Spending Priorities

I laughed at this story this morning:

Some area nonprofits are looking at belt-tightening and fundraisers after Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed $615,000 for projects and programs pitched by area lawmakers.

Lots of charitable organizations now have to tighten their belts:

Tabatha Taylor said the veto makes her more determined to find money for wellness programs Odyssey Foundation for the Arts offers. The Shreveport organization lost $200,000 through the veto. . . .

Centerpoint, a Shreveport agency that provides referrals and help for homeless and poor individuals, will have to find money for operating expenses after losing $40,000 to a veto.

Now the funny part:

Some local agencies escaped the governor’s pen.

The Shreveport Regional Sports Authority will get $350,000 toward a cash bid fee for the 2009 Bassmaster Classic Tournament.

Improving public health and helping homeless people – Bad. Catching big a** bass – Good.

I know, I know, there’s an objective reason for the cuts. It’s not just that Republicans hate poor people, or that the Odyssey foundation was created by a Democrat, or that your average bass fisherman is much more likely to vote for PBJ than your average social worker. I know that the buzz word is fiscal responsibility. I just wish that when politicians of any party decide to trim wasteful spending that they’d spend a little time considering what actually makes spending wasteful.

Most politicians, I think, consider wasteful any spending on any project they do not like. A better idea is to define it as money that does not accomplish what it is supposed to accomplish.

I personally would not spend 350k on a bass tournament. I don’t really care about bass or bass fisherman. That does not mean I think it is wasteful spending. Probably the tourney would bring in some money. Probably the exposure for the region is beneficial. I’m not convinced, but I see where those things are possible. So if someone does think this is a good idea, I would allow it. But, if the tournament never happened, or if it did not provide the benefits it was supposed to, then no money next year.

All this is to say that when it comes time to trim the budget, the number one thing that ought to lose money is . . . “the insane war on drugs”. Regardless of whether drugs are good, bad, or indifferent, I defy anyone to think of any government program that has cost more and accomplished less.

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One Comment on “Spending Priorities”

  1. Suzy-Q Says:

    I’m beginning to think that the only way to stop the blood bath trickling over the borders from Mexico, is to do that very thing. Stop funding the drug lords.

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