Similar results occur with the farmer and the application of fertilizer. Applying the right amount does make a big difference. Under-fertilizing will save some upfront money but will likely reduce the result, making the cut a net loss. Over-fertilization will, at the very least, waste money or, worst case, do serious damage. Correctly making these decisions requires a process similar to how wise government actions come about. It is also why having responsible progressives pushing and being moderated by sound conservatives can lead to positive results for the community, the state, and/or the country.
The bottom line is: investing less can cost you more when you factor in the lack of returns and the unintended consequences. For an example, funding public education at a lower level might just be costing us more. On the flipside, investing too much in an area can waste tax dollars and/or produce less efficient results when compared to investments made more wisely. Both are true in buying cows and funding government services. As they say, you have to find that “sweet spot.”