A Couple Thousand for Lapel Pins? Is That All?
Have you seen the “You Paid For It” series on Fox 2 news? In this series, a reporter highlights examples of wasteful government spending. The latest installment showed how the state spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on gold lapel pins for lawmakers.
Is that all? When you consider the big picture, a couple thousand dollars is not a big expenditure for taxpayers.
There are things that lawmakers can do that would save taxpayers billions of dollars — not just a few thousand dollars here or there. For example, if the government didn’t provide subsidies to private industries, whether direct or indirect, Missourians would have saved themselves $6.476 billion in subsidies since 1997. That would be a much more substantial cut!
If lawmakers were serious about saving taxpayers money, eliminating under-performing programs would be a good way to start. For example, if the state government had eliminated the E-10 Ethanol Mandate in 2008, Missourians would have saved more than $285 million through ethanol-induced fuel cost reductions that year and nearly $2 billion in present value during the following decade. Additionally, if the state government were to eliminate targeted tax credits, it would save at least half a billion dollars per year.
To find evidence of waste in Missouri government for yourself, I encourage Show-Me Daily readers to check out the Show-Me Institute’s Show-Me Living web tools. These are a great resource for accessing public information about Missouri government expenditures. Show-Me Living has answers to your questions about tax credits and tax dollars. As an example of what you can do with the site, Tom Duda used the Show-Me Living Tax Credit tool to find that the state spent more than $973 million through the low-income housing tax credit program from 2000 to the present.