Two tales of tax spending

April 14, 2014 

When it comes to saving money, not all federal agencies think fiscal responsibility.

The Department of Defense actively looks for ways to slash costs to free up money for its main defense missions. For example, it switched flying supplies to the Middle East from commercial flights to primarily military ones, saving about $460 million annually.

Now it is limiting the number of air shows to save an estimated $129 million in 2014.

Metro-east residents who look forward to watching the Air Force Thunderbirds will no doubt be disappointed that Scott Air Force Base won't have an air show this summer, but prioritizing spending is the right approach for taxpayers.

Meanwhile, the Federal Highway Administration plans to spend $819.9 million nationwide -- for its "Transportation Alternative Program." Gov. Pat Quinn and other politicians are sending out press releases to take credit for the portion given to the state, which is $52.7 million.

Many metro-east residents no doubt will benefit from the $4.7 million to be spent on bike and pedestrian trails in Madison and St. Clair counties plus decorative crosswalks and street lights in Collinsville. But really, with a national deficit estimated at $649 billion this year and the deficit at $17.5 trillion, trails and fancy street flourishes don't belong in our federal budget.

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