Charles M. Arlinghaus: Less weed, more road repair, please
Much of the work of state government and the Legislature is dramatically less dramatic. Ultimately, the hard work of the Legislature is as a trustee managing what government has decided to do and exercising fiduciary oversight. Think of them as trustees acting on our behalf.
The state will ignore the details for a few years until we have serious structural problems and have to make some sort of sudden correction. You'll remember the supposedly draconian budget passed in 2011? It was a very difficult 6.2 percent cut at the end of day (on an apples to apples basis).
A small example of this is the current debate over state transportation spending. Year after year, highway spending got worse. It's not that we didn't spend money. It's that we spent it on the wrong things. There is an obvious reason for that. We name big, exciting projects for politicians. We don't name routine but cost-saving maintenance after anyone.
Charles M. Arlinghaus is president of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, a free-market think tank in Concord.
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