To start at the beginning of this article, be sure to read Road Funds or Public Safety Funds? - Part I
How best to spend the “Road Funds” (on roads and bridges or public safety) is a distraction; moreover, it is symptom to the larger and real problem: Klamath County Government is living beyond its means. In other words, County Government is spending more money than it receives each year in tax receipts. How to best spend the Road Funds is a silly question and feigns the idea that County Commissioners are truly looking for the wisest ways to spend your tax dollars. Wisdom says:
- Cut county government services and expenses to the level of revenue.
- Do not attempt to raise revenue by increasing taxes.
The Road Fund sits at about $83 million. Next year will it be at $60 million? Then $40 million? You see the trend. Eventually there will be no more Road Funds for either road and bridge repair or for public safety. The account balance will be zero. Then what? That is the crux of the issue. Even the wonderkind himself, Rep Greg Walden, will not be able to implore the Federal Government to print or borrow enough money to keep up with Klamath County’s insatiable spending appetite.
As mentioned previously, the real problem is overspending at the county level — government living beyond its means. Look even the Commissioners got a raise this term. Did they deserve it? Does that send an appropriate signal that they will be tough on spending? No, they just joined in the chorus with the public unions — ever-increasing wages and ever-increasing benefits for a job rarely well done. Hallelujah! Please do not misunderstand. I know there are good people that work in county government and do an excellent job. But on the whole, the system of county government costs too much for what the people of the county can afford.
The twin-tower standing next to the County’ over-spending problem is the continual reliance on the Federal Government to bail us out with more Road Funds. This will not work. This method of borrow and print only puts our nation further and further into debt. What Klamath County needs is its land back. Over 60% of the county's land is owned by the Federal Government. That means 60% of the potential tax-generating resources are un-taxable. Forests, water, grazing lands and who knows what else are all locked up and controlled by a Federal bureaucratic nightmare run by people who love one-size-fits-all policies and who have never set foot in our county.
If Commissioners want to solve the revenue problem, they need to start going to work on the Federal Government. They need to start exercising the people’s right to own the land in this county. The Federal Government is doing us no favors by restricting timber resources for “enviromental” concerns. Our land should be our land, not the Federal Government’s. If the Commissioners will get that right, employment in Klamath County will skyrocket as will profits — both which lead to a sustainable tax revenue. Klamath County can once again be a county of growth instead of decline. Klamath County government can fund itself, without need of the Federal Government’s “assistance”.
The real question before us is whether the Klamath County Commissioners have the political will and courage to do what is right for the people of this county — fight the Federal Government in order to return the land to its proper owners, we the people. Some will say, “that’s just too simple” or “that will never work”. Let me ask you then, did the men who founded this country face tough obstacles? Did people tell our Founding Fathers they were foolish for taking on the biggest empire in the world? You bet. And yet they did. With courage and God's grace the Founding Fathers did what they knew to be right, and 200 years later we are all the recipients of the fruits from such courage.
The solution to our county’s fiscal problems are simple. The answer is courage: cut spending and fight for our land. It is either that or we flounder along down the same path, only changing the appearance of things, until our County Government goes bankrupt. Then expect the State to step in and mandate Klamath County raise property taxes, only further exacerbating our anemic, local economy.