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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Taxing us into poverty; how much is enough?

Being retired and on a close to fixed income, I must watch my pennies.

Unlike our state and county officials, I cannot extort more money from others when my costs go up or I want to buy something new or extravagant--I have to live within my income.

This year, the percentage increase in my Medicare and supplemental health insurance premiums is more than three times the percentage increase in my Social Security and other retirement income. I have to take the money for that from my already frugal lifestyle--not steal it from someone else.

Despite TRIM, my just-received Prince George's county tax bill is up more than 7-1/2% from last year. That is more money I have to take away from my everyday living expenses.

Despite already sky-high gas prices, our Sen. Mike Miller wants to increase the state gas tax by 50%.

Sen. Miller and others want to increase the state sales tax by 20%.

Jack Johnson wants to increase the existing regressive phone tax.

Del. Niemann wants to add a hospital tax to, at least in part, have us subsidize both incompetent management and uninsured, law-breaking, illegal immigrants.

I could go on and on.

Where am I going to find the money for all these new taxes? Stay home all the time? Cut out a meal or two a day? Shut down my computer and drop either my land phone or my cell phone?

Why can't our politicians--almost all Democrats--manage the public's money the way I have to manage my money?

How can these politicians claim to be the party of the people--for the middle class, supportive of senior citizens, etc.--when they are trying so hard to drive us toward poverty?

One pro-tax, anti-budget-cut commentator said:

"As for taxes, you get what you pay for. Have you been visiting our public school buildings lately? They are in a horrible state: from leaking roofs to wear and tear of forty years. That demonstrates
that we have not been investing enough to properly maintain our capital assets."

No! We don't get what we pay for!

Public schools are not in a horrible state because of a lack of money--the real problem is the politician's priorities.

Our state legislators had millions and millions of dollars that could have been used for school repairs. They selfishly chose to spend those dollars on palatial offices for themselves, not on our children.

Our PG county government has spent millions and millions of dollars buying, leasing, and maintaining offices for county bureaucrats. Much of that money could have been spent on schools, but the bureaucrats are a higher priority than our children.

The appointed school board and county government recently spent millions of dollars on a luxury gym rather than on school maintenance.

Schools are in horrible shape because they are the politician's last priority.

Looking at the long-term history of our county and state politicians, I see no reason to believe that any taxes for schools will really help the schools. Sure, they may give those dollars to the educrats, but history shows that they will take other dollars away to spend on other things. (The same will likely be true of a tax for the hospital.) Then, after they think we've forgotten, they will be back asking for higher taxes again.

If I have to scape to make ends meet--find ways to conserve every penny--so should our government officials. If I have to get by on a fixed income, so should they. If they can't, they ought to quit and let us find someone who can.

1 comment:

  1. Good article and good points. Wouldn't it be a little different if ONCE in awhile we heard of our Washington politicians announcing that they found baggage in our budget that can be trimmed or reduce or even eliminated. It NEVER happens, it seems anyway.
    I am telling you now that the people of the U.S. will have to face the financial pied piper some day. It's gonna happen, unfortunately.