All levels of government seem to have an addiction to spending. I use the phrase “addiction” because we have politicians giving us the political version of “I can quit any time I want” while not actually doing it. This seems to be the case at all levels of government, with Dougherty County deciding to continue with its two percent energy tax.
Commissioners are very quick to point out that this isn’t a new tax, but a continuation of a tax people have already been paying. They’re essentially right. The thing is, it doesn’t make a bit of difference.
Taxation isn’t something that we should just roll over and accept, and just because something is a continuation of a tax should not mean that it should be tolerated any more than a new tax would be. Taxes are collected by government to fuel their addiction, and we need to start calling it as such.
In my column yesterday, I called out Senator Saxby Chambliss for backing off on his pledge to not raise taxes. I pointed out that spending cuts alone can balance the budget. However, several people commented that they were fine with Chambliss’ lack of integrity because tax increases will help fix things.
However, at all levels of government, there is bloat. While I will be the first to point out that there are some hard working people who work for the city and the county governments, there is also a lot of fat. There are a lot of people who do the bare minimum and skate by doing just that. So, when the local governments have more funds, they hire more people to help cover the skaters lack of effort. It’s hard to fire someone from a government job. Look at all the EEOC complaints against the city every time they fire someone.
Unfortunately, that difficulty means that governmental agencies become bloated. They have a lot of excess personnel. So, they keep funneling money towards those agencies.
The thing is, we don’t need all of what we get from government. Even rolling back governmental spending for a few years would produce balanced budgets without a single tax increase. Unfortunately, people get the idea that these are somehow draconian cuts. Here’s the thing though, so what if they are? In down economies, if your income becomes reduced then you find ways to reduce your spending. Everyone does. Why should our governmental bodies be any different?
Instead, they look to either maintain or increase revenues while doing the minimum to cut the spending. Is Dougherty County more guilty of that than anyone else? Probably not. In truth, Dougherty County may have less bloat than other governmental entities. However, a two percent energy tax is just another symptom in the far greater problem. Governments are addicted to spending, and we’re the ones footing the bill.