Saturday, January 26, 2008

Special Interest Groups 1/26/08

Volumes have been written about politicians and special interest groups. Let's see if I can simply these volumes. All special interest groups should be listened to for the simple reason that they are entitled the same as all of us, to be heard. The tough part is for the politicians is to determine what action should be taken on special interest requests. Once a decision to grant concessions to any special interest group has been determined, a pattern is set to be followed later. What has happened here in our country over the centuries is that politicians no longer have reasons to say no. They have already spoiled the pot.

Subsides, grants, relief packages, special legislation are now expected by everyone who can think up or design a request for every possible thing under the sun for politicians to fund with OPM. Socialism runs rampant. Politicians are judged by their special interest constituents by how much money they can get from the public body they were elected to represent.

An example is Governor Crist of Florida who pushed a bill through his legislature to socialize the state's disaster insurance. In an article in the 1/24 issue of the WSJ, I quote "Refusing to admit that an increased risk of hurricanes will naturally result in higher insurance premiums, the alleged Republican Governor signed a bill that shoved aside much of the private insurance market while putting all of Florida's taxpayers on the hook for catastrophic storm damage. This approach is very inexpensive until the next big disaster hits the state and then untold billions will be needed to be "pryed" from taxpayers at the moment they are sifting through the rubble of their homes."

Now the Governor is turning to the Federal Government to put all us taxpayers on the hook. Failing to get immediate action from a wise Democrat Chris Dodd and Republican Richard Shelby, Rudy Guliani, who I once thought I could support, along with Huckabee and Romney are trying to ride to the rescue. To Romney's credit, he does state that "if the private sector can't deal with it effectively, fine. If it's not, then we have to look for some kind of multi-state sharing program...or perhaps a national program. Romney continues, "But recognizing, of course, that your not going to have low risk homeowners or low risk states subsidizing high risk homeowner or high risk states."

Romney has that part right. But the WSJ and I like McCain's approach better. McCain pointed out that we already have FEMA and 26 other Federal programs intended to assist people after natural disaster. McCain is working on a bill to make it easier for private insurance companies to operate across state lines. McCain wobbled a bit like most of us do, but then said another federal disaster fund would cost U.S. taxpayers too much money.

Go John McCain, my choice to be our next President of the United States with a running mate of Governor George Romney. (Sorry, readers, Mitt, not George who was a good leader also)

Everybody claims that taxes are too high. Of course they are and they will get higher. In the end politicians can't say no and many special interest requests fly so low under the radar that the common person can only understand bits and pieces of what if going or isn't even aware that his pocket is being picked.

Where do I as a County Board member stand on these issues? My record in voting yes or no on some requests is not "squeaky clean". But I ususally don't go along with the pack just beause everybody is doing it.

1 comment:

Sanford said...

Merle, I'm glad you included that last paragraph. I've been looking for a way to say 'thank you' for your lone CB vote on the Mapleton biodiesel plant rezoning issue.

Here's what I am referring to...."Seth said he and other investors are eyeing Springfield in hopes of receiving grant money to get the project off the ground, although they are not dependent on the funds.

Seth told the County Board that other states offer more incentives to lure such facilities, but the central Illinois location is ideal." (PJS 1/11/08

Also..."The state money is crucial to breaking ground this year, Seth said, and while no state funding wouldn't kill the "green" project, he and other investors - including former Caterpillar CEO Glen Barton, O'Brien Steel President Joe O'Brien, Otto Baum Construction President Wayne Baum and Core Construction President Ken Baum - would have to meet and rethink their plans." (PJS 1/10/08)

This group of investors have built their careers on promotion of free market but are asking for taxpayer money even though "they are not dependent on the funds"???

If they're not dependent on the funds do they believe they're just entitled to it? Why would Koehler look to secure it? If the "central Illinois location is ideal" shouldn't that be enough?

Every project that comes before our local governments seems to , upfront, have a wall of veiled threats to give us money/tax breaks or we'll go somewhere else. Peoria always acquiesces yet we keep falling farther and farther behind communities in the State.

I'm with you on this one, Merle even if it was only a vote on principle.