Take boots, for example. [Vimes] earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was … on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles. But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.
—Pratchett, Terry. “Men at Arms”, quoted in Fleischmann, Amir. “The Myth of the Fiscal Conservative” Jacobin Magazine. March 5, 2017.
The Myth of the Fiscal Conservative talks about the strange notion that sometimes you have to spend money to save money. One example from the Bush II era is that for every dollar the U.S. federal government spent on Medicare, Part D (the prescription medicine program), Medicare saved two dollars of spending.