A lot of kerfluffle has been flying around about concerning the idea of "using Library funds to help with public safety" or other budgetary shortfalls in Klamath County. There have been some very interesting arguments for and against the idea.
Let me try to summarize the ones I've heard against the notion and then explain why I think the arguments for the idea are stronger.
Klamath County is facing a project budget shortfall of $1.8 million. The current idea on the table is to cut the budgets of every county department by 9%. While budget cuts are never a fun process, across the board cuts are the easiest way to deal with the problem — everyone feels the pain equally...
... that is if there isn't money somewhere else, hiding in plain sight.
The Klamath County Library's budget has increased from $1.5 million to an estimated $2.5 million during the past decade. This year the County Library is looking to expand its services by purchasing a building on the east end of town. One has to wonder in this age of the internet aren't libraries becoming less relevant not more so? If this premise is true, why are we investing more funds in a resource, libraries, that is less relevant while starving a resource, such as public safety, that is always important? Libraries are fun places to visit, but are they as vital as properly funding public safety?
Throughout the history of mankind, we've always had the rich, and we've always had the poor. What makes America different, what makes her special, is we have a third economic tier called the "middle class". Only liberty and capitalism give you this middle class. No other system of economics (capitalism) & government (representative republic) combine to do so. This combination creates this robust middle tier and allows all to move upward based on individual effort and drive. This system promotes innovation and betterment for all.
And this is exactly why we must stay true to the founders of our country and not follow the ways of our current president who sells us utopia but whose policies are moving us back to the world of a few rich, many poor and none in-between.
The chart above describes average annual gasoline prices in the U.S. for the past 90 years. The black line tracks the nominal or actual gas price (the price at the pump) while the red line translates the price into 2011 dollars. There are a couple of items to note:
- For the second time since 1918, we are now paying as much in real dollars for gasoline (the first being the oil crisis in the mid-70's). Think of that. Commodity prices are supposed to go down when there is vastly more supply of that commodity. Moreover, beyond our ability to produce significantly more gasoline, we are even better at distributing it than compared to 1918, and yet we are paying the same real price as 90 years ago.
- Notice the steep climb in pricing from 1996 to today. In just 15 years gasoline has increased 233%! If we do a little math we can quickly see the average driver who travels 15,000 miles in a year and whose car gets an average of 22 miles per gallon now pays around $1,350 more to drive their car than they did in 1996! If you want to know why a dollar doesn't buy much anymore, look no further than your gas tank.
Imagine if we could return to $1.50/gallon gasoline. If you are a two-car family that's, on average, $2,700 in your pocket — each year.
This will be a quick post, but an important one to help keep your cranium sharp. I'm going to use some logic here, so pay close attention.
Question: Will more water or less water be required if all four dams are removed along the Klamath River to meet EPA regulations for fish habitat?
We've all been preached the benefits of solar power: it's green, there's no pollution, it's safe, it's easy, it's affordable, it's.... wait a second. What were those last two? It's easy and it's affordable? Really? How can that be? One would think if solar power was both easy and affordable then we wouldn't need government programs to subsidize the cost of the equipment or the installation. Government gets involved when the cost is too high and the product too difficult. The government "gift" is to ease the pain and make the decision financially workable.
Two questions arise from this line of thinking. First, is this the role of government? By subsidizing solar, government is spending money on this that can't be used for something else. For example, instead of subsidizing solar panels, couldn't they be building fish ladders and improving dams along the Klamath to be more efficient? Government is picking winners and losers in the power industry. Again, is that government's role? Second, where does government get this money? They have three options: they can borrow it, they can take it from the citizens and for the Federal Government, they can print it. For the most part government extracts money from its citizens through taxation. Now let's put these facts together with solar power and how it amounts to citizen sanctioned theft.
Gail Whitsett (R) Klamath Falls filed as a candidate today to represent District 56 in the Oregon House of Representatives.
Gail is married to Senator Doug Whitsett and has served as his legislative Chief of Staff for the past seven years. She believes that her knowledge of the legislative process and issues, as well as her working relationships with incumbent legislators, will allow her to quickly become an effective representative for the people of District 56.
“I have worked on the front line listening to the needs and concerns of the people that live and work in much of five southern Oregon counties” Whitsett said. “I am confident that my experience in listening and helping to resolve their many issues will help me to better serve the district.”
by: Tom Mallams, President, Klamath Off-Project Water Users Association
KLAMATH OFF-PROJECT WATER USERS ASSOCIATION
October 25, 2011
Honorable, Secretary Ken Salazar,
Department of Interior
I am writing this letter to inform you of a very disturbing public meeting I attended on September 26, 2011, in Chiloquin, Oregon. This public meeting was funded by the Department of Interior, through Upper Klamath Water Users Association,(UKWUA), Klamath Water and Power Authority(KWAPA) and Klamath Basin Power Alliance, (KBPA). The published intention of this meeting was to sign up “interested” irrigators in the so called “affordable power”, hoped for in the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement,(KBRA), and the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement,(KHSA).
“...It was a kid, smiling, at the lunch table – he had a quesadilIa, some carrots, a half an apple, a carton of milk. I thought it was a great picture... It wasn’t lobster tail and chocolate mousse. It was a simple meal designed to address a basic problem. There is absolutely nothing wrong with providing free food for a hungry kid. Not one single thing...” — Steve Miller (Thumbs up, Sat., 10/22)
I’m glad the American tax-payer could spare nearly $27 Billion dollars to bring a smile to the Herald and News’ outlook.
But, Miller’s smiley face and a happy heart come at an enormous expense. The question any good editorial journalist ought to be asking is, “Is the federal government the most efficient machine to accomplish the task?”
It's hard to believe ten years has come and gone since the Klamath Basin Water Crisis of 2001. The problem began with a very dry year. Water levels were far below normal. But the real crisis came when a Federal Agencies and Judges decided that the survival of fish was more important than anything else — including people. The result was no water to farmers and all available water was sent downstream.
But in November 2002 a report by two Oregon State researches concluded that the 2001 federal decision to withhold water from Klamath Basin farms was unjustified is laden with errors and has mainly served to fuel resentment of environmental laws.