With the current economic state of the country, I find it disheartening that our government leaders, from the local level all the way to the White House would find it necessary to continue spending money we don’t have and can ill afford to pay back. In my city the newest budget shortfall is unusual in a time when government entities are increasingly wringing more dollars out of their unwilling subjects in a manner that would make an extortionist proud. Living in a community where the average family income is $34k per year, the amount of direct taxes and fees levied by the city for services is a huge chunk of that increasingly tight budget.
During the boom times, our government failed to imagine that at some point the gravy train would derail. Now that it has, it is time for our leaders to take a serious look at the budget and services provided. In tough economic times, families must make a choice between wants and needs and balance the two in a manner that the family as a whole can live with.
Our elected (and appointed) leaders, in an attempt to remain in good graces with a few constituents have failed to adequately represent the nation as a whole, many opting instead to increase fees for government services to cover a tax revenue shortfall. It should be obvious, that is not the proper way to handle a budget crisis, particularly when the people directly affected can ill afford to pay more and are busy cutting their own budget to the bone.
States, counties and cities across the nation have made it known many times that they have already cut the fat. Our nation, on the other hand has done no such thing. Perhaps it is time to redefine what constitutes fat and start all over again.