Imagine the reactions: “Why those spending-crazy politicians (mostly Democrats!) are at it again! How dare they spend *our* money without even checking to see whether it’s effective?! That money doesn’t grow on trees!”
What Does The Government Do For Me
In implying state spending is irresponsible, Niello is less extreme than others. Someone recently told me “the government does nothing for me!” I asked “Isn’t intelligent public policy, and the infrastructure it builds, all that distinguishes us from cave men?” If the effectiveness of public policy diminishes, prepare to live at least less conveniently, if you survive at all. Are people going to build their own private roads, and test their food and medication to make sure they’re healthy?
The State Monitors Spending
The absurdities of current culture aside, don’t governments at least review their spending? In a word: Yes. Agencies receiving state funding get audited to insure that they are in compliance with the terms of some very results-oriented state grants. So Niello’s premise is false; governments *do* track public monies to see they’re well spent.
Does the State Spend Like a Drunken Sailor?
The question now is whether to expect a sensible budget process in the context of this kind of posturing. Among states, ranks tenth in per-capita income, but only 22nd in tax burden. Nevertheless, Republicans began their budget negotiations with a pledge to never raise taxes, and Niello’s website reserves a special section for “Oppose Higher Taxes.”
Stepping outside of the paranoid anti-government culture is a likely prerequisite for a sensible budget. Legitimate reasons exist to discard sentiments like “the state spends like a drunken sailor and taxes like it doesn’t matter.” Consider an alternative view expressed in: “Why the Economy Grows Like Crazy Amid High Taxes“, for one example of what this looks like.
On the other hand, if the public persists in its ignorance of what really is going on, public policy can only lurch from crisis to crisis…sort of like that drunken sailor
Copyright 2009 LA Progressive