I’ve seen the same debate time and time again on every level of the government, local right up to the federal… How will X be funded? Where X is whatever project they are pushing for at the time. And it always turns into the same debate, “fair funding”. The problem is this debate misses the point. We do not have funding problems in which we must try to find fair solutions. We have spending problems in which we seek too much making every method of taxation unfair.
When we look at governments spending on unnecessary things or over spending without questioning where the money is going is it fair to take that money from anyone? On the local budget committee, I’ve been called everything from a nitpicker to a monster because I will question everything (including items I agree on) to see if they are needed at the level we are spending at or if they can be done in a better way. If we can do the same exact thing for half the price isn’t it the responsible thing to do to try for that lower price? Would it be fair to take $10 when we really only needed $5?
Likewise we need to get our priorities in order. The government spends on many things it has no business spending on. In fact Robert Heinlein said, “There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.” So it is time for our government on every level to wake up and start realizing that there is no such thing as a funding problem, what we have are spending problems and once we start dealing with the spending problems we will find ourselves much better off. But until we do we will continue seeing that same debate take place again and again.