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Monday, November 29, 2021
HomeOpinionNot Just the Price But the Cost

Not Just the Price But the Cost

Political cartoon depicting wasteful government spending of taxpayer money. (Photo: AdobeStock/CartoonResources)
Political cartoon depicting wasteful government spending of taxpayer money. (Photo: AdobeStock/CartoonResources)

Political cartoon depicting wasteful government spending of taxpayer money. (Photo: AdobeStock/CartoonResources)

Government needs to consider price versus cost. I wonder when the state is going to start worrying about the cost of things, and not the price.

The last few days there have been a number of articles about stimulus money or other monies being put to work in various civic projects around Phoenix.

Most the articles were concise, spelling out what was spent and on what. In most cases you got a familiar dose of, “Well the money was allocated in 2004 (or some other year) and we just now got around to spending it.”

People — both voters and government officials — have to understand that when the state spends money on civic projects and improvements, its not just the actual cost of the capital outlay that have to be considered, its the maintenance and upkeep costs down the road.

It’s not just a $35,000 dog park — its the costs involved to maintain that park at a standard that’s decent. Then there’s the repairs down the road when things need replacing. Or, the potential costs of liability, insurance, etc.

People think its great to have these civic improvements because we’ve been told its making things better by spending “stimulus” money and putting people to work.

The worst part is that they issue bonds to pay for things. Letting government issue bonds is like giving a drunken sailor a credit card.

Government building things it can’t afford is making things worse. Down the road we are going to need to pay back interest on bonds that may have been issued.  More debt and more taxes. We can’t even pay for the things we have, and yet we are building more stuff!

Bond and stimulus money doesn’t create jobs, private industry does, and you can’t pump billions of money into the government and expect to get the same results that you would have had you pumped it into private industry.

But let’s say you ARE going to do that, and let government handle that kind of spending. Better to use the money to repair and renovate EXISTING parks and other infrastructure projects. Don’t expand- maintain. Water pipes and sewer lines in this city deteriorating as we speak.

We are facing cutbacks in services in a variety of areas. Roads get potholes. All of these things would have put people to work, and LOWERED our costs down the road, and thus allow us to lower the tax drain on the economy and leave some wiggle room to expand in the near future. This is how private industry thinks when times get tough.

Lay off people and plan ahead.

Government doesn’t think that way though, it never has. Politicians want to say to their community, “Look at all the stuff I did for you.” It easier to proclaim the wonders of government standing over that new brass plaque at the park, rather than tell your constituents about how you got the sewer lines working right for the next 50 years.

This is why its critical not to get into the government mindset of “it’s ok to spend.” It’s not.  Stop cutting needed government services like roads, police, fire and teachers and stop building new projects we don’t need, and putting us into more debt.

This is why when you go to the ballot box, don’t just vote Republican or Democrat. Vote for people that vow to lower spending, make government smaller and lower taxes. Less power and money to government means better services down the road. It means a stronger economy and less need for social services that are crutches for a healthy and vibrant society.

Spending loads of money doesn’t mean new jobs and new services, it means LESS jobs and LESS services for all of us down the road.

Assuming that we have enough money to keep the roads from falling apart, that is.

Written by

Thomas Purcell is a syndicated columnist, author and host of the popular radio show Liberty Never Sleeps.

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