Archive for Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Limit spending

June 29, 2011


To the editor:

It appears community leaders are not in touch with economic conditions. Many economists predict “tepid” growth over the next two years, at best. Some say we will see another recession next year, with housing values dropping another 20 percent or so — and the economic doldrums will continue for more than just the next two years. Job growth remains flat. Too many existing homes aren’t selling. Fewer building permits are being issued for new construction. For all of the federal stimulus (borrowing), little has been accomplished, except pushing us closer to insolvency.

Yet their answer is to raise tuition fees, tax rates, service fees and other costs to the consumer. Where is the push to control costs, provide just the basic government service, and live within our means? If our leaders can’t figure out how to get by on what they have, we need new city leaders, school board members, legislators and Board of Regents members. The private sector has gone without raises, tightening its belt to withstand economic pressures. It’s past time for the public sector to do the same. Working for the city, county, state and the school district doesn’t entitle one to a job and generous benefits.

Consumers make financial choices every day to keep afloat. The public moaning about making painful choices rings hollow. Trying to keep service levels static in the face of diminishing revenues by raising taxes is the wrong approach. Limiting government is a better choice in these economic times.


uncleandyt 6 years, 6 months ago

Taxes are revenue. Raise some taxes, lower others. Those who can't pay, won't. Those who can, might.

nativeson 6 years, 6 months ago

The City went 4 years with a level mill levy and generated a surplus each year. They increased revenue only when the public voted for it. USD 497 has definitely been dealing with falling revenues.

However, the County has raised the mill levy 20% since 2007 to fund items such as the open space preservation. This seems like a priority the public cannot afford during a recession.

The biggest misconception that government has now is that revenues will improve over the next few years. They have not faced the fact regarding flattening revenues that will force priority choices to focus government on their core mission.

P Allen Macfarlane 6 years, 6 months ago

And what exactly is "their core mission"? It seems to me that this phrase is another one of the Republican right's set of buzzwords, that to them means cutting out anything that has any social net or quality of life value.

monkeyhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

"However, the County has raised the mill levy 20% since 2007 to fund items such as the open space preservation." Could this be the reason?

NYLCVEF In the 2010 Policy Agenda, NYLCVEF encourages local leaders to promote smart growth principles, such as stimulating economic development where infrastructure already exists and discouraging green space development. Smart growth principles will ease pressure on farmland and thus help preserve available open space. Specifically, NYCLVEF urges local policymakers to:

Promote local bond initiatives to protect open space before it is developed. Encourage local municipalities to support statewide Community Preservation Act and/or sponsor local preservation initiatives. Ensure NYS Agencies direct funds and planning towards smart growth principles, which preserve open space.

Won't see this in the Huffer Post:

The UN’s Agenda 21 is definitely comprehensive and global — breathtakingly so. Agenda 21 proposes a global regime that will monitor, oversee, and strictly regulate our planet’s oceans, lakes, streams, rivers, aquifers, sea beds, coastlands, wetlands, forests, jungles, grasslands, farmland, deserts, tundra, and mountains. It even has a whole section on regulating and “protecting” the atmosphere. It proposes plans for cities, towns, suburbs, villages, and rural areas. It envisions a global scheme for healthcare, education, nutrition, agriculture, labor, production, and consumption — in short, everything; there is nothing on, in, over, or under the Earth that doesn’t fall within the purview of some part of Agenda 21.

Following the establishment of the Council on Sustainable Development, J. Gary Lawrence, Council adviser to President Clinton, revealed:

Participating in a UN advocated planning process would very likely bring out many of the conspiracy-fixated groups and individuals in our society. … This segment of our society who fear "one-world government" and a UN invasion of the United States through which our individual freedom would be stripped away would actively work to defeat any elected official who joined "the conspiracy" by undertaking LA21 [Local Agenda 21]. So we call our process something else, such as comprehensive planning, growth management or smart growth.

In the world of business Agenda 21 is not a free market friend, preferring PPPs or Private Public Partnerships where the government decides which companies will receive tax breaks and are allowed to stay in business. In light of this realization, the cozy relationship between the current administration and GE (a company that paid no federal tax in 2010) should raise eyebrows. And the WH efforts to tell Boeing in which state they can operate seems to further bolster the belief that Agenda 21 ideals are already making headway in America.

monkeyhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Here is more. These are highlights of the article that I chose to post:

"Agenda 21 and Obama’s Rural Council - Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On June 9, 2011, an Executive Order established the White House Rural Council with 25 executive branch departments including Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, National Drug Control, Environmental Quality, Labor, Commerce, Interior, EPA, Housing, Health, Education to name just a few.

The order covers 16% of the American population who lives in rural counties because they “supply our food, fiber, and energy, safeguard our natural resources, and are essential in the development of science and innovation.”

A recent article in Washington Post appeared with the innocuous title, “What we need: Smarter growth plans.” The author is Roger K. Lewis, a practicing architect and professor emeritus at the University of Maryland. Who can possibly object to “smarter growth plans?” Except that “smart growth plans” is the euphemism used by the United Nations for its Agenda 21, a direct assault on private property rights and American sovereignty.

Communist “social engineering” confiscated land and homes for agriculture. People were forced to move into many-storied, tiny cinder block apartments without any compensation for the land or homes bulldozed. They were forced to commute by bicycles or public transit.

I am not sure on what research Lewis based his conclusions, but we have huge domestic oil reserves if permits were issued to drill. We also have a vast land mass. Some areas have 70 or less inhabitants per square mile. Americans still want to own their own home and want to live in a homogeneous community of other homeowners. Just because power hungry bureaucrats at the United Nations have decided to “preserve” land and the environment for the future of the planet and its animals, neglecting the future of humans, does not mean Americans agree to this vision.

“Much of America’s land cannot and should not be developed.” Who are you to decide for us, Mr. Lewis and why? Last time I checked we were free people who determined their own life choices.

“Dependency on oil and limitless use of cars pose daunting environmental, economic, and geopolitical problems.” Who is going to decide the limit to our car use? Is it going to be done by law, more regulations, or executive order?

A handful of environmentalists, the EPA, and the United Nation’s dictators, using faulty debunked data from the University of East Anglia or phony research are trying to separate Americans from their land use, cars, trucks, and the open-wide road.

continued ......

monkeyhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Agenda 21 sets up the global infrastructure to manage, count, and control assets. It is not concerned with protecting the environment or the world’s resources. Agenda 21 wants change from old sector-centered ways of doing business to new approaches. The “desired future state” should be to pursue “economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social equity.”

“Social equity” is the new euphemism for “social justice” the Marxists in our government have been using a lot lately. Who gave them the authority and the mandate to initiate such change? I do not remember the American people being asked through a referendum whether we wanted our way of life to be fundamentally changed according to mandates set up by the United Nations. How will population growth control be achieved in order to protect the precious environment?

There are four tiers to UN’s “sustainable development” plan:

Environmental sustainability
Economic sustainability
Socio-political sustainability
Cultural diversity.

In 2001 UNESCO, in The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, stated that cultural diversity is as important as biodiversity in the sense of a more satisfactory, intellectual, emotional, moral, and spiritual existence. Who is to decide the level and quality of the population’s satisfaction, intellectual, emotional, moral, and spiritual existence? Human needs must be met while preserving the environment for the future. Again, who will decide what our needs are in order to preserve the future?

In February 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya, ICLEI attended a United Nations conference as representative of the interests of local governments. “In collaboration with partners such as UN-Habitat, Cities Alliance and ICLEI, UNEP (United Nations Environmental Protection) is working to make cities more livable, better prepared for the multiple environmental challenges they are facing, as well as giving them a stronger voice in the international climate negotiations.” Last time I checked, global warming has been debunked as a hoax and UN rapidly changed its name to climate change, continuing the attempt to fleece developed countries. In addition, who decides these international climate negotiations and why? What are we negotiating? Carbon credits?

In October 2009 in Bangkok, ICLEI stated, “local governments are offering national governments our partnership in the fight against climate change.” ICLEI wants local governments to collaborate with national governments to fight against climate change, the very change that has been scientifically debunked."

Cai 6 years, 6 months ago

you mean like the library that we couldn't afford and I never use?

you mean like healthcare that's being attacked and degraded (for women, of which I happen to be one)?

I'm all for paying taxes, particularly locally, but the city and the county have to keep a balanced budget. As does the country. The country has other issues which are, naturally politically charged. However, regardless of my (or your) opinions on HOW they should do it, it remains fact that we absolutely can NOT continue to spend more money than we have in revenue. We MUST find a way to become financially solvent. As a nation, as a state, as a county, as a city, and as consumers. The consequences of failing at these tasks are monumental.

Unfortunately, at all levels, sometimes that solvency requires some sacrifices.

Richard Hardin 6 years, 6 months ago

In 2001 the Republican government passed a tax cut, the cost of which is now 2.5 trillion and ticking. After that the same government took us into a useless war that was waged "off budget," as if it didn't count in our fiscal outlay. This is the same Republican party that has boasted that it will "starve the beast," i.e. the government that is of by and for the people, i.e. us. In refusing to rescind the foolish tax cuts, the Republican party is digging us deeper into the financial mess that blew up in their faces in 2008. How can anyone in his right mind vote in good conscience for any Republican until the party disavows its mindless ideology? Richard

gkerr 6 years, 6 months ago

Yes limit spending. Spending by government begets spending. Taxes beget spending and encourage the need of more legislation to increase the need for more taxes and spending.
Republicans have failed to control spending and taxes. Democrats have failed as well.
Our politicians are elected to represent us and defend our rights against the power of the State which always and everywhere is tempted to increase its power over us and decrease our power over it.
This is not news that government made up of elected politicians in our case strives to grow and be ever more relevant and powerful by weakening the rights of those who challenge their will to maintain their own power and perks. This is the story of government, regimes, republics, tyrannies, monarchies, war lords, democracies. Plato wrote of it 2500 years ago in the Republic and other dialogs, Homer sang of it 500 or a more years before that. Poets, historians, playwrights, artists of beauty and grace are struck by the muse that whispers beware as they create plays, poems, novels, narratives, epics, murals, plays and paintings about the human story including the tragedy of powerful men and women who overstep and refute our hopes and aspirations for their wisdom and justice. In the year 1900 The US government had a debt of 2000 million dollars. By 1920 that debt had grown to 25,000 million dollars and by 1950 grown to 257,000 million dollars. By March 7, 2005 the debt had rocketed to 7,730,000 million dollars (7.7 trillions dollars), and today July 1, 2011 it approaches 14,800,000 million dollars. By all current estimates based upon foreseeable revenues and current obligations and promises by law for future entitlements our federal debt will be 61,000,000 to 100,000,000 million dollars by 2070. Federal Government Spending as a fraction of GDP was about 7% in1900, 20% by 1930, 37% by 1990, 43% by 2010. Debt generated by spending for whatever cause good, vital, necessary, frivolous, foolish, dangerous, cannot keep on its present course. Spending must be cut, entitlements must be cut, politicians must respect their electors, must be prudent, must be stopped from slipping into further excesses of greed and corruption and arrogance of power.
The era of compromises are indeed over or soon will be over. The compromises in the past settling on 7% instead of the necessary 12% for this or that 'vital program' were the cause of the ruinous debt we now must endure.

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