Spending cuts no cure

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

When did we stop believing that educating children was a solid investment in the future, the absence of which would relegate us to noncompetitive also-rans?

When did we stop believing that having courts and judges and representation was necessary for justice to be done?

When did we stop believing that roads, bridges, police departments, mail delivery and environmental controls were all infrastructure necessary to elevating everyone's standard of living?

When did we stop believing that we need to pay for what we want?

Our beloved capitalism is based upon the idea of paying for value received (and for striving to deliver that value at lower cost). Yet our battle cry at every turn is "cut spending."

Shouldn't we first identify those things we really want our taxes to provide, and then assess which of those things is being provided well? And for those that aren't, cut the waste and improve the product? And for those that are, make sure we fully fund them?

That's how our vaunted market system works. It doesn't pretend that spending cuts cure all ills.

Kendall Robins