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Letters to the Editor

Tax accountability

February 4, 2010

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To the editor:

Sustainable, definition: meeting needs for an indefinite period of time without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

It’s time we put “sustainability” into government. It’s sure not there now. For instance:

l Federal spending deficits out of control (an addition of $1.9 trillion in borrowing?).

l Kansas has spent more than it received for four years.

l KU has an enormous backlog of maintenance unfunded.

l Lawrence has basic services running in the red for five years.

l And the school district has more programs and facilities than it can afford.

Before these agencies take on any project, they should prove to us, the taxpayers, that they can not only initiate the project but keep it going for years to come. If the city wants a new rec center or recycling program, show us how you plan to pay for the upkeep and operation after it’s built. Before the state accepts federal largess, it should show the taxpayer how it will continue to support the burden that comes with that gift after the money is gone. Before KU builds a new building, they should show us how they plan to keep it up. And they should all do this within the framework of their existing resources, not with convoluted schemes that depend on “hoped-for revenues” or rob from the future.

The future of this city, county, state, and country depend on us, the taxpayers/voters, demanding this accountability from our elected officials.

Ken Meyer,

Lawrence

Comments

kansasmutt 4 years, 10 months ago

Thank you Ken. You wont see them change to deal with budget issues, but it does sound good. The system has been broken and corrupt so long, change wont happen in our lifetimes. The greed runs too deep and they think money is easy for us to find and send off to the collectors. Hate to say it , but the future only looks worse and the situation our kids and grandkids are facing is bleak. Just the schools alone could save billions in 1 single year, but you wont EVER see them slack off the spending train.

Brent Garner 4 years, 10 months ago

The first recourse of government when confronting a budget problem is to take more money from the citizens. Why? Because they have the power to do so and seem to lack responsibility and accountability.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 10 months ago

Is having a tax cheat in charge of the IRS a good idea?

Jimo 4 years, 10 months ago

Usually Meyer is way off but there is a core point here.

Spending decisions and revenue decisions are getting made separately with the result that programs don't get questioned hard enough and the public buys into absurd claims that taxes can be cut and then cut again with no painful consequence.

Just recently the state voted to criminalize yet some new drug but didn't stop to (a) validate hyperbolic claims of harm nor to (b) explain where the additional money would come from to pay for criminalization. A small item but oh so typical of our demagogues.

lucky_guy 4 years, 10 months ago

We have met the enemy and he is us. Come on guys, billions from the schools? The schools have been cutting for 5 years straight. If you are refering to the building spree that Lawrence went on for athletic fields I seem to remember having a bond issue that passed. The public is to blame for this not the schools. The public wanted tax cuts and more services. So now we need to put up or shut up.

devobrun 4 years, 10 months ago

For the first time in 25 years, social security is taking in less than it is paying out. Normally, ss pays into the federal treasury. Now it needs money from it.

The other agencies have been using surplus ss money for years. They "borrow" the money from ss and even pay interest to the ss trust fund. All transactions are on paper. No money is ever paid to ss from the treasury. It is patently illegal, but they do it anyway. All that exists in the ss "lockbox" are IOUs.

Government is a joke. It is a lie. People continue to think that government is the answer to so many problems.

If a free market ran things, banks would fail. Car companies would fail, and new things would emerge. New banks and car companies would take their place and the market would be sustainable. It isn't companies or programs that need to be sustainable. It is markets that should and will survive, if allowed to operate free from the government.

If banks are allowed to fail, then bankers would be held accountable. Bankers would be more conservative with their money. Grownups would be making decisions and the country would be better for it.

As it stands now, bankers are guaranteed protection. They are cajoled into lending money to people who are bad risks by our government. The government gives the carrot and the stick to the banks. The bank failure is stimulated by government.

Stop government from manipulating markets now. Get government out of our lives as much as possible. Rely on yourselves and quit looking to the government for your living. Then we will all be better off.

jafs 4 years, 10 months ago

devo,

I would agree except for the fact that those at the top have managed to secure guaranteed severance packages/benefits regardless of performance.

That means that if we simply allowed all of these businesses to fail (an attractive idea), the people that would be hurt are not the people responsible for the mistakes.

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