Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Property tax issues and the surplus

How do we get to such a large budget surplus while property taxes have risen so sharply over the past several years?

The budget surplus shows the deep cuts that were made in education, mostly higher education, health and human services, and in Local Government Aid were not necessary.

Truth in taxation hearings are beginning all throughout the state over the next several weeks, as counties, cities and other local government entities explain where these monies are going.

The truth behind that truth in taxation meetings are that they are very taxing on our counties. Obviously, I support the tax payers right to know how their monies are being used. We need truth in taxation meetings at the state and national level as well.

When I was out lobbying Senator Coleman, about three years ago now, he gave many of us copies of the US Consitution as we left his DC office. It was actually a very good meeting and the Senator has been good to higher education.

Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 7 of the Constitution states, "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time."

That last part is the key area I would like to focus on. A regualr statement of what we spend and take in from public funding, will be made public from time to time.

How many aspects of the Federal Budget are secretive? Now I know the righty response to this will be, "How can we let the terrorists know how much we are spending? It's not patriotic to let them know."

Secrets do not have friends. As a tax payer, we have a constitutional right to know ALL of this.

Which leads me back to truth in taxation hearings and things of that nature.

It's quite remarkable to me. Higher echelons of government make significant cuts in funding and programming and force the lower echelons of government to make up the difference. Then, the higher echelon forces the lower echelon to submit to highly bureacratic accountabililty measures while they continue to spend on pork barrel projects (See "deficit reduction act of 2005", cuts to areas important to middle and working Americans, tax cuts for the rich, and bridges to no where).


It's simple! Hold your elected officials accountable. If elected leaders are not doing what we need them to do, fire them in the next election.

"My guy is a good guy though." "He delivered a great dairy bill 15 years ago though."

Colonel Bartran used a saying about people who worked like this. After about 60 days out in the Yakima Training Center, with maybe 4 showers and only a few nights of good sleep, I made it back to my unit at Fort Lewis. The Colonel and many others had been back for well over a week. I got back to my office, worked on a few things real quick, and then was intent on leaving to eat, shower, and feel human once again. Colonel Bartran caught me.

"Mike Gulf, what are you doing?"

"Headed home" I stated.

He put his arm around me, "You did a great job out in Yak, we did a lot of great training because of you. I'm glad you're with me. But what have you done for me today?"

I was shocked. Before I could say a word, deep down, I knew he was right. Even though my driver and I were deployed for 2 weeks longer then anyone else in my unit, it was my job.

I went back to work, and he came by 15 minutes later and kicked me out.

That's a question that should drive voters and taxpayers.

What have you done for me today Senator ______ (Representative __________).

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