I know. I feel the pain as much as you. I live in the highest taxed per market value county in the United States. There are reasons for this and plenty of us up here are not happy about it. It is easy to jump on quick fixes like tax caps and to cut school spending especially when a third of your mortgage payment is school and county taxes. The problems are more complicated than that however and that is something no one wants to hear. My response to that is grow up. The world is complicated and it’s time to deal with that fact.
Yes, public spending needs to be scrutinized. Always. Agreed. No argument from me. However, it’s not just how the money is spent. It’s the cost of everything required to keep a government operating properly and the government is a consumer like the rest of us. They must pay for buildings, equipment and services just like the rest of us.
I live off the New York State Parkway in upstate New York. At one time it was a beautiful drive surrounded by trees and waterways like Braddock’s Bay and the large area ponds. While these are still beautiful what you will see now is a roadway surround by grass that is cut once or twice a year. A disgraceful, ugly embarrassment. Being a state maintained area certainly cutting it more that twice a season must cost a fortune. Or does it? If so, why?
The government must, for most projects and purchases, go through a bidding process. If you’re paying for the lowest bidder as policy what do you really expect to get in return? Sometimes you get a good deal, sometimes you don’t and others you just get screwed. Most constituents only care about paying “less”‘ and not about the smartest choice. You get what you pay for.
Gouging school budgets is wrong and dangerous and it is a mistake that all of us will pay for sooner than most people think. The Chris Christie’s of the world are hard at work screwing you with your own words and lack of interest. They are using your inattention and disinterest in how the system works to achieve power. It’s easy. They learn what you want to hear then say it. Simple. Their terms will eventually expire and move on with their money and notoriety and you will be left with the mess that negligence produced.
If you want to go after someone, go after the the cheaters and corporations and drug companies that gouge your government which lead to higher taxes. Stop “blaming” your government for everything because, after all, YOU are the government. You elect the officials and tell them what you want. If all you are interested in is lower taxes then you are causing your own problems. It’s not that simple. You want your roads safe, your schools strong, your law enforcement well supported…but you complain when the costs go up. Start by asking “why is it costing more?” then actually listen carefully to the answers. Why do we need so many well trained law enforcement officers? Because society it is decimated with poverty perhaps? Why do schools need to pay so much for teachers? Because you require them to have a masters degree to retain their job perhaps? An expense that costs just as much as other graduate degrees, those that will earn twice as much after graduation. Yes, Mr Christie, you can choose to teach knowing all of this. Shame on them for wanting to make a difference in spite of the odds. Also consider what administrators cost. 300k for a superintendent? Really? 200k for a principal?
Before I’m accused of giving government a free pass I’ll add that government attracts corruption. Power does that to human beings and it has to be watched constantly. Mr. Weiner certainly is an example of that. Not that what he did has much to do with his job but it doesn’t do much for his credibility. He needs to make a lot of decisions on a daily basis and if they can be swayed that easily by what he carries in his pants it’s a real problem. In short, you have to pay attention to how things work, why things happen they way they do and why people behave the way they do. Not doing so leads to what you have now. High taxes, corrupt politicians and nothing getting done.