Is It Government Spending Or Investing?

Curt-lineby Curt Kovener 

We get a good number of news releases here at the newspaper from elected officials, primarily on the state and federal level, about getting our fiscal house in order. Their answer is cut, cut, CUT! spending.

At least that is how they frame their monetary argument: to tax less, spend less, make government more leaner.

Some leaders, while cheering the recent announcement of more jobs coming to Crothersville, would quietly lament the spending of nearly $900,000 to install a road and make safety a higher priority in the local industrial park.

I don’t view such financial expenditures as spending; I call it investing. Investing in better roads for easier access, investing in safety, investing in expansions that result in more jobs.

Presently it seems our state legislature and governor is interested in cutting income to counties, cities, towns, fire departments and other emergency services while claiming to be our fiscal friend by cutting our taxes and leaving more money in Hoosier pockets.

Sounds nice but it might be better to invest even more money in some infrastructure we all use. Driven on any county roads lately? A bumpy ride awaits you on the pothole plagued, crumbling asphalt.

And then there is the matter of bridges over streams and rivers that have damage we can’t see from the surface, according to inspecting engineers.

The investment in the local wastewater treatment plant has paid off not only by sending cleaner water downstream but now also with additional jobs.

Did you spend money on a mortgage or did you invest money in a home for your family? Did you spend money on a vehicle or did you invest money in transportation to get to and from work?

And if you don’t maintain the roof of your house or change the oil in your car because you want to cut your spending to leave more money in your pocket you will eventually be walking to buy a tarp to cover your leaking roof.

Legislators want to cut spending; local leaders want to see more investment.

Po-TAY-to or Po-TA-to?

We should demand of our state and national leaders who control the purse strings to make the investment in state and local infrastructure for our safety and aid our ability to help attract new business. And if we and our families get to use some smooth roadways & safe bridges along the way, then it is, indeed, a wise investment.