Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Cut the Waste Talk

I don’t know what the best answer is for generating revenue for infrastructure improvements in the city of Springfield. However, the inane and endless calls for “cutting waste” you hear from the uninformed is never followed through with any realistic or truly problem-solving suggestions by its advocates.


What “waste” exactly is the city to cut to pay for this? And it’s not like the city can pull a George W. Bush and fund prohibitively expensive projects (Iraq) buy simply running up the deficit. When really, really pressed, some Cut-Wasters will mention some minor program or public officials salary that won’t come even close to making up the difference. Or sometimes they will propose getting rid of some major and popular program that won’t ever be eliminated because it is popular. “Cut Waste!” proponents need to put up or shut up by presenting realistic and financially credible alternatives that won’t create as many problems as it will allegedly solve. While I'm sure there are some minor "waste" items we could mostly all agree on, they aren't going to add up to much.

Also absent from this debate seems to be those who are willing to say, “Let’s not do this at all.” I think everyone is in favor of, and sees the need for, infrastructure improvements in the city. Simply bitching about the cost is not helpful.

1 comment:

rickmonday said...

Dave,

I need to place myself into the category you are talking about. I just tried to look at City's website to find a copy of the budget but could not. I have complained about "waste" in the past but have never really given a specific area to target.

I think it would be an interesting topic if someone could track down a budget and we could discuss the line items. I do know that a big part of the overall budget are the ongoing mandates that we have to fund. Things like pensions, medicare, outstanding bond debt, come right off the top. Then of course you have the people costs.

So back to your question, where specifically do you cut? I dont know.