Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I Voted Today

There wasn't much to vote on in my city and what little there was, was quite noble. There was a "RAP" tax. It's a measure that increases sales tax by 1/10 of 1% to fund things like parks, recreation, the arts, bike trails, museums, non-profit arts facilities (unfortunately the SCERA will be able to get tehir grubby paws on it) and other various things of that nature.

There are actually people who think this is a bad thing. They are wrong. You can read their position paper over here but it's written like someone who's talking down to a kindergartener and it's full of holes and idiocy. The people who don't want to be taxed are the people that care the least about the poor people.

My argument for this is: It's the right thing to do. I'd rather have my tax dollars spent on this than killing civilians in Iraq. I'd rather the city spend my money on this than giving another tax break to a Wal-Mart. If these Utah Taxpayers want better fiscal policy then they should make sure big box stores are paying their share instead of trying to prevent a miniscule tax from going through.

Additionally, Jon Hunstman, the governer of Utah is an idiot.

I heard him on the radio this morning: He basically said this, "The cost of heating homes is really high this year. It's expected to go up 50%. That means a lot of poor people will have to choose between food, medication or heat. So, instead of me trying to impose regulation on out of control energy companies, I'm going to ask private donors who may or may not exist to pony up $3 MILLION or more to fix this problem."

It's a really cheery thought, but he needs to fix the problem, not ask for donations. What a God-damned whore. I'd pay for a 1% state sales tax increase if we could heat everyone's home in the state. That sounds like a much better plan to me and everyone would benefit. Begging for donations in the face of what I would view as a serious crisis is idiotic.

Too bad Bill Orton didn't beat Mike Leavitt when he had the chance, I wonder if we'd be in this mess.

UPDATE: Steve brings up a good point. Calling him an idiot is sort of stupid. I do think this is idiotic though. And that's a fine line. I've actually heard him do things I like, but this seems idiotic to me. There are ways to fix this problem without mandating donations or even raising taxes. He can do it very easily by regulating industry and corrupt business practices.


Cody C. said...

In reference to the heating donations: Isn't this sort of an opportunity for conservatives to put their money where their mouth is in a very direct way? Especially in Utah, the argument against things like welfare often involves an argument against legislated morality. Nobody wants to seem like they are arguing against helping other people, so they frame their argument by saying that legislated charity is a fundamentally misguided idea, and that welfare should be provided by private donors and organizations. Let's see the conservatives (and liberals) step up and make this non-legislated charity work. If it doesn't work, then it's a great argument for institutionalized welfare. Don’t we all think it would be better if we could just give to each other without being forced to by law? Why not try this idea as a clear test of which system works better?

Steven Greenstreet said...

Hey, just for the record, I don't think Jon Huntsman is an idiot.

Kevin said...

One interpretation of recent politics (last 40 years or so) is that people have been desperately trying to vote for smaller government and less spending. Unfortunately, the only place where antispending voting has had an impact is locally.

This is sad because local money is often better spent.

I suspect that a main reason that Bush is in office is many people had the vain hope that a republican president wouldn't be spending the nation into a coma like GW is currently doing.

Personally, I think the watchdog groups that immediately challenge government spending serve a valuable purpose. I think the watchdog groups like the Sierra Club and Sue-Ya (SUWA) also serve a purpose. Neither are idiots, although they often attack good ideas.

Politicians are great at making things sound great. Would you support taxing the American public to spread freedom, progress and democracy abroad?

If so, then welcome to the Iraq War.

BTW, I have seen a great deal of local spending poorly spent. Parks budgets might includes silly things like subsidies for professional baseball teams, or maintaining the parking strips at the local Walmart.

The art budget might include a big ol' statue of the Ten Commandments for the courthouse steps...the art can remind folk that the Judge is a representative of the Heavenly Father or whatever the political / religious of the purchase.

Revolutionary art theory says that art should serve as a praxis in the social revolution. The big statues of Hussein in Bagdad, The thousands of monuments to Stalin, Lenin and Marx (for that matter, the Collection of Russian Art at the Springville Museum) ... All of this politically motivated art propaganda was paid for by the public. I cheered when the people finally rose up and tore the propaganda down.