The Great Awakening

October 18th, 2008 by Ken

That’s what I call it, the Great Awakening.  Local governments have just received notice that money doesn’t come from heaven, but comes from the hard work of local business owners, who generate income. hire employees and pay taxes.

It was a rude awakening for Thurston County government which has to cut more than $6 million from its 2009 budget and lay off scores of workers, many of them in the sheriff’s office.

The City of Olympia, that bastion of anti-business sentiments, has to cut several millions of dollars from its budget and may have to lay off two dozen city employees.

What about state government, controlled by the Democrats for the last four years and spending tax money as fast as it came in.  Now, the state is facing a $2 billion, $3 billion, $4 billion dollar deficit. (Take your pick.) Whatever it is, the deficit is due to uncontrolled spending and the failure to realize that business greases government’s wheels.

When business is doing well, people have jobs.  They spend money and government takes a portion of that expenditure in taxes.   The businesses themselves have to pay taxes to any number of  government  agencies and the money comes into government coffers.  When business stops, government grinds to a halt because it doesn’t have the taxes necessary to pay for the  numerous programs it has started.

That’s the Great Awakening, the idea that business actually pays for government.

But the Great Awakening isn’t just affecting city, county and state governments.  It’s affecting all of the small government agencies as well.  Timberland Regional Library, which has hired 82 new workers in the last four years, now finds itself millions of dollars short in paying for these new employees.   Lacey Fire District 3, which had $2.2 million dollars from the sale of its old building, put the money into salaries, and now can’t find enough money to meet those increased salaries in the coming year.

At all layers of government, from cemetery districts to the federal government, the party’s over.   It’s time for clear heads to realize that the business slowdown means that the taxpayer money, which greases the wheels of government,  has stopped.

But, it’s not just government which feels the pinch of business slowdown.  It’s also the number of quasi-governmental agencies which rely on government grants and contracts.  They’ll also have to cut back and start laying off people.

The Great Awakening has come. 

The sooner government releases the constraints on business, the sooner business can hire again and the sooner taxes will start to flow again.

The Great Awakening is here.

(A similar commentary ran on KGY Radio on October 17, 2008)

Posted in Business, Government, Informational, The Real News

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