns. His latest book is Newsvesting: Use News and Opinion to Grow Your Personal Wealth. Follow him on Twitter @MattTowery