Does it? Does government have enough money and resources to do what it needs to do? That question is the fundamental issue behind each new tax levy and each new ballot measure where government asks the citizens for more money.
First it is important to think about need verses want. What is it we citizens need government to do, as opposed to, what do some want government to do? Much too much of what Federal, State and Local government does is not for the real needs of its citizens, but rather for the wants of special interests. These special interests have cleverly disguised their interest as a public concern and then tricked tax payers into funding their venture. Did we need to rebuild Henley elementary or KU? No, the buildings were just fine. They are old, but they certainly functioned. No one was dying in them. No one was getting sick, and no one injured. But the real-estate/construction/public-union/government sector drool over such public building projects because they funnel money from your pocket to theirs at inflated, government mandated, wages. Is it nicer to drive by a new school building rather than an old one. Sure. But does it educate our children any better? No. And there is a prime example between need and want. The real need is to educate our children. The want is to do it in the best and most expensive buildings in the county. Do children win? No. Do the special interests win? Yes. And special interests win all while fooling the public that we now have “better schools”.
Second, why should government continue to get more and more of our tax dollars? When your income increases, did you know that the amount of money you send to government also increases? So when wages in Klamath County go up, government already gets more money — at the same rate of the citizenry it serves. Likewise, when income goes down, money to the government decreases accordingly. Why then when incomes decrease should government continue spending at the same levels or higher? Why should government be given more money when the rest of us are doing with less?
What if one day $10,000,000.00 fell from the sky and appeared on Main Street between the Court House and Government Building? Immediately the police are called in, surrounding the large bundle of cash,... waiting for the County Commissioners and City Council to decide how best to utilize this gift from heaven for the local community.
One choice would be to allocate the money to City and County Government. Some of the money could go towards budget-starved agencies to help with any revenue shortfalls. Some of the money could be used for economic development (promoting tourism, attracting businesses to move to the area) and community efforts such as better parks, better streets, a few more police officers and emergency personnel. Also the money could be used to solarize certain government buildings, helping our city and county move towards a sustainable green zone.
The other choice would be to divide the money up among the citizens of Klamath County and let them determine how best it should be used.
Which way is best? Which way would help us grow our local economic pie? Which way would be better for economic growth and stability of our community? Which way will deliver money in the most efficient manner to the goods and services that the citizens of Klamath County value most?
Isn’t it wonderful? This brand new, shiny fire station! Wow, who ever lives near this beauty must be proud and feel safe. Matter of fact it is the one of the newest stations in Fire District 1.
Wait, what’s that? No one works here? You mean there are not any firefighters at this station? What?!? No one has ever worked from this station? What’s going on?!?
Yesterday Senator Whitsett ended the discussion in Salem as to whether he would run for a fourth term or not. Until yesterday’s announcement, Whitsett was the only Republican State Senator not to declare his intentions on seeking office again. Here is his press release:
For Immediate Release
Thursday, October 08, 2015
Salem, OR—Sen. Doug Whitsett (R-Klamath Falls) filed for re-election to the Oregon Senate on Wednesday, Oct. 7.
Farmer Tom Mallams responded to the charges of being above the law and flaunting water regulations with an article published in the Herald and News. What often becomes a casualty in an emotional, unfolding story are the facts. In this case the timeline is important to understand what happened and when. We have constructed the following timeline from Mallams account and the Herald and News reports.
|June 16||Klamath Project made a call on its water right|
|July 3||OWRD issued shut-off notices to junior water users, which included Mallams|
|July 21||OWRD issued a second shut-off notice|
|July 30||OWRD issued a third shut-off notice|
|Aug 7||OWRD issued a violation notice against Mallams|
|Aug 25||Mallams ceased his water usage|
|Aug 28||OWRD issued a second violation notice to Mallams|
Now at sometime (we do not know exactly when yet) Tom Mallams asked for a judicial review of his water rights. This judicial review temporarily suspended all notices made by OWRD until Mallams case can be adjudicated. Tom Mallams admits he misunderstood the administrative rule, that the OWRD rule goes into effect when issued, not received. Mallams also has said he would pay any fines if found guilty of violating the rules.
Since Tom Mallams did not receive a notice until, most likely after, he filed for judicial review, it is easy to understand why he continued to use water until late August — he thought while his case was being reviewed, any power behind the OWRD notices were suspended. The question arises is whether it reasonable to believe that Mallams knew his water rights had been terminated before he asked for a judicial review. That is a difficult point to argue one way or the other because it requires getting inside the head of Mallams. Nevertheless, there is a much larger issue at work here, and that is of Administrative Rule.
Most of our local leaders, and many of our State officials, are leftists. I use that label not to ridicule, mock or scorn them. I call them leftists because it is an accurate description. When it comes to political leadership there are only two camps: left and right. However, some may claim to be neither left or right but “moderate” (aka reasonable). Yet, a better way to describe moderates are those who sit on the fence until the political winds blow strong enough in a particular direction and then rush to the front of the line to “lead the charge”. Moderates are not moderate, they are populists. And being a populist is not leadership.
Left or Right. Socialist or Conservative. Our leaders are one or the other. If they claim to be moderate, then they are really socialists because they have no back-bone or spine to stand for anything that may appear harsh or uncompassionate towards the poor and less fortunate. Therefore these moderate-populists vote for more money to fund government programs and enable more money and benefits for public union government employees. A populist’s direction always leans the same way as a socialist’s. Populists may be slower in implementing socialist plans but make no mistake the only difference is speed, not direction.
So what does any of this have to do about JELD-WEN? Everything.
I just described the climate in Klamath and in Oregon. Socialists (socialist policies) are ruling the roost. Local county and State governments are growing everywhere and contracting no where. More taxes, more programs and more welfare (farm, corporate and personal). Utopia is just around the corner, but to get there the socialist idea says we must give more our wealth to a benevolent group of government lawmakers and bureaucrats. Only they can protect us from our selfish selves and lead us to nirvana.
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.
My fellow author’s article last week about Donald Trump seemed to stir up quite a negative reaction from those who firmly stand behind “The Donald”. After reading G.W.’s article and then the comments that followed, what I gleaned was fascinating — the term “conservative” seems to have lost any real meaning.
To be a conservative now-a-days seems to be someone who claims to back a particular set of policies.
Can we tell if someone is a real conservative if they are for:
“The Donald”, as he is often called, is #1 one in all of the summertime Republican primary polls — and all of the Washington insiders are dumbfounded. The 2016 Republican primary contest was to be like 2012, where the establishment GOP put up their candidate, this time Jeb Bush, and the rest of the field, made up of self-proclaimed conservative purists, wrestled each other for the crumbs. This is how 2012 turned out. Then the candidate of choice was Mitt Romney. Romney stood tall and smiled while everyone else tried to show why they were the best anti-Romney candidate. We all know how that turned out. Romney won the Republican primary and then lost the general election to the weakest sitting president since George Herbert Walker Bush (Bush 41).
The establishment has given us some real “winners” over the years: Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney. While all fine men, none of them were conservative in their core governing values. And without that your elected official can change their position on any issue, at any time because nothing really anchors them. They just float around looking for the popular choices to make and avoid standing out with any of the controversial ones.
So what of Donald Trump? Why is he popular? First people loved his television show. They liked that in a culture, that for decades has been feminized, here stood a masculine hero that was not afraid to tell celebrities they screwed up — “You’re fired”. Right next to celebrity is leadership. The Apprentice always made Donald Trump the leader, the man in charge. People like that. And so with celebrity and the aura of leadership Trump enters the Presidential race leveraging these two assets.
Harsh words maybe, but unfortunately true. Sometimes the truth can hurt. Greg Walden’s editorial published in the Herald and News is yet another example that demonstrates what is wrong with Washington, as well as with Mr. Walden’s thinking.
Walden’s plan is nothing but another “shuffling the deck chairs” to make you think he is working hard and that he is getting something done to better Oregon’s forests. While all the activity and smoke created by Walden & Co. might produce something slightly better, in essence all will be the same. One has to ask, is that what we want from our Representative — a lot of activity but little real change?
The problem is not how well the US Forest Service or BLM manage forests in Oregon. The problem is that the US Forest Service and BLM manage forests in Oregon.
The Founding Fathers empowered the Federal government with a very narrow scope in how to govern the union. Believe it or not, managing forests was not one of the powers granted the Federal government. Read the Constitution. Read all of the amendments. Read the Declaration of Independence. The word “forest” is absent in all of them. Why? Because the Federal government was never meant to, nor designed to, manage forests all across the nation. This responsibility was to be “reserved to the States, or to the people.”