from November 2013, Economics
Today the Herald and News reported that the Klamath Community College Bond measure failed 55% - 44%. This is good news for all Klamath County businesses. However the fight is not over. There are other bond measures looming in the not too distant future: City Parks, Airport and Public Safety to name a few.
It is not that I am against any of these things. What I am against is the fact year after year public employees get raises, irregardless to the economic circumstances around them. For the most part they have total job security and health and retirement benefits that an entrepreneur can only dream about. This model is unsustainable. When the government continually asks for more money, it is because their budgets are gobbled up more and more by payroll and benefits rather than on the programs they promise to deliver.
If you think I am wrong, tell me why in 2001 (during a recession) the county could afford to keep county jail pods A, B and C open but today they scrap by to keep just two open? If you look at the salary and benefits costs between 2001 and 2013 you would be amazed at how much more we citizens are paying for less service. And it isn't just the jail — it is every part of government.
Don't forget to vote. Tomorrow is your last day to turn in your ballot for the Klamath Community College Bond measure (18-92). We urge a No vote and here is why. At this point, any vote for a NEW tax, no matter what is for — public safety, public parks, the airport, schools, college improvements — is a statement that you agree that government doesn't have enough money and it needs more. Yes, it is that simple. It also affirms the belief that government officials do not need to make tough choices about their current budgets, they just need to raise more money by taxing us higher and higher.
What Dr. Gutierrez wants to do with new programs at the community college is probably a good idea. However, instead of asking the tax payer to give the college more money, he should make the same choices that the rest of us have to make — re-prioritize how KCC funds their programs to get what he wants. It is not that the Community College doesn't have any money. And it would be foolish to think that any form of government is using all the dollars they do have most efficiently, If you don't think so, you should learn how much Dr. Gutierrez and his staff take home each year. It is nearly 3x the average salary in the Basin. If you overspend on yourselves, then you don't get to cry that you don't have money to expand the college to what you want to do. This government got-to-have-it-all mentality is why the Basin's economy is in the tank. The more you take from the private sector, the less wealth there is to create new wealth (the private sector, not the public, is the one that takes real risks with capital and makes more wealth to the benefit of the community).