Readers' forum: 'Free' government services are paid for by taxes

Published: Monday, Aug. 13 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

This July 19, 2011 photo shows Jim Dabakis outside a downtown Salt Lake City coffee shop.

Lynn DeBruin, AP

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Jim Dabakis, Democratic State Party chair, is executing a campaign saying that Republicans are corrupt and self-serving; therefore, it is time for change. He is now seizing on his GRAMA fishing trip to support his campaign strategy by claiming this is an example of a Republican conspiracy to conceal information.

Here is the real situation, as I see it. Dabakis has requested some 16,000 pages of documents. They are available, awaiting his taking delivery. He has access, but wants them to be a free government service.

He apparently thinks freedom of information should be free for commercial or political purposes. His definition of "free" is that the government should provide it on that basis. He ignores that the "free" government service is paid for by taxpayers.

This approach has nearly bankrupted our governments, with the notable exception of conservatively managed states like Utah. There's no free lunch, and freedom isn't free.

Scot Wallace

West Valley City

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