In Sundays edition June 26th, 2011 of the Banner, State Representative Kevin Brooks shares his “Statehouse Summaries” with the readers of the Banner. In this article it headlines “Legislature tackles tort reform, worker protection and spending. I don’t know about you but which one of those monikers stands out. Yes spending! And off we go with “the other news that didn’t make the headlines!”
Spending! Hmmm that catch phrase often accompanies new taxes or more revenue or free bills or no cost bills to the taxpayer. Which of course, is why I cringe when I see this word. Many in our Legislature seem to be extremely proud of themselves when they come back to their respective communities with a handful of the taxpayers money, a cash cow, a lollipop, as some call it! I prefer to call it government waste on the government teet. Why cant we get legislature and locally elected officials to realize that this money if left alone may help the state of Tennessee and the Nation get their budgets together. I hear continuously that “If we don’t take it someone else will get it” Guess what it is not yours to “just get.” Why cant we just leave it there! Why cant we develop a surplus? When was the last time you ever heard of a governement entity making any money, its always a debt situation.
This Legislature article points blame on Congress as the “big spender” the one causing our hardships, well they can shoulder a great deal of the burden but so can others. I look at it this way, if it wasn’t so darn easy for the local communities to get the multi million dollar grants with the fanfare that goes with it and the legislature didn’t see it as such a big “catch” to reel in say, multiple millions for a downtown clean up and renovation project and at the same time DC would say, hey guys, got a brilliant idea, starting today at all levels ,we need to pull back here for a while and pay down the National debt, so we don’t lose everything then you will see real change. Do you guys realize that just our interest on the federal debt is 100 billion dollars a month, now tell me my plan sounds real good. Something is wrong in Bradley County and the Nation and it appears the people are going to be the ones that create and encourage this change! Let me say one more thing, Spending our money does not make our economy better, it only hurts!
The article went on to say that Congress should be more like Tennessee and encouraged Congress to return to the founding principles of limited government, and fiscal responsibility to reign in spending. Sounds really good and I thank Mr. Brooks for adding the constitutional statement in the article, but in reality the Legislature , at least the ones I am in closest contact with, are not afraid to open up their hands and money bags and take lots of taxpayers money and spend it fast and hard on frivolous projects that only a priveleged few want.
Furthermore, the article touched on and he mentions that “We, (Tennessee) have navigated these rough economic times by maintaining a balanced budget, keep taxes low and reigning in burdensome governemnt regulations. I use the term, the proof is in the pudding when I see hypocrisy or read a flat out mistruth. We need lower taxes and less spending for Bradley County. Currently we are in the middle of one of the most expensive ventures in our history and when it is said and done will be the most highly restrictive, regulated and taxed County in Tennessee history.
Don’t look at the tax rates now or listen to the polished politicians say “we are one of the lowest taxed counties in the state. When I get told that I always expect to hear with a follow up statement “ then that leaves us lots of room to tax because we are the lowest in the state” or “we havent reached the top yet for taxation”. There is something fundamentally wrong with that thought pprocess. What is wrong with leaving it low?
With the often asked for assistance of Mr Brooks, in partnership with the City and County Mayors, both council and the Commission have committed the City to the BCC Strategic Growth Plan and the Brownfields Redevelopment Project with the issues of property rights and eminent domain, rezoning and International regulations enforced from out of the country, these two projects are going to cost the taxpayers B I L L I O N S! I said billions, not millions and I havent even mentioned the County will vote soon on its side of the Growth plan which will be even more billions, possibly upward of 10s of billions when it is all over. Where is the representative government mentioned in this article, where is the outrage over these politicians spending recklessly on these and multiple other projects! Not enough people are hurting yet, but the tide is changing slowly one voter at a time.
We cannot go on forever doing this spend and tax thing or tax and spend thing, lets turn off the flow of taxpayers cash to the states for a little while, lets balance our budgets, apply the money we were going to get back to balance the budget and make some headway into our National debt. Now that would make some people happy for a change. A frugal government! Those words just don’t fit well together, sort of like oil and water.
Time for all our local elected officials to “ball up” and make us proud instead of spending all our money like it is “free money!”
Lets tell Mr. Brooks and the others while they think it is admirable to “bring home the bacon” to your constituents, its not! The only people you are making proud are the many politicians stroking you egos while faking right and leaning left.