Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mo' Money, Mo' Problems

The political class always has its hand out. Somehow, we can never seem to get the very few things we actually want out of government--like decent roads and decent schools--and when someone thinks to ask why, the answer is always "not enough money." Notice how the reaction of the political establishment is always to find some new tax revenue source, not to cut existing spending? The focus is always on getting more revenue, not on how the current revenue is being spent. The overtaxed citizens of my old home state of California hear this cry regularly: "We need this new tax for the schools! Without it, the kids will have no supplies and the school buildings will collapse around their ears! Forget that California already spends in excess of $30,000 per student per year, and that most of that money is being spent on union salaries and benefits, and unnecessary administrative overhead, it's for the children!"

The song is the same for the roads. Enter this recent piece on NBC detailing the latest scheme of some state governments to wring still more money out of their populace. Somehow, despite some states' extortionist gas taxes and vehicle registration fees (like California), they just can't seem to make ends meet with road and bridge upkeep. Bullshit.

We do not need yet another tax to cover the upkeep of roads and bridges. We already have the revenue to cover that, in the form of vehicle registration and gas taxes. The problem is not that we don't have the revenue, it's that the revenue that was supposed to be allocated for that purpose has been hijacked to be pissed away elsewhere. The politicos prod us to keep trying to fill the budget bucket with water, assuring us that we're almost there, while they try to distract us from the hole they've punched in the bottom--a hole that leads into their pockets and those of their union and business cronies.

And what is to stop this new revenue stream from meeting the same fate as the gas tax revenue and the registration fee revenue? How long before this money, too, is appropriated for some other purpose, and they're back to coming up with yet another tax scheme, trying to sell us the same story that roads and bridges will go to hell without it? It's like we have a deadbeat roommate who keeps telling us he can't come up with his half of the rent, asking us to float him for a month, and when we do, he comes home with a new PS4. How much longer are we going to continue to fall for this same sleight of hand routine? Enough is enough.

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