Saturday, April 12, 2008

Every little bit helps...a little...

"Like the old lady said when she pee'd in the ocean, 'Every little bit helps'".

When I was growing up and helping on our farm, my Dad used to work that phrase into the conversation pretty often. At least when an old lady wasn't around. I think the phrase applies well to congress and its attempts to rein in earmarks in the budget. Several newspapers in central Indiana have been running editorials praising our Representative Mike Pence for his efforts, and I certainly don't want to belittle any effort to curb government spending.

But we need to keep in mind that earmarks account for about 1% of the federal budget, and considering that less than 10% of them are targeted for elimination, I'm not sure the savings to the taxpayers merits the media attention the cuts have been receiving. It's not that I don't appreciate the effort, but I fear they are overlooking the real problem.

For example, around the corner from my home is the Brick Cemetery. Down the road a little further lives a man with a backhoe and a dumptruck. When the cemetery needs his services, he drives down to the cemetery, by himself, and digs a grave.

A little further down the road in the other direction is a cemetery that is managed by the city of New Castle, and it's employees. Last week, digging a grave at that cemetery required a backhoe, 3 trucks, and 7 men.

There may be things that are necessary for government to do, but there is very little that government does efficiently. We might have to accept the cost of ineffeciency from the agencies that perform the legitimate government function of protecting its citizens from force and fraud, but we don't have to accept in areas where the government shouldn't be involved in the first place.

Cutting earmarks might save us a tenth of a percent at the federal level, but real savings can only come by reducing government to its proper role at the local, state and federal level.

Someone said that while tornados might receive the most press, termites do a thousand times more damage.

Look around. I bet you can find some termites that need a little press.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool post and informative too. I kinda figured Pence was an ocean pee'er. Likes to put on a show maybe.

K. Wickes

11:21 PM  

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