During the discussion on a previous post here, I made a comment about Colorado Springs: “what’s amusing to me about the “small government” and “low taxes” concentration there is that if there ever was a place that was dependent on the taxpayer’s dollar, it’s Colorado Springs. Let’s get real – if there weren’t the Air Force Academy, Cheyenne Mountain, Peterson AFB, Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, and so on around it, it’d be a small town with not much to do.”
It’s the great hypocrisy and serious blind spot of many places that are “staunchly conservative.” They will rail against “big government,” elect representatives who will decry “waste” and “pork,” while stumping to cut taxes, while cheerfully ignoring that their state or district is dependent on federal tax dollars. It may even be a major part of their economy, the “stable” part. A number of commentators elsewhere have pointed out that if you look at the actual flow of tax dollars, the “conservative” states receive more in federal money than they pay. Of course, no politician in those states will admit it. Instead, you have people like Rand Paul railing about how they need to stop their state (Kentucky) from sending so much money to Washington.
I know exactly what would happen if the federal government were to oblige them and cut spending – starting with them. They’d scream their heads off. I also know exactly what would happen to their economy, because I’ve seen it. The area where I went to high school had an Air Force base in a small city near my town. A few of my classmates had parents who were employed there. It was a fairly vibrant city, with lots of shops, some manufacturers, and things to do. It had a stable economy. Then then came the day the government decided to close the base. It’s no longer all that vibrant. The economy isn’t stable anymore. A lot of businesses ended up closing, and manufacturing moved elsewhere. It’s never quite recovered from that.
But it cut government spending! It was a more efficient use of tax dollars! So, yes, I do know what will happen. But, if they want to keep preaching about small government to me, then I’m willing to oblige them. I think it should start with them. Yes, I’ll believe you when you do it. You know what? I don’t think you will.