While helping addicts to overcome addiction may be noble, using other peoples money to do so is wrong. It is a moral failing to expect productive taxpayers to underwrite the costs of treatment for those who made bad decisions and became dependent. If the demand for such services is sufficiently high, private enterprise is the appropriate solution, not the public sector. Government run anything is always over-priced and inefficient. The same services in the private sector are always better, faster, more successful and cheaper.
Considering that Broome County taxpayers are already over-taxed, over-regulated and over-burdened by unnecessary layers of government, over-lapping bureaucracies, fees, fines and regulations, the creation of a new and expensive treatment facility is a bad idea.
Government at all levels, should focus on the core duties and responsibilities they were created to provide, not wander off into enterprises and undertakings that compete with private sector providers. Roads, bridges, police and fire protection, the legal system of adjudication, courts, these are the things to which government is limited. Over-reach beyond those services is clearly outside the scope of what our founders intended.
Government was envisioned to be severely limited, leaving citizens to pursue their own business, determine their own interests, while being mindful of unnecessarily interfering with the citizenry. Ideally, governments should be as small and unobtrusive as possible, just large enough to accomplish its the basic services.
While we cannot afford the expense of this program, even if the costs were not an issue, the reality is that government should not be in this business.
Make not mistake, this is not an argument against the treatment of addicts or a dismissal of the anguish, suffering and heartache families endure. The scourge of drug abuse is real and deserves attention. The argument is about the morality of expecting productive, successful total strangers to pay for solving a problem they had no role in creating.
Those pushing this agenda have so far relied heavily on emotion and heartache to sell the idea. When the loved ones and relatives of addicts attend public meetings holding up pictures of those souls lost to their addition, their tears, grief and sorrow are weaponized in order to sway opinion and convince others of the wisdom of this project. Whenever the chosen primary tool of persuasion is emotionally based, it is at the expense of reason. When it is likely that logic, reason and thoughtful discussion will prove to be a more powerful persuader to the contrary, the tears of emotion are employed to obscure the vision of the bigger picture.
The thoughtful and reasoned discussion is the question of the legitimacy of government involvement in projects best suited for the private sector. The unjustified assertion of a moral authority that demands of hard working taxpayers their hard-earned dollars is unconscionable. It is unreasonable and ironic to think that those who have managed to remain productive and successfully un-addicted are obligated to pay for expensive and often times unsuccessful treatments for those who are.