What can we live without?

When it comes to cutting government expenditures, there’s been a lot of talk of late. But all that talk has also been accompanied by an equal amount of protest when it comes to following through with those cuts.

But, there are agencies making tough decisions necessary to reduce their spending. One that the Clarion reported on recently is the Independent Living Center, a disability resource agency that serves the Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak and Valdez-Cordova areas.

Due to federal sequestration, the agency has had to cut 5 percent from its budget. After crunching the numbers, the agency opted to trim its travel budget. The cuts won’t affect its services on the Peninsula, where it has offices, but it does mean that staff will visit Valdez half as much as they used to.

When it comes to government spending, there are no easy cuts. Something that seems an obvious waste to one person is a crucial service to another.

But bringing government spending under control means that less funding will be available. The cuts have to come from somewhere. They are tough decisions, but they have to be made.

At some point, every entity that receives funding from the federal government is going to face the same difficult decisions. Every agency — even ones spared from major cuts this time around — needs to take a good hard look at its priorities, determine which functions are absolutely essential, and which ones we can live without.

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