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I agree with everyone

This is an odd situation… everyone is blogging about the latest round of county budget disasters, and I agree with all of them. At least, I agree in part with what everyone is saying. This is why I find it so difficult to pick a side, or a party, or even a basic political philosophy.

Jim Ostrowski of Free Buffalo fame writes about the government growing larger and causing the economy to shrink. I certainly think there’s enough evidence of that. Simply comparing the percentage of government workers in this area to others makes that clear.

BuffaloPundit picks apart Jim’s speech line by line (*yawn*) but makes the equally valid point that Albany is the larger part of the problem. This is true, but Buffalo politicians help keep the crappy Albany politicians in power, so we’re part of the problem too. Buffalo politics is far from being a shining star in dingy New York. He goes on to stump for our culturals, like the Albright-Knox and Shea’s. These undoubtedly are assets to Buffalo that we can’t afford to lose.

North Buffalo Journal and Review takes that argument to the opposite side saying that if we weren’t so highly taxed, people would have more discretionary money to give to culturals and they wouldn’t require as much public funding. Also true. Government shouldn’t be in the business of trying to support every person’s pet project. The money flow is less accountable. There should be a bit of natural selection when it comes to non-profits, weeding out the weak and unnecessary ones (yes, I put the feral cats one in that list).

Buffalo Geek brings up the libraries, specifically. I also agree that we’re over funding libraries. Blasdell’s library closed last year. I haven’t heard a single story of how someone’s life has been destroyed by this fact. Let’s face it – we all have cars. The city has public transportation. You can get to a library that’s a few extra miles away. Strategically place them, consolidate resources, get the funding levels more in line.

The facts are that changing Buffalo is much more within our grasp than changing Albany, so waiting for the proverbial or actual Day One will prove to be fruitless. Once Erie County is the leanest operation it can be, we have more influence in the bigger picture. Slashing cultural funding isn’t going to fix any problems, it will decimate some of the last remaining great things about this area. Gradually scaling back funding will allow the myriad of operations to take it upon themselves to become more self sufficient. Some things are going to be lost in the process. Some things must change. Everyone is going to need to give a little to make it happen.

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