Wednesday, March 22, 2006

You Get What You Want - You Pay For It

The JSEB said Monday that “We get the government – liberal or conservative, honest or not – that we deserve.” Today it was reported that the city of Peoria voter turnout was about 18%. In Peoria County it was even worse at about 15%. Bad weather? Sure, bad weather evidently was a factor in the county. City roads cleared early. The biggest factor effecting poor turnout was and is apathy.

I firmly believe that it is much easier to complain than to educate oneself to make an informed decision. I also know that there are more people who would like to serve and help guide the community but don’t want to go thru the “getting elected” process. This gives voters limited choices and so they prefer to not vote at all.

Too bad.

These same people want the people who are elected to bring not only the essential and mandated money back to the community they represent; they also want pork projects and entitlements that are helping bankrupt our state and federal government. Everyone has their hand out and politicians do not know when to say no for fear of losing a block of votes.

On 3/21/06 the JS reported on Tuesday’s Peoria School District #150 board meeting as follows: “A $40,000.00 contract with a Chicago-based consultant was approved. This consultant will offer staff training on how to engage parents from poor, urban areas in the academic success of their children. Four days total days of training will be provided. The district is using Title I funds it receives from the federal government to pay the consultant.” So in effect it is not costing us anything because the federal government is paying for it. And where does that money come from? Does it fall down from a money tree?

I can’t criticize Peoria School District #150 more than I can criticize the county, the city, the park district, and other entities, for having their hand out for money from the state and federal governments, but it seems to me that #150 staff ought to know by now how to engage poor parents in the learning process, especially since much of our administration and staff is homegrown. But most all elected officials go on reinventing the wheel with taxpayer’s dollars, whether local, state or federal.

We have two more new faces on the #150 school board. Both appear to be very qualified. The taxpayer can only hope they come to board meeting knowledgeable, free from special interests and carry hatchets to cut out some of the top heavy bureaucracy in this under performing and debt laden system. I congratulate Stephen Morris for his short service on the board and hope he continues to show an interest in serving the community in an elected position. Unfortunately, Morris and Stowell ran from the same districts. I also appreciate the 10 year efforts of Garrie Allen.

Again, too bad and so sad that many of us are not participating in what is happening in our world; yet we do our uneducated and uniformed complaining. No, watching and listening to sitcoms, sports events, CNN and left leaning individuals and medias do not make us informed enough to separate the truth from half-truths and lies about local and world wide events and some of the people in the news.

I close this blog with a statement attributed to Cecil B. DeMille about editing what he would put in print: “What I have crossed out I didn’t like. What I haven’t crossed out I’m dissatisfied with.” And with a statement attributed to a JS Forum contributor that “he didn’t mind if others stayed at home because it would give his vote that much more power over the course of government whose decisions directly affect his life.”


Anonymous said...

U.S. tax dollar redistribution is a zero-sum game, and we elect representatives who are most capable of capturing the most money from the pot to bring it home to his/her constituents. That’s not entirely accurate, I guess, since in a zero-sum game there is a finite volume that is apportioned. The “finite” volume of tax receipts is ever changing (read: expanding) and our government often spends more than it takes in, and some local governments are the reverse. In other words, it’s supposed to be a zero-sum game, but government cheats (imagine that).

But my point is this: isn’t it curious that voting and non-voting citizens are most satisfied with those representatives who pry the most money out of the pot and bring it home? I’m thrilled when I can convince my rep’s to fund something for me! If we have to pay the taxes, I’d much rather I get to spend it here. But how sad: as happy as I am with the money that gets spent here, it’s rarely spent on things that I would willingly offer to spend it on myself. Apparently you and I aren’t smart enough or sufficiently benevolent to know how to spend our own earnings.

Our Framers understood both the metaphysics and realities of freedom being immutably connected to privately held property (meaning real property, possessions, and money). It is a very genuine and real apprehension that removing us of our own property (again, including money) removes us of our freedoms. Interpreting and re-interpreting the Constitution in the sense of jurisprudence is one thing – but don’t people comprehend that our very constitution (intentional lower-case “c”) is at risk?

Merle Widmer said...

Amen! Look locally and see where a lot of your taxes are being spent and for what.

How about committements made for another $10 million loan (bond) to the PPD zoo when 15 years are still left to pay off the RP bonds, approximately $850,000 per year, all payments made with new loans (bonds). From what info I have,loans(bonds)at payoff time will total $25 million without this new $10 million loan (bond).

Forget the new softball fields and E. Peoria, Morton and Pekin all says thanks Tim, Roger and Bonnie.

But look at all the new money that will be brought into the community by people coming here to spend their vacations. I suggest that some of visionary leaders do a lot of praying and private fund raising.