If you consider yourself a fiscal conservatives, then go to the Herald and News website. I have been involved in a spirited, yet calm and reasonable discussion about the upcoming $31 Million School Bond Measure. I'd ask that you read the article, PAC makes case for $31M for schools, then read the comments — from the bottom to the top (that's how they are chronologically ordered).
Here’s The Challenge
Stand up and join the discussion by making a comment. As fiscal conservatives we should be demanding better from our education system, not just dumping more money into a broken one. I'm working hard here, but it will take us all together to make a real difference. If we do nothing and say nothing then we truly are nothing but a grumbling, complaining people.
Instead let's make our voices be heard in the public square. Let's show a new way to better education using free market, conservative principles. The socialistic, monopolistic, corrupt school system is broken and now is our opportunity to show the public a better way, a more prosperous way. But first we must stop the status quo. We must say no to any more money going to a system that produces 73% (County) and 57% (City) graduation rates.
The Klamath County League of Women Voters are petitioning to change County Commissioner positions from being partisan to nonpartisan. The exact question they are asking to be put on the ballot is
"Should all county commissioner positions become nonpartisan beginning in 2013?"
According to their editorial in the Herald & News, the League of Women Voters believe that the current process is "unfair." The way they are using the term unfair is to mean they can't do what they want to do — have more of an impact on the primary system than they do now. If you look at the article, our colleague A. Smith has done a nice job explaining why using the term unfair in this way is dishonest (as is their entire public reasoning). You can view his commentary here.
When you hear the words Subsidy or Grant what first comes to mind? Thoughts of a benefactor giving generously to a noble cause? A charity getting money to help it achieve some worthy goal? The community benefiting from an outside contributor?
Words have meaning. Using language properly helps to successfully communicate a particular message or idea. However, language can also be twisted so that one can say a particular thing and yet mean something entirely different. Political scientists call this twisting of words, to say one thing but mean another, propaganda. The Nazi's and Soviets were masters at this game. For example, the Soviet paper was called "Pravda" and pravda means truth in Russian. However, the paper was anything but true in its reporting. It was filled with Soviet lies about America, the West and how wonderful life was in the Soviet Union.
Another group that is good at twisting words and meaning are liberals. Unfortunately their success has made it so we don't stop to think what really is happening. We just accept what is said as good and noble and move on with our day. For example, the words subsidy or grant has a positive meaning in our culture. If your industry or organization receives either, it means your group is doing something right, something well and we should all be thankful for your efforts. However, that is only true when it is a private subsidy or private grant. Private subsidies and grants come from organizations that have created wealth in the free market place. They have created a good or service that people like and in return freely given their money for said product or service. Furthermore the organization has done so in such a way to make a profit. Those profits have accumulated and now that organization decides to give back to the community in the form of a subsidy or a grant. In other words a gift. It can be in the form of a scholarship, in the form of matching funds, or just a lump sum. Private gifts are good things. They are voluntary. They are of free will. They allow for the full expression of liberty.
There has been a lot emotion and bloviating since the tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school. The main theme has been how to prevent the Sandy Hook tragedy from ever happening again. Both the Right and the Left have been strongly advocating their solutions to solve this problem.
For conservatives the Second Amendment is sacrosanct and therefore removing guns from law abiding citizens isn't the answer. The Right argues that if more people carried weapons, if schools weren't "Gun Free Zones" but if there were trained teachers and administrators who were armed, Sandy Hook would not have been nearly as bad — if it had even happened at all. Most of these murders are cowards at heart. That is why they take their own lives in the end. They only prey on the helpless and a school full of children, without armed adults to defend, is an easy target to make their point —whatever sick point that may be. If schools were armed by trained adults who worked at the school everyday, such murders would think twice, three times or just give up before trying. They wouldn't be able to roam the halls and shoot whomever stood in their way, because around the next corner might be someone who will shoot back.
On the other hand the Left blames the Guns. If we would just remove all guns from society then sick people couldn't murder. Of course they can't get rid of all the guns now, so they move slowly picking and choosing which guns look the scariest. But the Left's end game is to remove all guns from society. No guns means that no children are mass murdered.
Residents of Klamath County get ready. Your omniscient County School Board is about to ask you to foot the bill for a $30 million bond measure come this Spring. The stated purpose will be for capital improvements to county schools. You will be told that if you care about our rural school system, if you care about our children getting a good education, then you'll sacrifice just this once so the wee ones have a chance in life. However, should you have any objection whatsoever, you will be labeled an anti-education imbecile. In other words, those who oppose borrowing this amount of money are ignorant, heartless fools and should be ashamed of themselves for even thinking such horrible thoughts.
That's what you'll be told. That's what you'll be sold. But is it true?
Questions To Ask
The first question that comes to mind is how did we get here? Whoops! Sorry, we're not supposed to ask that question, let alone think it. You're supposed to assume our county school district spends every penny they receive wisely and judiciously. There is never any waste. All financial decisions — especially salaries for administrators and contracts with unions — is for the benefit of the children. Now, if you believe any of this, then I have some beachfront property in Wyoming I'd like to sell you.
If you read the Sunday paper's lead article, 2012 Looking Back / 2013 Looking Forward, there were some interesting trends:
- Of the 41 opinions gathered by the paper, only two were from business leaders. The other 39 were from government employees, non-profit leaders, students and volunteers.
- The collective opinion of the group was that while 2012 was difficult, 2013 looks more promising with grand plans in store for the Basin.
- Only one of the 41 opinions said anything about the Affordable Care Act, which sinks its teeth in much deeper in 2013. Another opinion spoke about Federal and State mandates becoming more difficult to navigate.
While this is an interesting perspective from a select section of the Klamath community, my specific question is where are the opinions from Jeld-Wen, from South-Valley Bank & Trust, from Bell Hardware, from Lithia Motors, Columbia Forrest Products, Fred Meyers, Basin Mediactive, Winema Electric, your favorite restaurant owner and from a former Aqua Glass employee? If the paper was really interested in giving us a story on the real economic outlook for 2013, you would've seen fewer opinions from students, volunteers and government employees and more from business leaders.
On Tuesday November 21st, both Commissioners Switzer and Hukill outvoted Commissioner Linthicum to extend the KBRA for two more years.
What is curious is that only a few months prior these same two commissioners, who knew their terms would be up at the end of the year, decided to extend county employee contracts only one year instead of the normal two, three and five years. The reasoning was that since Switzer and Hukill were soon to be leaving, it didn't make sense for the outgoing commissioners to saddle Mallams and Bellet (the new commissioners) with these types of decisions. So by extending the contracts just for a year, Mallams and Bellet would be able to negotiate with the unions for the length of their first terms.
One wonders if something that important, county employee contracts, can be put off for one year so the new commissioners can be directly involved, why was it okay to extend the KBRA for another two years giving the new commissioners no say in the matter? Why didn't they just table the extension, as Commissioner LInthicum motioned, in order to allow Mallams and Bellet a say in the matter?
This 90 second video says it all.
When will the people take back control of a government that has become out of control?
President Obama just announced he wants to solve the "fiscal cliff" by raising taxes on Americans (and American businesses) that earn over $250,000 annually. Mr. Obama estimates this will create $1.6 trillion in revenue over the next ten years. However, as with most Left of center politicians, he is wrong in thinking that raising tax rates will lead to the same kind of increase in Treasury revenue. His error is thinking that Americans will behave the same way before and after a tax increase. Americans rarely do. Most Americans, when faced with an expense change behaviors to avoid that expense or to lessen its impact. "Rich people" are notorious for this, and are rich because they are smart money managers.
Changing behaviors can also be seen on the other side of the fence. When tax rates have been lowered, private savings and investment has boomed, causing an economic surge. Why? Because Americans and American businesses have more money, and most Americans change their behavior and do something good with that money. Money in private hands is always more efficient than in public hands. And that efficiency leads to productivity and productivity to growth.
However, the main problem with the President's solution is that he has misdiagnosed the problem. The Federal Government's problem is not that Washington does not have enough money. The problem is that Federal Government is spending too much. In other words, the Federal Government has a spending problem. Tax increases do nothing to fix that. Nothing.