Any Budget Cuts Will Cut Someone’s Budget

The Springfield News-Leader runs a story about a local organization set to lose government funding:

The Big House, a center for men with alcohol and drug abuse issues run by the Recovery Chapel in Springfield. Director Farris Roberston complains that the State of Missouri is pulling an important funding source.

When Farris’ organization received a letter last week from the Department of Mental Health the terms were clear: the organization’s contract to receive funding would end in 60 days.

What the letter didn’t say was why.

Access to Recovery funds, which come from the federal government but are administered by the state, assist organizations in providing drug and alcohol abuse recovery programs. The funds account for about 20 percent of Recovery Chapel’s $560,000 budget.

Those of us of a certain age can remember the Matt Blunt years, when the governor led budgetary responsibility that trimmed state spending. The newspapers were full of stories explaining how each individual organization that would receive less funding would suffer for it. Why, some of us even blogged about it, mocking the media’s tone that Matt Blunt hated everyone.

But the fact of the matter is this: If our Federal government is not to collapse under the weight of its overspending, it will have to trim its budget. Some of that budget is doled out to states as money the states can grant to various local communities or community organizations for service.

If cuts are to be made, organizations will have to find other sources of funding. Unfortunately, fundraising for so many organizations has come to rely on grantwriting and getting some sort of taxpayer money, which the organization the builds into its operating budget and needs that tax money to survive.

Instead of a story lamenting the passing of the Federal tax dollars coming to this organization, I’d rather have seen it phrased as a story to tell people about this organization, what it does, and its budgetary needs so that the public could put $20 in an envelope for them.

Instead, it falls to the government to fund this organization, and maybe individuals can remain unengaged with the needs their community.