Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nickeled and Dimed to Death

When you are being nickeled and dimed to death there is no big solution. The solution is nickels and dimes. Any and all items on a budget will have fervent supporters. It is, after all, their job on the line. Most of the opposition will not feel as passionate about its removal which explains why, once a bureaucracy is created, it assumes a life of its own. And, as all life, will fight to protect itself.

There are many approaches to cutting government spending. Mine focuses first on what is the role of government – should it be participating in this particular activity in the first place. If the action is not specified in the constitution then we must place the activity on the TBD (To Be Determined) list. Second I would go for low-hanging fruit. There will be much anger and tribulation over cutting anything. Not only will those directly affected be passionate in its defense but so too will all those who think that government should distribute the wealth of society.

The first entity cut will be the most difficult as all who see their little fiefdom threatened will take the approach of UNITED WE STAND and DIVIDED WE FALL. They will fight fervently for keeping even the most inane agency; the most constitutionally irrelevant spending in place. They will argue that the cause is noble and ignore the constitutional limit on government; will argue that it provides jobs (see The Ditch-Digger’s Fallacy) and will argue that without government sponsorship society will suffer the loss of an important entity – and, after all – we’re only talking about a few dollars.

They’ll break down a hundred million dollar expenditure to “It's only 33 cents / year per person. Isn’t this activity worth 33 cents?” The proper response to the last remark is that if you think it’s worth 33 cents then stand up, act as a free man, act as a citizen of a great society and not as a serf and support this important entity.


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has vowed to bring the Senate to a standstill unless congressional leaders agree to allocate $40,000 for a federal study on deepening the Port of Charleston.

Graham says one out of five jobs in South Carolina stem from trade through Charleston’s busy port, and he warns the entire state economy will suffer unless the port is overhauled.
Graham vows to bring Senate to standstill over $40K for project

Good. Then if it's so important let the people of SC pay for it. The population of South Carolina is over 4.5 million. That's less than one penny per person. If it's that important South Carolina will raise the money.


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