March 11, 2002
Americans don't take kindly to the unjust
There's nothing like a recession to give clarity to how government spends our tax money. All the recent referendums prove that Washington voters don't want to pay high taxes. And now we are seeing how the elected huffers and puffers are playing nasty, like spoiled rich kids, because they have to spend less of our money. The simplest of tax-supported venues (a.k.a. "parks") get closed down because the politicos aren't getting enough tax moneys for their pet projects Ñ talk about getting even with the taxpayers!
Just who are these rascals, these simpletons, that close down parks as budgetary fixes? Oh, yes, I remember, they are the short sighted and self-centered who ran for public office and got elected by low voter turn-outs.These pointy-headed, myopic scoundrels got themselves into the driver's seat with the typical magic of zealots and con artists.
Unfortunately, lousy voter scrutiny has given us a crop of elected officials who don't have to worry about being thought of as insightful, visionary or altruistic. They aren't even good bean counters.
Credibility? Instead of taking pay cuts, or using better budgeting practices or doing without their pet projects, they show their frugality by closing parks. Sly dogs! If they cut funds to things with powerful lobbies or bags of PAC money, well, they know that would require political courage. Parks are safe cuts. Parks don't have Armani-suited interests.
Thank God the elected elite don't have to suffer. I doubt they use their own money for "fact finding" visits to foreign countries and for "important" seminars in Hawaii or Las Vegas. Do these people ever vacation in camp grounds and public parks? Do they eat peanut butter or steak? Do they have calloused hands from real labor? Do they lead by example or by their words? Will politicians miss using public parks, do they even know where the parks are located?
So screw the common guy, take away the places where parents can afford to romp with their kids. Barricade the pathways and alcoves from exploring children. Force youthful strollers out of their solitude and into malls.
Close the places where the elderly can sit and enjoy themselves. Padlock the parks where friends can laugh and picnic on weekends.
And, as we are currently witnessing, the tobacco settlement funds will probably be used in a reckless fashion.
The same goes for most of the traditional revenue sources. If parks are easy targets, what other clever schemes are brewing? I'm certain we are in store for new and strange variations on property taxes, assorted license fees, toll charges and user fees.
It's ironic, there are no sanctioned requirements to be a politician. Even a night school class in balancing a check book would be OK proof of some competency.
Yet we demand certification for pilots, police, fireman, teachers, doctors and nurses, truck drivers, taxi drivers and just about everyone working in the public sector. And, who ultimately controls all of these professions? Right! Politicians, with no certification but lots of charm and a gift of gab.
Americans, as told in every history book, don't take kindly to the unjust, the unfair and the poor use of tax money.
Want to make cuts? Maybe it's time for the French solution: bring back the guillotine!
Unfortunately, until the middle class says, "That's enough!" a real tax payers' revolution will never happen and the fat cats know that.
Politicians will continue dealing Three Card Monty until every last dollar is scammed from us, the rube taxpayers.
Bill Stankus, Woodinville