The latest scandal involving Arizona's Child Protective Services agency involves thousands of abuse and neglect reports that were not investigated.
I don't have much to add to the able reporting of Mary Jo Pitzl and Mary K. Reinhart at the Arizona Republic. This includes a year-long series.
Not much to add, but a little context.
This is what happens when you spend decades cutting the state budget, even as population and need grows, as part of worshipping the god of small gub'ment.
State spending as a percent of personal income in Arizona fell from 5 percent in fiscal 1994 to 3.5 percent for fiscal 2014. CPS has been underfunded for decades as the state added huge population, especially in vulnerable groups.
The starting salary for a caseworker is a little more than $33,000 — and he or she get to be vilified as a public employee, never mind the crushing case load.
So when you read or hear of failures such as Child Protective Services, just remember: Your tax cuts at work.
The Republicans have controlled state government for more than a quarter of a century. This, as the party has grown more extreme, emerged as the Kookocracy purging its RINOs and trying to shrink government small enough to drown in the bathtub.
Thousands of children suffered for this ideological bender. They are in the bathtub, too.
The only exception was the abbreviated two terms of Janet Napolitano, which were mostly spent playing defense against the crazies. Her signature achievement, all-day-kindergarten, specifically aimed at the neediest children, was rolled back when she left.
No wonder that for years, Arizona has turned in abysmal performances in such authoritative reports as Kids Count by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In 2012, Arizona ranked 46 out of 50 states. Not to be outdone, it slid to 47 in 2013.
Arizona's education funding is among the lowest in the nation, a situation that persists year after year. Twenty-seven percent of Arizona children lived in poverty last year. More than 1 million Arizonans rely on food stamps (76 percent of Supplimental Nutritional Assistance Program households include a child, elderly person or disabled person).
The children suffer and the Kooks don't care because, well, so many of them are those people. Immigrants and the working poor.
Those people whose struggles make Arizona's low-wage economy so profitable for a few and the politics of white-right apartheid so rewarding for the reactionaries that keep getting elected.