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Pork barrel in Lee?

By   /   March 9, 2011  /   Comments

Well, think about it. I’ll define pork barrel politics as approving something that has overall merit, but contains a few items that are questionable or downright objectionable. Is this about to occur with Lee County SPLOST on March 15?

For example, the conference center that the commission has demanded no more discussion about, is on the SPLOST.  Is the commission waiting until SPLOST is approved before anything more is discussed about this ill conceived conference center idea that has no business plan?

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty and justice. Of course, this was stated by one of our country’s founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson. It seems that SPLOST is passed in fear of the government increasing property taxes. Is this really the philosophy from which our great country was born?

Can we, the people, get a SPLOST line item veto? The president of the U.S. gets a line item veto, so he can theoretically get rid of the pork in legislation. Why can’t we vote for SPLOST projects with the option of a line item veto?  We could then reject any such project to which the voters are opposed.

Why doesn’t the commission prioritize SPLOST projects? The list was published but not prioritized. It seems logical that before passing a SPLOST referendum, the commission would prioritize the SPLOST projects (indicating highest to lowest funding priority) and publish this list. SPLOST is a wish list. Of course, we all know that SPLOST has many more projects in it than we will ever collect taxes to fund. We voters should demand more from our government, especially our local government.

Why does the commission get loans long before the money is collected? Were you also aware that loans taken from previous SPLOST referendums remain unpaid, although that specific SPLOST has ended ? A lot of the upcoming SPLOST will be used for paying previous SPLOST loans, unrelated to the SPLOST vote on March 15! The commission needs to live within its budget. This spending on hopes and dreams is what has gotten this entire country into trouble! Let’s not sink Lee County or raise property taxes!

Use SPLOST to reduce property taxes: I often hear certain commissioners stating that “this project won’t cost the taxpayer a dime.” Are they making this statement because the project is funded by SPLOST instead of using property taxes? But shouldn’t we use this SPLOST money wisely to reduce property tax burden instead of boon-doggle ideas?

Do you fear your government and the methods of taxation? Are you scared of property tax increases? Apathy may be part of the problem!

Remember what Thomas Jefferson said: “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty and justice.”
Dr. Philip A. Husain Sr.


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About the author

Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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