Why Shrink County Government?

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Brad Osborne voted the right way on the Lehigh budget this year, but note that he’s still approaching County budget issues from a very wingnutty perspective. The idea that County government needs to shrink is taken as a given, and Brad does not seem to think that it needs any explanation:

Taxpayers in Lehigh County deserve real fiscal discipline from their elected officials. To effectively reduce the size of county government and lower taxes, it will be necessary to identify and eliminate wasteful expenditures, implement efficiencies, and frankly, learn to live without all but the most essential spending – not just for today, but also for the long term.

Talking vaguely about the size of government instead of talking about what services you do or do not want County government to provide makes you just as guilty of the sort of irresponsible budget nihilism as Scott Ott and the Tea People.

You need to say what you want County government to do, say what you think is the most efficient way to provide those services, and then raise the amount
of revenue you need to pay for that. You can’t just work backwards from some arbitrary revenue number.

Comments

  1. GDub says:

    Any budgetary argument would be silly to have if, besides the criteria you are listing, “amount willing to pay” weren’t included. There are many services that people may want but aren’t willing to pay for at a certain price, either in their personal lives or in public life, and that’s just fine.

    I’m not a fan of drawing an arbitrary line, but this is done all the time by lots of advocacy groups. California, for example, through a referendum made it a requirement to spend a certain percentage on education–not on a particular skill, attribute, or form of education–just that it be spent. That ended up about as well as you might expect.

  2. John says:

    So let’s see… Osborne and Hansell did exactly what you’re saying here – they identified specific areas to cut, cut those areas, and stand on their record. What’s vague about that?

    • Jon Geeting says:

      I’m referring to his op-ed. It’s vague. There are no specific services he says he wants County government to do less of.

      • John says:

        The op-ed wasn’t about the future, it was about explaining this vote. He also stated that the commissioners needed to do the difficult work in identifying specific areas to cut.

        There is no issue here except you bashing a Republican even though he agreed with you.

        • Jon Geeting says:

          Read his quote, he’s agreeing with Ott and the tea people that County government needs to shrink over the long term: “To effectively reduce the size of county government and lower taxes, it will be necessary to identify and eliminate wasteful expenditures, implement efficiencies, and frankly, learn to live without all but the most essential spending – not just for today, but also for the long term.”

  3. John says:

    Oh, and why shrink government? Because that’s what the voters and taxpayers want. We’ve demonstrated that with Don Cunningham and it extends to Osborne, Doughterty and the idiots lead by Ott.

    We don’t want to implement the things you want and spend money we don’t have.

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