EDITOR’S DESK: Quality of life – calculate it
I've found a new hobby. I'm kind of shy about mentioning it because, yes, it amounts to a concession that I do at times gain something of interest from our bull-in-a-
china-shop daily newspaper. But who cares?
Here's what I do. I go out to the Gazette's opinion page and see what letters are being printed about Question 2C. The other day there were a couple of classics. One lady said that, if the question fails at the polls, people who voted for it should go down to city hall with a checkbook and calculator. After figuring the amount they would have paid if the tax increase had gone through, they should then pay that amount to the city. Only if such a payment pilgrimage occurs, the writer intoned, would she be satisfied that the 2C supporters were not hypocrites and consider backing a tax increase next time around. Another recent letter told of noticing a new city truck. From this observation, the writer reached the conclusion that the city was lying about being short on money. Well, of course. What was the city thinking, buying a new truck? A dead giveaway that it is hoarding bags of taxpayer money even now, and the only purpose of this tax increase is to build the pile even higher. It's amazing how many people who don't follow local government closely can be dead certain they see graft and corruption in a city which, amazingly, has never had any.
But what truly confounds me is that many of these same people will accept without a murmur what the slickers at the state and federal level are selling - or rather, making us buy. Why isn't Doug Bruce poring over Obama's cap-and-trade plan or Ritter's car tax? Answer: The local yokels are easier targets. Council members work at other jobs, yeah, and they sometimes miss stuff. But they're OUR yokels, living among us. We can talk to them, argue with them. They even seem to listen at times.
OK. Let's be clear. I don't like taxes either. But even more I don't like seeing this town's quality of life slip away. And I don't need a lousy calculator to know that will happen if 2C goes down.