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Politics

An 'F' Word Liberals Hate: Frugality

January 21, 2013 - 6:00pm

Spending other people's money is something liberals do with gusto and verve. Constant practice has made them quite good at it.

In Washington, they have amassed a $16-trillion debt and seem more concerned with adding to it than reducing it.

The latest brainstorm is to mint a trillion-dollar coin. Fabulous.

But, wait: If you call in the next 10 minutes we'll mint 16 of them and pay off the debt! See how easy government finance is?

Not only that, but spending is a lot more fun and less work than saving money.

Fortunately, responsible people have been elected in Florida and they focus on containing costs, rather than increasing costs at every turn.

Gov. Rick Scott ran as a cost-cutter and no doubt has read the latest suggestions by Florida TaxWatch on how to save at least $1 billion.

One of the watchdog organization's ideas is to look at selling off public land not being used wisely.

This displeases the liberal media, who don't really cotton to the idea of private property.

For decades, Florida has been aggressively buying land. A few years ago I asked state bureaucrats how much land in Florida was public already and, as I recall, the answer was that it is difficult to pin down but probably was 40-50 percent.

Liberals seen determined to make it 100 percent and long to set aside a flat amount, say a billion dollars a year, to conserve land, which entails taking it off the tax rolls and causing Florida families to pay higher property taxes.

State officials also are focused on job creation. They are wise enough, I hope, not to claim they are creating jobs, as the Washington pols do, but they try to encourage job creation in the private sector and are having considerable success.

This also infuriates the left. Currently, the socialist side is sneering that the new jobs are low quality.

Try telling that to the people who have them and are working hard to move up the ladder to high-quality jobs such as economics professors at state universities.

Liberals seem to prefer that people remain unemployed and on the dole and of course vote for those doling out other people's money.

There is another possible way to save money: replace old-fashioned light bulbs with modern LED lighting. Scott's office is aware of this and is exploring the idea.

It can't be too crazy because they are doing it in the private sector. One of the companies said to be switching to LED lighting technology is HCA, Scott's former company. I've seen back-of-the-envelope calculations that suggest it could save taxpayers millions of dollars if used in places where the lights are always on, like state prisons, hospitals and universities.

Not only that but it would save energy, and thus please Big Environment.

My point is simply that there are ways to save money if anyone is looking for them.

Lloyd Brown was in the newspaper business nearly 50 years, beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. After retirement he served as speech writer for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

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