Let’s try this numbers thing again

Here’s a few numbers I saw in the Times recently. These concern the (FL) House budget proposal that was released last week.

$2.5 Billion – what you get when you subtract state revenues from state expenses (ideally that number equal to, or less than $0).

$1 Billion – proposed cuts to human services.

8,000 – terminally ill Medicaid patients who’d have their hospice care eliminated (as proposed).

$278 million – proposed reduction in nursing home funding.

5 percent – proposed reduction in staff responsible for investigating child abuse (in some FL counties).

$0 – taxes or fees the legislature would consider increasing to avoid these cuts.

There are lots of people who feel our government wastes money, and in some cases they are probably right. The way our Republican friends in the legislature have tried to cut this waste (albeit in the good years) is to cut taxes – to starve the beast, as they say. My problem is I don’t see human services spending as a waste, or “big government” run amok, or living outside our means, or providing disincentive for personal responsibility. I see it as being decent.

Yeah, yeah… you’re saying. I’ve said all of this before. I just can’t help myself. Some of the choices we make collectively, as a society, drains me of all my optimism.

I suppose I’d better get to bed. Wasting your money can take a lot out of a guy.

Give the gift of words.