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Archive for Saturday, March 30, 2013

Letter: Debt load

March 30, 2013

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To the editor:

$18 million public library expansion.

$19 million water treatment.

$25 million new recreation center.

$20 million-$40 million police department “upgrades.”

$64 million sewage treatment plant.

$92.5 million school “upgrades.”

Total: $258.5 million additional debt on the city level. This doesn’t include massive state and federal debts.

The government is not magic. It has no wealth except what it takes from people in taxes. Is it worth putting your children into debt?

Thomas Jefferson said, “I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in or comforts, in our labor and in our amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people, under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.”

Isn’t it time we listened to the truth and stopped going for the instant gratification of nice things?

Comments

Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

I say show up at city hall and rein in the reckless spenders at city hall. Yes indeed. This won't happen if the voters elect the three biggest spenders. The biggest spenders will bring more of the same which is why they are receiving the most flamboyant big spending campaign initiative.

Criqui and Soden are NOT among the biggest spenders.

When economic times get rough people seek to better themselves with additional education. Making available the most productive environment is a smart choice.

We know economic times can get rough so why not prepare our children for these times by teaching them to think by providing the most productive environment.

It's a known given that new industry examines local educational opportunities so let's NOT allow USD 497 to slip down toward Brownback levels.

Breaking ground that will allow our young students to learn at their own paces is a long over due concept. Bring it on!

This argument about killing educational opportunities will reduce our taxes is at best questionable. Lawrence can not indulge in another 10-15 years of negligence regarding USD 497 taxpayer owned properties...... this would reckless beyond belief.

Should the bond fail the rehab must move forward at a slower pace and maybe a property tax increase that would be short term however getting the same objectives completed. This might be a plan B scenario that would be wise NOT to encounter.

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Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 5 months ago

One could make the argument that at some point, the great equalizer of runaway inflation will erase all the debt. I hope not, but it certainly appears inevitable, it's just a question of time.

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Steve Jacob 1 year, 5 months ago

All those projects with a city with very slow growth and declining KU enrollment.

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CountyResident 1 year, 5 months ago

More proof of the "myth" that in Kansas we are not like the federal govermnet because our local and state governments do not allow deficit spending.

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Armstrong 1 year, 5 months ago

Just can't help but notice, is it only popular to complain about Lawrence debt but not national debt ?

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CountyResident 1 year, 5 months ago

This thread is about Lawrence debt not the national debt. My point is that many of the same local people who complain about the national debt seem to think its OK for local governments to incur debt. Or for that matter don't even understand that they can have deficit spending.

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IreneAdler84 1 year, 5 months ago

The school board doesn't have"deficit spending". It borrows money (by issuing and paying on the bonds ) to fund building improvement. This is similar to taking out a mortgage or a home improvement loan,

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CountyResident 1 year, 5 months ago

Anytime or anyone who borrows money to buy something is engaging in "deficit spending". It doesn't matter whether you are buying a new home, a car or in the case of the federal government military equipment, federal highways, or federal offices.

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sasquatch 1 year, 5 months ago

It is good to see progress and see our city grow. However, these multimillion dollar projects are coming at an alarming rate and one has to ask what the final bill is going to be. No question that our schools need work and the water and sewage treatment plant additions are necessary to meet growth, but we can't afford to follow state and national trends of adding astronomical amounts of debt without realizing there will eventually be huge repercussions from all of this. As my wife and I near retirement age it is becoming apparent that finding another place to live may be a more appealing option - more appealing than the continuous sticker shock of city hall and USD 497.

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Armstrong 1 year, 5 months ago

That has already been done. Remember stimulus 1 and 2, don't forget jobs, jobs, jobs!

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GMom05 1 year, 5 months ago

Good point. There are opportunities to vote. But I think not everyone is educated fully before doing so. They get carried off by those with the ability send out bulk mail, have the biggest signs, call you at home, and send information swaying you to their side in your child's backpack. Many people just do what they are told. I mean really, you can't vote against the school bond, IT's for the CHildren! It comes down to who yells the loudest and apparently those that feel we are spending too much money and are spending what we have wastefully, are being drowned out. It doesn't make the one's yelling the loudest right. Personally, I think the runaway spending needs to stop. I'll be voting NO to the school bond tomorrow and voting for people that will be more fiscally responsible. I would encourage everyone to listen carefully to both sides before deciding. Remember a NO vote on the school bond doesn't condemn your school or your child. It just sends the board a message that we want them to think it through and rewrite the bond. We can vote on it again in 60 days. This will not be the end of the world folks.

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