When will our elected officials get the message that they need to fund basic services of government, first out of the tax money they already receive, instead of using them to get us to pay for more and higher taxes?
President Lincoln once said, “The legitimate object of government is ‘to do for the people what needs to be done, but which they can not, by individual effort, do at all, or do so well, for themselves’.”
The number one thing fitting that description that we need government to do for “we the people” is to protect our rights – mine from you and yours from me.
So, the first priority of government in America is and always will (or at least should) be public safety, and at the local level, specifically police. In addition, the other aspect of public safety, fire services, should be next on the list, followed by other things we can’t do ourselves or as well ourselves, which are transportation, education, and of course water and sewer service.
Yet, those first four services are what local and state governments use to try to get us to pass another sales, utility or other tax, or a bond issue, which results in higher property taxes. Those services should be paid for out of city, county and state budgets with the money they already get from basic property and sales tax revenue, first. Then, if we can’t afford to pay for the extra things, we like and want out of the budget, that we can provide for ourselves such as recreation, then our elected and other government officials should ask for special taxes for those items.
It seems for too long they’ve had things backward in this state and at our local level, as well. A perfect example is the recent effort to pass another tax increase for the East County Fire Protection District, that the people just voted down, again. From the ones I’ve spoken with, it appears the elected officials in that district are getting the message, as instead of thinking of a third way to get the voters to give them more money, the officials will work to reallocate the money the cities, county and special districts already receive and reprioritize them to provide the much needed fire service in that part of the county.
It’s time all of our elected officials got the message and recognize that we’re taxed enough already, and they need to reprioritize their budgets to provide us what their government agencies were formed for in the first place, before trying to pay for other things which aren’t a fundamental requirement and don’t need to be provided by our government. I’ll repeat that – our government.
While it may mean fewer city or county services, so be it. That’s what we want and should get. Just like budgets for your home or business, if you don’t have enough to meet the basics – food, clothing, shelter, utilities and medical care – then you don’t take a trip to Tahiti or splurge on anything else.
Again, if we want the extras then ask us for a special tax for those items, instead. Quit using the highest priorities of government to extract more of our hard-earned money that’s dwindling in our pockets. So, meet our needs, first and if there’s extra money left over, then pay for the wants. It’s pretty basic and simple, folks.