I have often heard how fiscally responsible our state of Utah is when it comes to our state budget. Yet it has been obvious that federal dollars show up everywhere. It was interesting to read that our new state auditor had the courage to talk about the elephant in the room ("Utah too dependent on federal dollars, auditor warns," Dec. 3). This subject has been largely hidden from our citizens. Some say that they don't see any way for the state to function without federal dollars.

I believe that dependence on federal dollars is having a huge effect on our decision-making in the state. I happen to believe that even the Count My Vote effort to eliminate the caucus form of candidate selection is driven by people who want to protect the status quo of flowing federal dollars. These people are in one way or another benefiting financially and they don't want fiscally conservative people elected.

Organizations benefiting from these dollars are everywhere: state and local government, education and medical facilities, transportation organizations, nonprofit organizations and who knows what else. If we don't start to back away from federal money, the day will come when we will have a sudden crisis. It will be much easier if we slowly learn to pay our own way or do without.

Harry Haycock