While driving to work I was listening to the news and another Georgia county had to make cuts to meet budget shortfalls. Of course the first thing they cut are police and fire. That was followed by the governor saying there are going to be more state wide cuts including education this time. I know there are better ways to make cuts. Then the thought came to me. What a marvelous opportunity! Here on the local level we have an opportunity to show we don't need big government. We (myself included) have been so complicit in letting government handle things we should be handling. What is the solution? Volunteers!!! Neighborhood watches should be springing up. Who better to protect a neighborhood from crime than the neighborhood. They know better what goes on than the cops do. If we were to just do a little more, we could decrease the amount of money we spend while at the same time providing better service. I don't have any facts to back this up, but I'm sure someone does. What about cuts in education? Volunteers!!!! Parents can volunteer in their children's classroom. This solves a multitude of problems. It gets parents involved in the educational process which I do know increases academic success for children. The parents get a check on what their children are being taught. Keeps teachers, hopefully, from teaching radical doctrine or at least the parents a chance to combat it with teaching in the home. Additionally, this is also an opportunity for retired educational professionals to donate their time and wisdom. What about using retired teachers to meet budget shortfalls or retired fire and police as well? They're getting paid out of the system already, I'm sure it would be much cheaper to pay them their full salary than hire a new person. Or they could just work part-time and not draw a salary? They are also making cuts in parks and recreation. How about neighborhoods getting together to perform the maintenance?
Where should cuts be made? WELFARE. I still believe welfare is the biggest waste of resources. The plan can be made to work, but it requires a completely new program. That will probably never happen. But here are some suggestions. Cut the number of workers. This will inevitably increase caseloads of currently burdened workers and slow down processing times. I worked in an intake unit for the welfare department. The clients I interviewed were either first time applicants, people moving from out of state, people who voluntarily discontinued benefits and are coming back to re-apply, people who's benefits were denied/discontinued for non-compliance with program requirements which are minimal. The overwhelming majority of the clients I interviewed were in the last category. If we could decrease the numbers in the last category, it would relieve the burden on those in the first categories. Priority should be given to the first categories. Clients (as we called them) should be notified that if they failed to comply they will have to wait for a new interview. Also states can say no to Federal government funding. They can create their own rules in accordance with what the state wants. Federal funding is how the Feds get states to do things they have no business telling states to do. Welfare is a purely state thing so the only way the states to do what the Fed wants is to provide incentives such as funding. So, if states don't want to do what the Fed wants (in this instance) they just forgo Federal aid.
Anyway, this blog has gone on long enough. But just like the Obamanation says we shouldn't let a good crisis go to waste, instead of using it as an excuse to grow government, we should use it as an opportunity to shrink it!
That's my two cents.