A wise use of taxpayer dollars

Published 10:24 pm Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When it comes to government spending, as often as not, one man’s treasure is another man’s trash. For every argument that taxpayers should fund some program or another, there is a separate group of people standing up and asking why we’d waste on money in that fashion when there are so many more obviously important priorities.

Among the more plausible arguments against many government programs is the constitutionalist claim that government is intentionally and explicitly limited by the United States Constitution in terms of how it may legally spend taxpayer money. The security and protection of American citizens are among the few explicitly allowed government expenditures under the Constitution.

Considering that fact, a federal grant for $2.7 million that was announced on Monday for the Virginia Modeling and Simulation Center is a sound investment, both constitutionally and on a commonsense level.

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The money will be used to help improve the coordination of local, state and federal officials and agencies in the event of a catastrophic man-made or natural event.

The preponderance of military and transportation infrastructure around Hampton Roads has always made the area a potential target for America’s enemies, whether of the state-sponsored or terrorist variety. Add in the area’s vulnerability to hurricanes, and there is plenty of incentive for officials to have a good handle on everything from evacuation plans to emergency response priorities.

The VMASC grant will help officials make those determinations. Hampton Roads residents should be safer as a result. That’s a perfect use of taxpayer money and one that even the Founding Fathers would have approved of.