Keep cutting?

? At some point, smaller government is not user-friendly for both citizens and businesses.

With some political slight of hand, Gov. Brownback avoided the first government shutdown in Kansas history, created by the Legislature?s inability to agree on a revenue strategy to cover the state?s $400 million budget hole. The governor signed a bill Saturday defining all state employees as ?essential,? thus negating the furlough of some 24,000 ?non-essential? workers. For now, at least.

Amid the political bickering, many people wonder why legislators didn?t cover the deficit by simply cutting additional expenses, as any family or business would do when income falls short. Of course, most families and businesses aren?t foolish enough to purposely eliminate a reliable revenue source to prompt an ?experiment? in frugality. But here?s our point: reducing the size of government comes with a price.

Rep. Don Hineman, a clear-thinking Republi?can from Dighton, states in his recent newsletter: ?We can continue to cut and produce smaller government, but there will be consequences. Smaller government is not user-friendly, and that affects both the citizens and the businesses within the state.?

Hineman cites several examples:

? delays in filing a legal case and receiving a legal hearing;

? vehicle registration renewal forms are no longer mailed;

? the number of commercial driver?s license examining locations is reduced;

? our child is suddenly in a classroom of 30 students instead of 23.

? our grandchildren no longer have access to programs that kept them interested in school;

? convicted criminals are released from prison early due to lack of corrections personnel or bedspace.

No one likes to pay more taxes, and government has an obligation to run efficiently. But in a healthy society, responsible citizens can abide a moderate level of taxation that supports not only their personal interests, but the betterment of the broader community. –DR

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