Ron Williamson's Spend -O- Meter
Am I just not getting it?

The e-mail today announced a new innovation at the Great Plains Public Policy Institute - the Spend -o- meter. This meter supposedly tracks how fast state government is spending our tax dollars.

Click here to view it in action. OK. There is is. Whee. Am I missing an inportant statement in all of this? What is it supposed to mean? The e-mail set forth:
“With a budget of over $3 billion, the state spends $97 per second,” says GPPPI President Ron Williamson. The budget number does not include the additional $20 million appropriated by the Special Legislative Session. “The Spend-O-Meter shows how quickly the state consumes the hard earned South Dakota taxpayer’s dollars,” Williamson stated.
I'm not sure why this is anything other than an exercise in calculations and programming. Is this an attack on State Government? Are they saying State Government is spending money too fast? Is it not spending it fast enough?

Imagine a Doctoral thesis being presented for committee review, with facts and figures supportive of a thesis. Except there's no indication of what the thesis statement is. Like a countdown clock not noting what's being counted down. Any of the GPPPI members want to help me with this one? What's the purpose?

Given the timbre of the previous e-mails from the GPPPI, we can safely assume that they think spending is bad. I think. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike any of them. To the contrary. I'm probably more conservative than many of the members, and I think their heart is in the right place. And I very much enjoy reading the e-mail updates from them.

But this just rubs me wrong. It's like they are saying there's a problem without offering an alternative or a solution.

Well, here's my challenge to the guys at GPPPI: Cowboy up, and if you think the State is spending too much, too fast, offer an alternative. Offer a solution. Tell us where you think State Government should cut. What do you specifically have the problem with? (Even the Democrats do that).

Until then, it's hard to take statements like the Spend-O-Meter seriously.


Anonymous said…

I think the spend-o-meter is illuminating. I congradulate Ron for visually expressing how fast the state is spending our money. I just wish there would be additional graphics depicting increases in taxes, spending and government employees in the past twenty years by state government. Ron is on to something. Facts without conclusions and rhetoric is very persuasive. Ron just needs to expand on his graphics.

P.S. Government employees in Pierre please don't be offended.

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