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Spending depends on ox being gored

Jason Ferguson
Published: Thursday, June 13th, 2013

 

In the newspaper business, the morning after you have a meeting, whether it is school board, county commission, city council, etc., someone else at the office inevitably asks you how the meeting went last night. What they are really asking is, “did anything juicy happen?”
As I write this Tuesday morning, Carrie told me about her Monday night school board meeting in Hermosa, where the rural school issue again was brought up, and again was defeated. I’m not attending the meetings, but by my count, I think that’s three different times the poor school board has had to vote on the same issue that is no fun for anyone.
That got me thinking about the broader issue of government spending. If you ask any Republican their opinion on government spending, they will give you the same answer: “Less is better.” Republicans believe the government is addicted to spending, and rocketing the U.S. down the path to third world country status with its spending habits. Democrats, on the other hand, believe Republicans only care about their fellow rich white man and want to round up everyone that makes less than $100,000 a year and ship them to a remote island so they can be free of their whiny, Welfare check cashing, waste of flesh existence. These are extreme examples, but you get the idea.
But are Republicans really against spending?  It depends on how it affects them.
Come with me back to 2005. The scene—Ellsworth Air Force Base. Those who can remember that time remember when Ellsworth was on the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission’s hit list as a target for closure. One of the reasons for the closure was that the government wanted to cut defense spending. That’s right—the government wanted to cut spending. That didn’t sit well here in conservative West River South Dakota.

In the newspaper business, the morning after you have a meeting, whether it is school board, county commission, city council, etc., someone else at the office inevitably asks you how the meeting went last night. What they are really asking is, “did anything juicy happen?”

As I write this Tuesday morning, Carrie told me about her Monday night school board meeting in Hermosa, where the rural school issue again was brought up, and again was defeated. I’m not attending the meetings, but by my count, I think that’s three different times the poor school board has had to vote on the same issue that is no fun for anyone.

That got me thinking about the broader issue of government spending. If you ask any Republican their opinion on government spending, they will give you the same answer: “Less is better.” Republicans believe the government is addicted to spending, and rocketing the U.S. down the path to third world country status with its spending habits. Democrats, on the other hand, believe Republicans only care about their fellow rich white man and want to round up everyone that makes less than $100,000 a year and ship them to a remote island so they can be free of their whiny, Welfare check cashing, waste of flesh existence. These are extreme examples, but you get the idea.

But are Republicans really against spending?  It depends on how it affects them.

Come with me back to 2005. The scene—Ellsworth Air Force Base. Those who can remember that time remember when Ellsworth was on the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission’s hit list as a target for closure. One of the reasons for the closure was that the government wanted to cut defense spending. That’s right—the government wanted to cut spending. That didn’t sit well here in conservative West River South Dakota.

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