Some say we need new schools. How can any politician say no? It would look like they were against education.
Some say we should make it possible to realize the "American Dream", that everybody should be a homeowner. How can any politician say no without it looking like they were against the "American Dream"?
Today, is this the dream our visionaries envisioned?
Some said we must have new libraries. How can any politician say no without looking like they are opposed to learning? Especially when $120,000 was privately funded to sell the referendum.
Some say we need a new Museum especially to forge the final link in the great Peoria Dream of a new ballpark on one end and an expanded zoo on the other with the expanded Civic Center, the new RiverPlex and the museum in the center. How can any politician say no without it looking like they were against progress and museums?
All these projects need the endorsement of the major politicians to sell the expenditures to the public.
Then there is the media who will ALWAYS take the side of the new. Why? Pages of news print and advertising dollars such as the full page museum ad in Sunday's paper.
Now I'm not opposed to all these things and certainly didn't oppose the the original Civic Center but had my doubts on the expansion and still do. However, there is not a shred of evidence that new schools turn out better educated kids. The biggest question is will 360,000 visitors keep coming to the new museum year after year if indeed, 360,000 come the first year? Projections say 360,000 each year are needed and even then the museum will not break even. I'm assured that Caterpillar consultants say the museum and the Cat Center will be that big of a year in, year out draw, but now Caterpillar stock is down to $49 from it's high this year of $87 shredding some doubt on consultants "projections".
The new library and expanded libraries are a bad joke on the property taxpayer(you'll see) but all major politicians backed the referendum. Then how could the voter, spurred on by the politicians, most of who who hadn't set foot in a library in years say no? My question has always been, "Are the taxpayers, over many future years, going to be able to foot the bill after the financially able supporters and the philanthropists have furnished the start up money".
The schools and library are all taxpayer funded, even the grants. So was part of the privartely held ballpark, the RiverPlex and exspanded zoo.
Don't overlook that the half billion spent on Rt. 74 dried up funds for years to come for other needed transportation projects. Note that renowned city planner Duany couldn't believe that we had driven a dividing wedge through the heart of the city. Traffic count is DOWN on this new "74" since it opened a couple of years ago. (JS, 9/7/08)
But it did bring jobs and that is important. But think of what $500,000,000.00+ could have done for dozens of other smaller projects while still including some 74 upgrades.
The majority of the major politicians don't have much of a monetary gamble. They have their fixed salaried jobs, these salaries almost always going up each year, no matter what the economy and when out of office, they have paid speaking engagements, jobs offered by companies, now two pensions, they be-friended and many become paid consultants. They have their mostly taxpayer paid health care and their lifetime pensions.
Of course, it's not going to make that much difference to the radical populists, the non voters and the non property taxpayers. All dollars are going to be evenly spread among the populace. Everyone will be living the great "American Dream" no matter what contribution to society they make.
Does this sound a little like Irving Magner in his book, " The Dream and the Nightmare", the sixties legacy to the underclass? You should read this book if you can find it today in any Peoria Library. And today, the "60's legacy" is coming home to too many, impacting older people's lives, and sticking younger people with future debts they will not be able to afford, not just the underclass.
From all my years of living, it appears that this country has peaked and is on a downward incline. Other countries will be gaining more and more influence in local and world affairs. Didn't I just hear that Mitsubishi bought out a major U.S. bank today? And more than half of Caterpillars business is not in the U.S.? And the number of Caterpillar employees in Peoria is half what it was in past years?
545 people in D.C., the majority of which should be blamed for the mess we are in now. Sure, blame Wall Street but remember, they can't operate the way they do WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF CONGRESS.
More of these politicians have to step forward more forcibly to let the people know they have the best interests of those most interested in the survival of this great nation. And have the facts to prove it and are not just posturing to special interest groups.
We can't survive spending more money than we can afford and without understanding our priorities.
Please vote for people who show some guts whether they do not always meet your standards.