Utahns are firmly supportive of the conservative agenda which rails against federal spending. It’s difficult to spot a Republican officeholder who doesn’t complain that government is too big, too costly, and threatening our grandchildren’s future by recklessly spending money it doesn’t have.
That makes a great sound bite on the evening news but when Utah gets a chance to claim some of that “overspending,” that’s a different tune.
Last week, for instance, Utah officials were crowing about the $44 million the state and the cities were receiving to alleviate the 2010 flood damage. Of the 33 states receiving the funds, Utah grabbed the second highest amount, spreading money north ($13 million in the Ogden area) and south (nearly $7 million in Washington County).
That darn Obama, spending money hither and yon!
The same week, Davis County appeared likely to receive more than $4 million for damages sustained in the December 1 windstorm. We like to applaud our rugged individualism, but Utahns on the receiving end aren’t complaining. A government spokesman said, “The prospect of the rest of the American people paying to help Davis County recover is an amazing boon.”
Yep, another Obama bailout, but pardon me, this is a boon.
And the same week, Davis County asked those overspending bureaucrats to fork over an additional $500,000 to buy armor rock to line the sides of the Antelope Island causeway. “We’re getting in line for more money,” said the county’s public works director.
I have no problem with the state receiving federal money. In any given year, Utah receives more than Utahns pay in taxes, and flood/wind repair and causeway restoration are certainly worthy projects. However, isn’t it a bit hypocritical to endlessly berate the federal government for spending, but happily keep our hands out for the dole? That is like slapping your father, and then requesting an allowance.
Granted, government is wasteful. But one person’s waste is another person’s investment. I’ve heard of Republican caucus attendees gripe about federal and state gasoline taxes, but I also see them taking the FrontRunner trains to Utah Jazz games. Few of our highways and transportation projects would be intact without federal funding, just as many thousands of Utahns couldn’t have purchased a home without an FHB loan.
The conservatives yell that government has overstepped its role. I agree that sometimes it has. But then I also agree with Abraham Lincoln who would have been kicked out of a GOP caucus meeting for stating, “The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do for themselves.”
Sounds like Honest Abe was just another one of those bureaucratic socialist liberals.