Letters to the Editor

Spending questions

July 27, 2010


To the editor:

It’s not often that I read the musings of syndicated columnists without a wary eye as to their respective biases. But this weekend’s column by Cal Thomas struck a chord with me. Those elected and appointed officials in charge of spending public money would do well to heed these points when considering expenditures of public money:

  1. Does this project or program fit the core responsibilities of the federal government, state, city, county, school district or other governmentally funded organization?
  2. Do we really need this item?
  3. Can we afford it today, tomorrow and next year?
  4. Can we afford the upkeep and maintenance on it?

If the answer to any one of these question is no, or not sure, then the project, program, expenditure should be dropped. This is the minimum responsibility we, the taxpayers, expect of you and we will hold you accountable for it. If you can’t do that, you have no business in public office or running for it.


Tom Shewmon 7 years, 9 months ago

Handing my AmEx card to my teenager and saying "Don't worry about how much you spend, just go have some fun" reminds me of how Obama, Pelosi and Reid view our taxes/their wild spending spree: there is no restraint, no limit----it's not their problem.

texburgh 7 years, 9 months ago

Handing my Mastercard to my teenager and saying "Don't worry about how much you spend, just go have some fun" reminds me of how Bush and Cheney Reid view our taxes/their wild spending spree: there is no restraint, no limit----it's not their problem.

Funny how conveniently you forget the massive increases in spending under Bush/Cheney to fund their little Iraq adventure. It's okay to attack the current president and congress for spending too much or the fact that the spending does not seem to be helping the average working Joe (or Josephine) but at least they are trying to spend domestically in an effort to boost the economy. The ARRA was intended to keep teachers employed and put construction crews to work on roads and highways so they would have incomes to spend in our economy. By all means, point to evidence that it hasn't worked if you wish or suggest other ways to help but you can't put the onus on the current administration and forget what the last one did. Bush's "jobs bill" was the military - the only jobs he created were for kids willing to risk their lives fighting in Iraq for no particular reason.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 9 months ago

The letter writer inadvertently omitted the fifth question, which as a practical matter usually proves to be the most important: Is it great pork for my local constituents, and will it help me get re-elected?

Jimo 7 years, 9 months ago

War in Afghanistan:

  1. No
  2. No
  3. No
  4. No

Hmmm...I guess we can all agree to drop this and save $100B annually.

rtwngr 7 years, 9 months ago

Ken, siding with Cal Thomas will only get you barbecued in this town. Good letter!

Paul R Getto 7 years, 9 months ago

We exist in an alternate reality. The letter writer makes good points, and we need a serious national conversation on what all this means. I tend to agree with Jimo. Exiting the BS war in Afghanistan would be a great start. Despite their sudden interest in fiscal responsibility, after years of compliance with presidents of both parties running up the debt, I noticed the 'get tough on the evil ones' party provided the majority of votes to put more war funds on the credit card. Wake up folks; both parties are off the reservation, but we keep asking them for more and more.

Jimo 7 years, 9 months ago

If you felt a bit woozy yesterday afternoon, it was probably your psychic link to the national debt -- it suddenly jumped $37 Billion midafternoon when Congress passed an Afghan stimulus bill with each and every penny borrowed.

Can't afford $37B to put food on the table for unemployed Americans but we can afford to send it to Kabul to be loaded by the pallet onto planes to fly the money out of the corrupt country. (Osama thanks you!)

One wonders what it will take to get the "Tea Party's" attention? Maybe when the Chinese file a lien on the Alamo? Or maybe when the Communist Party of China turns Mount Vernon into a DC area residence for their Governor General to keep an eye on their American subjects?

sherlock 7 years, 9 months ago

so true Jimo! Time to suck in and take care of our own country, since we dont have any money now. What if China suddenly gets a little "hot under the collar" with some project here? I doubt they will call and argue first! They may just send a nice reminder called "take over" and obey them! America has never known bondage, but sure can happen. Some how dont think its a good policy to spend, spend more than can take in. This applies to the city/county and the school! The tax payers pockets are empty now! When will the government learn?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 9 months ago

Stopping the war is smart fiscal sense and smart in the human sense. It is a money hole that should never have been opened.

The money that would be saved would actually be necessary to fund the disability pay of some 200,000 disabled vets thus far connected Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan/Yemen activity.

We're looking at an estimated $3-$5 trillion dollars to cover disability pay,medical coverage and education expenses. This cost is compounded due to supporting the vets dependents who are eligible for all of the same benefits. It a vet is rated 50% or more disabled taxpayers are looking at the potential expense of higher education for vets dependents. The politicians so eager to kill others abroad never want to discuss this cost of war....... or perhaps they simply have no idea.

I've come to the conclusion that wayyyyyyyyyy too many politicians at all levels of government may well be among the least informed individuals.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 9 months ago

Ken Meyer,

May I suggest keeping an eye on this project that was sent to planning on July 27 2010.

After attending the July city commission on a fact finding adventure. What was discovered is that Outside for a Better Inside = housing project that is to be accompanied by a $40 - $50 million tax dollar athletic project money hole. Yes were talking a $25 million tax dollar field house plus a softball field plus parking lots plus landscaping that is to be built on some of the new USD 497 land purchase.

I say a lot of people are not being honest with the taxpayers!

Outside for a Better Inside is the disguise to get : new roads a new public school extending sewer and water lines to the sprawling development extending emergency services to the fringe more LPD staff will be necessary this list can get long and expensive

I suggested that the taxpayers need to be informed about what exactly is the plan. We won't hear much about the new housing projects as this will come along as the surprise. BUT why would anyone want to build all of this in the middle of nowhere? New residential is a drag on our economy and will not generate enough revenue to cover the cost new residential demands from city hall = tax increases.

My comment was let the taxpayers vote on this! We're being duped again. The library rehab is pocket change compared to what this will cost the taxpayers.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 9 months ago

If I were the Chinese, when it came time to cash some bonds, I'd take real estate, not money. The Chinese, for example, could take title to the White House and put up a big neon sign: "This building brought to you by the Chinese Government." Now wouldn't that be lovely?

no_thanks 7 years, 9 months ago

The government should pull back from more than just Afghanistan and Iraq. We continue to have military bases in Germany, England, and Italy. Our need to maintain a presence in these countries has passed. I don't know what the savings would be, but investing in our domestic security with our military seems to make better economic and social sense. We should also evaluate all of other foreign aid to make certain limited resources are being allocated to their highest and best use, which, in my opinion, rarely supersedes the needs of the citizens of the USA (of course, horrific natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes, famine, etc... requires a swift response,).

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