It's the unfortunate nature of government to always want more of the people's resources, usually the amounts demanded inversely related to the actual usefulness of the matter to be funded. Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne regrettably demonstrates his acquiescence to this trait with his latest lament about how he can't get enough money to spend.
Dardenne has complained before about how the state does not dedicate all of the 0.03 percent sales tax it rakes off does not get used completely for the department he nominally heads, Culture, Recreation, and Tourism. He fingers as the worst culprit using those proceeds to subsidize special athletic events. Now he has a solution -- reaching into taxpayers' wallets.
He proposes establishing a fund for financing of these events, paid for by possibly diverting more of the proceeds from the sales tax or, worse, perhaps some kind of increase. Even if the tactic only was to divert, this locks away money that is needed for more pressing concerns and would compound the bad problem of too many dedications, too little discretion in the state's budgeting.
Prudent financial management dictates that you don't establish a permanent allocation for a episodic and unpredictable purpose. And there's nothing wrong with taking the money out of Dardenne's budget. All that means is fewer jet-setting trips and ad campaigns that do little to suck more visitors to the state, and especially pales in comparison to the many more pressing needs of the state.
Dardenne, like many politicians, seems to think that doing more with more is what denotes good service to the governed. That's completely backwards; doing less with less is what truly serves the people, allowing them to keep this hard-earned resources. He needs to understand this lesson.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 12:25