Get ready. It is about to start again. The clamor by leftists — and even by the well intentioned — that we need more money for [ insert government service du jour here ]. We will soon hear about all of the good that is done by such government agencies but that once again there is a budget shortfall. For some strange reason there just isn’t enough money and without proper funding of said service the sky is going to fall and you could be seriously injured.
Fear not. The government is here to help.
One of the favorite phrases during these discussions by left-loving government bureaucrats is “sustainable revenue”. Doesn’t it sound so good and virtuous? Say it out loud, “sustainable revenue”. Who could be against such a thing?
Only selfish, uncaring, hard-hearted capitalists that’s who. Those meanies, they won’t share anything with the rest of us! However, the issue is not capitalism or people who wish to keep what they earn, but instead the unchecked machine of ever-growing government. The ugly truth is that the real problem is rarely governmental revenue shortfalls, but instead rising costs.
For example look at the noble domain of Public Safety. Klamath County will spend over $10 million this year to keep its citizens “safe”. And for that $10 million what we get in return are the cries from fear-mongers proclaiming that we might lose our jail, we might lose patrol officers or that crime might increase if the Public Safety budget is cut one penny. Notice they only suppose these things, they do not know. They do not have omniscience. Matter of fact they claim that more money is need to ensure the public is safe. But why? Only a few short years ago (2009) the Public Safety budget was under $5 million. In six short years we’ve doubled the revenue for public safety, but are we any safer? What did doubling down, spending 100% more on Public Safety buy us? Was crime cut in half? Did we get our money’s worth? The answer is no. Instead we have been ripped off. We are now paying twice as much for a service that has not made our lives in Klamath County any safer when measured by any real-world, meaningful statistic.
And the socialists say the problem is revenue? Come now. We are not that stupid. The problem is ever-increasing costs. When the budget was less than $5 million, all was well. You will be hard pressed to find stories in the Herald and News about possible jail pods closing or patrol officers being laid off. But now that the budget has doubled these threats rise like cream to the top every few months. Of course the county can not sustain these over-inflated revenue levels — unless we start paying more.
This is their game
First they scare you with losing a precious government service (after doubling its cost) and then claim the only way out is for you to pay more taxes. Paying “just a little bit more” is the right thing, a patriotic thing to do if you want Klamath to remain “safe”.
When you hear people talking about sustainable revenue for this or for that, understand that the people behind the curtain pulling the levers want you to pay more taxes for their program. There is nothing noble or virtuous about what they are doing. It is really that simple. They will extol the “public good” brave and loud, but the dirty little secret is that those making the claims are the direct beneficiaries from the new tax revenue. This is like being mugged, but instead of a thug it is nice government officials smiling at you while you are being fleeced.
The answer to governments financial woes is not more money, but lower costs.