Green River Star -

Our View: What is our fair share?


December 20, 2017

Anyone looking at the photo collection at the Sweetwater County Courthouse may come across a rather benign looking photo of the Sweetwater County Fairgrounds.

The photo shows a man standing behind a sign next to a line of cars driving into what was then a community park north of Rock Springs.

The sign asks residents if they did their part in supporting the park in big, bold letters.

Taxes have become a dirty word amongst people over the past several decades. The image of an uncaring government squandering someone’s hard-earned money on a useless endeavor. This concept of government and wasteful spending permeates all levels, from municipal councils to the federal government. But, what constitutes wasteful spending?

Not too long ago, we received an unsigned letter from someone claiming spending on education is too high. The letter didn’t say much except students can get by on just the basics and taxes are already too high. However, we think spending on education should be a no-brainer, as making sure Wyoming’s children have access to a quality education should be something everyone can get behind. Cutting education now seems especially foolhardy, as our southwestern neighbors in Utah are proposing to drastically increase their education funding. This would set up a debilitating brain-drain from schools in southwest Wyoming as younger teachers flock to higher wages and urban amenities Utah can offer.

Leaving education, what about spending on road maintenance through the Wyoming Department of Transportation, of spending Wyoming Department of Health?

Both provide important services to Wyoming’s residents and have received cuts during the last biennium. We believe anything impacting healthcare should by a cut too deep, but many of Wyoming’s legislators disagree.

At what point are cuts too deep for Wyoming to take? Are they when they impact the future of Wyoming through the education of children throughout the state? Is it when healthcare services provided by the state get cancelled due to a lack of funding? These are questions legislators and their constituents should have because time is running out.

With the minerals industry not being as profitable as it once was, the state’s residents should decide what their part in funding the state should be, but they should also be aware of the costs associated with cutting back important services like education.


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