Thursday, July 31, 2008

Spend less, spend better, have more

Keeping anyone from a family, business, or government afloat in tough budget times involves managing fixed and variable revenue streams and liabilities. As people drive less and make other changes to better manage personal budgets, though, public officials looking at dwindling road funds struggle to understand what they are going to have to do to get our fiscal heads back above water.

In much the same way individuals cut back on entertainment and eating out, governments are going to have to spend less money filling the pockets of people who could do better taking care of themselves if they weren't so heavily incentivized to remain dependent.

In other words, we would have more money to build and maintain roads if we didn't waste so much providing health insurance to middle-class families who should be expected to get it on their own.

And putting government spending online so taxpayers can share in the decision-making is the best way to improve the quality of these necessary prioritization discussions.