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Attacks on Taxing Can Promote Cruel Times and CutbacksBarry-Lee Coyne Salem-News.com
Less public revenue quickly gets translated into reduced public services. Layoffs ensue and projects on the planning boards lurk in limbo.
(SALEM, Ore.) - Whether you be a Conservative or Liberal or lie somewhere in between, I have a challenging question to pose: Do you really want to suffer from the pitfalls of Government-on-the-Cheap?
Well-meaning citizens out there are attacking taxation of any kind as though it were a mortal sin, which it isn't in the least. Just as we all need oil and gas to keep our cars running, the flow of taxpayer funds into the life arteries of our public service is essential for our very survival. And the cheaper the grease we use, the more moribund if the life of the vehicle.
Let's stick with the auto analogy and take it down the road. Let's approach the crossroads of reality.
If we go shopping for a Lexus, do we expect to pay the price of a Ford Taurus or even a Chevy? Clearly they are of different classes. Their durability varies considerably, as does their element of safety in a crash. We are just beginning to crawl out of the cruel wreckage of the Mega Recession of 2009. If we went for an older cheaper model that lacked airbags and a reliable seatbelt, we'd likely sustain a series of fractures and maybe even bleed to death. Is that what we want as our plight in life's journey?
Rather than whine about taxes in general, let's insist on public opinion polls on which taxes actually create the fewest paupers, if that is our real goal. Indeed, we need to monitor precisely much more closely how that tax money is spent. We must advocate for the best "bang for the buck" and not simply shoot off our mouths out of the fog of frustration.
Less public revenue quickly gets translated into reduced public services. Layoffs ensue and projects on the planning boards lurk in limbo. Existing services get sliced, often following the "squeaky wheel" theory of he who shouts the loudest is apt to get through to the budgetmaking officials in command.
Target that critique and make it uniquely fit those areas deemed a true excess. But also be prepared to pay a bit more tax-wise down the road if you want that road to continue. If supermarket prices rise, why should it we so hard to swallow that so shall the cost of having effective government. Nobody wants to create a diet of chronic heartburn. Let us not choke of false propaganda.
Salem-News.com Community Writer Barry Lee Coyne brings to our readers stories from his combined career of journalism and gerontology, and explains that these paths shaped his values. This writer-therapist often views the world as the masks of comedy and tragedy placed upon the scales of justice. For him, optimism inevitably wins. "Lyrical Lee" has traveled to 30 nations aboard and was once a press intern at the UN. His first published article was in The NY Daily News in '59, dealing with the need for integrity in public office.
He also launched the nation's first tele-conference on health education for shut-ins, created the Eldermentors project in VA to pair retirees with immigrant students needing role models, and was the main catalyst behind CCTV's "Public Public" panel show here in Salem. Lee received his BA in International Relations and an MSW in community organization. He currently serves as a member of Salem's Library Advisory Board. To send Lee an email, please write to this address: email@example.com
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