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From the “Work smarter, not harder” files

So far, deep cuts in local budgets not yet led to equivalent reductions in service levels.

The city of Houston just cut spending by $100 million in the budget that begins next month. The average Houstonian may have to look really hard — hard enough to see parks’ grass grow a little longer between mowings – to notice.

County government cut $138 million in the budget it adopted in March. The most noticeable results? Average wait times at tax branches with depleted staffs have more than tripled and weekend operating hours of the Lynchburg Ferry have been cut.

City and county officials, faced with millions less in tax revenues and millions more in anticipated cuts from the Texas Legislature, pledged to work diligently to minimize the effects of the squeeze.

They appear to have succeeded.

The rest of the story is filled with quotes, mostly from elected officials, claiming credit for this success. What they’re really claiming credit for, of course, is all the extra work being done by the remaining employees, who are doing all that extra work for the same pay. This frees up the elected officials, who don’t have to pick up the slack for any laid-off colleagues, to talk to the press about what a great job they (the elected officials, I mean) are doing. And in this fashion our government does a fine job acting like a business.

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One Comment

  1. ‘Doing more with less;’ many of us have experience with that in business, it’s just that with government, trying to dial in the ‘right size’ can get messy when it’s a matter of public health and safety. If we’re such a ‘Christian nation,’ we ought to remember Matt. 25:40 -” whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Instead we get Scrooge or Henry Potter saying “they’re not my children.”