In May the Federal Government removed a little tax that was tacked on phone bills in 1898 to pay for the Spanish American War. It began as a luxury tax of one cent for each call and grew to three percent of the total phone bill. How often have we heard the additional tax to pay for this bond issue or that program will only be a few dollars each month? I have also never seen the tax be reduced when the need for it has lessened.
Just months ago we witnessed a grassroots uprising that motivated a very large number of folks to get out and vote and elected the candidate who did not buy the election. Mayor Ahumada didn’t run away from who he was or what he believed, in the campaign and in his first days in office. I was particularly impressed when he personally focused on the “pet issue” by taking some pets for adoption to the flea market. This demonstrated some creativity that doesn’t require a lot of government spending. I don’t share the Mayor’s passion for the issue but certainly respect it.
What has troubled me is that, very shortly after election he stated in an interview that he needed to find new sources for funds for city projects. To me that means higher taxes! Then he followed up with a $2.00 fee that was added on to the electric bill. Though the fee was small, it does impact two “seasoned citizens” that I know, who live on an income of $600 or less each month. Will this fee become like the one cent fee of 1898, and will the $2.00 grow, as only our bureaucrats can do it. I also am mindful of the enormous increases in my property taxes due to the increased appraised valuation of my home and the increased sales taxes received due to a very robust economy. Sometimes the thought comes to me as it has to others, that if I become richer because of my property holding, I might have to move. I would think that less spending might be in order to live on today’s community income. After fully funding law enforcement and fire protection perhaps different priorities might be arrived at according to the needs of the people rather that the needs of the politicians. While I do have some apprehensions, I have not lost confidence in Mayor Ahumada and believe he will honestly do what he believes is the best for all the people not just to benefit himself.
Just weeks ago B.I.S.D. raised our taxes again, in spite of the astronomical increases they got as a result of the increases in property valuation. These are the same folks that continue to ignore the Strayhorn Report that suggested a number of ways to improve the system and economize as well, starting with reducing the ratio of administrators to staff to a reasonable number. I would also think it advisable to retain an outside forensic auditor to evaluate the current expenditures for new construction as well as review transactions for the last ten years especially in light of the defalcations brought to light in a school system just up the valley. My spys have told me that a criminal complaint has been sent to the Cameron County District Attorney, so an examine a foreclosure and collection issue related to taxes could be accomplished.
Rather than try to improve their credibility as former trustee E. Munoz suggested some time ago with a costs being paid from recovered money. It makes me wonder if there is something to hide! What the Board does do, is try to avoid an election so they will not have to pay the political piper in November and extend their terms of office again.
What is worse is that the Congress and its leaders are doing even worse than President Bush according to recent polls with approximately 14% of the folks seeing them in a positive light, at least President Bush can say the Harry Truman had a lower approval rating at about the same time in his term also at the end of a War. Congress couldn’t even hold the bi-partisan immigration reform together and take some needed steps to resolving a thorny problem that their earlier inactions and interference created.
Further, they keep saying they want to work towards peace and bring our soldiers home. To this point no realistic bill has been devised by the leadership in either party with agreement on different sides as to how best to accomplish it. In fact it appears that they see political advantage in perpetuating it to keep their constituents interested. Many of the peace activists groups seem to be doing the same even when there at least is an avenue to reduce the opportunities for the “next war”, which may well be just around the corner. I would suggest that pressure be applied to change the war powers act, which now permits a president to enter into a military action so long as Congress does not refuse funding. The President should be required to formally request a declaration of war and every living congressperson should be required to vote yes or no on the issue. The declaration should specify who we are fighting and how we will know when the war is over.
How did we get to the place that I have described above? We didn’t vote sometimes, and when we did, we voted for the “least worst” candidate. Good people didn’t run for office because they didn’t want to put up with the, financial costs, personal pressures or the scrutiny and the viciousness that would follow.
We need to get active in a political party and work to identify good candidates – and then help them win. 30% of the electorate voting will bring us to the same end as the Roman Civilization. The two major parties are growing closer together where their only goal is to get reelected and any cost, and that means any cost to you and me!
My party also frustrates me, as perhaps our best spokesperson Congressman Ron Paul, is a registered Republican and running for President under that banner. We Libertarians do indeed have a potential Ronald Regan among us, who can most likely “act” like a President as well as anyone today and most likely better.
I call for a draft of Clint Eastwood to become the Libertarian nominee for President of the United States. It would definitely “make my day”.