It’s all your money
All across the country, from Olympia and Thurston County, to California and Washington DC, governments are in trouble. Budgets, designed when times were good and money was pouring in from tax revenue, are now looking at seas of red ink.
Governments can’t see way out of it. They are refusing to cut programs, because they say, in these poor economic times, these programs are needed now, more than ever.
In the last four years, from 2003 to 2007, populations rose by 5 percent and inflation ran about 19 percent but government spending increased by a whopping 34 percent.
It would seem prudent that government would cut back, if nothing more , than just the new programs they’ve instituted over the last four years. But they’re not.
Every special interest group is making its way to the halls of power, state legislatures and the US Congress, pleading for more money. And, government has pledged, more money.
The Washington State Legislature isn’t even going to begin serious budget work until they know how much money they’re going to get in President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan. They’re hoping for billions of dollars, and may very well get it.
And local and county governments aren’t only waiting for Federal Government relief, their lobbyists, that’s right, the cities and counties have paid lobbyists, are meeting with legislators, in the open and behind closed doors to ask for more taxing authority.
Cities and counties want two things from this session of the legislature. They want the ability to raise local taxes and they want the strings taken off of the taxes they already collect.
Over the decades, the legislature has given counties and cities the ability to increase taxes for certain designated purposes – - transit, Medic One, drug and alcohol treatment, new jails, the list goes on and on.
For the most part, local governments are collecting the money and spending it on what they’re suppose to be spending it on.
But now they want the strings taken off and want to be able to spend that money any way they see fit. In most cases, they want to use it to keep from having to cut employees.
But, while local government has its hands out for federal dollars and while state government can’t begin to complete its budget until Uncle Sam tells them how much money they’ll get, the bottom line is – - this money comes from you and me, the taxpayers.
This isn’t free money or money turned out on a printing press. This is our money the feds are giving away and local government is spending.
We have to keep that in mind when we talk about billions and trillions of dolalrs. It’s all our money. Don’t let your government forget that.
Posted in The Real News