Monday, May 2, 2016
We want it all, but we just don't want to pay for it. It's called "denial".
Does the Tea Party....oops, I mean the "Freedom Party"....know how to say anything besides "cut taxes"? That's their mantra....CUT TAXES! I'm tired of hearing them say it because they obviously haven't thought things all the way through. I'm all for cutting taxes if....IF....all of our essential services have been properly funded, but they HAVEN'T been. (Of course the term "essential services" is open to interpretation.)
Here's an example: our crumbling roads and bridges. Pres. Eisenhower proposed the Interstate Highway System back in the 1950's, and by the 1970's much of it was in place, and interstate commerce has since benefited greatly.
Without a top-notch transportation infrastructure Walmart, Costco, Home Depot and all the other big retailers couldn't economically stock their shelves, and the Amazon phenomenon might not have been possible, either. Yes, even high tech internet businesses ultimately rely on good 'ol asphalt and concrete roads to deliver their goods. But by all accounts our roads and bridges are in dire need of maintenance and/or replacement, and the money isn't there to do either.
At one time our air our traffic control system and our airports were the envy of the world. That's no longer true. We still have a few world-class airports, but most are fairly decrepit, and our air traffic control system is *I should whisper this to avoid panic* on the precipice of being downright dangerous!
We don't fund our schools properly. Local school boards are loath to propose tax increases....that's a sure-fire way to get voted out of office. Instead they postpone maintenance and new school construction, preferring instead to just bring in cheap, energy inefficient portable buildings. Teachers almost universally have to spend money from their own pockets to buy classroom supplies their districts won't provide, and local PTA's must have carnivals and bake sales to help their schools make ends meet. That's shameful!
I'm a big proponent of police "body cams". Our police are under attack, both literally and figuratively, and they're often accused of being heavy handed. Sometimes they are, but sometimes they are just accused of being too rough when they are in fact justified. Body cameras would go a long way to establishing the truth, but most police departments will tell you they can't afford to buy them. Wouldn't this be a good use of taxpayer money? The Tea Party might nod their collective heads "yes", but they never seem to be willing to cough up the cash.
"CUT TAXES!" is all they know how to say.
Much of our needed additional funding can no doubt be paid for by eliminating "waste, fraud, and inefficiency", another popular phrase that all politicians talk about, but never seem to deliver on. (That's another topic I will write about later.)
For now, please spare me the bullshit of preaching "tax cuts". Let's talk about that when we have our house in order, and right now we aren't even close.