Think About It: Cuts Without Clues - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

April 30, 2012

Think About It: Cuts Without Clues

Over and over, you hear uninformed people talk about the need to cut government, to keep government out of our lives, just leave us alone. A simple thought that assumes an enlightened and capable citizenry living without the onerous burden of Big Brother imposing sanctions on people's lives or reaching deeper into their pockets. OK, I get it, but at what price? Dig one inch below the surface of that simplistic concept, and where are you?

Reduce government? Really? Fewer supplies and repairs for our public schools; less attention focused on our crumbling roads and infrastructure? Fewer agencies available to help out during catastrophic natural disasters? Fewer firefighters and police officers? Fewer agriculture inspectors in Hawaii already means we have fewer eyes making sure we keep out brown tree snakes, Central African beetles, infectious mosquitoes, and other malicious pests. How about proposing some cutbacks in government services that would really help reduce our deficit by a significant amount? Sounds great, doesn't it. Well, most economists of any political bent will tell you that the biggest cuts necessary to have a real lasting impact on mitigating our debt would have to come via slashing defense spending, Social Security, Medicare and/or Medicaid. Now, who wants to make that call? Surely no politician who wants to be re-elected will dare touch those areas.

Yes, less government sounds great. Bureaucrats tend to get in the way and entrepreneurs need not apply. But until someone can logically explain how to make this all work with real cost cutting but without long-term implications that no one wants to deal with, it's all just lip service and generic posturing in Hawaii and nationally. It makes for good sound bites and water cooler chatter, but it's really just vacuous vamping without details. Think about it…

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