Chutzpah meets ignorance

In what may be the best letter-to-the-editor that the Enquirer publishes all year, former judge Mark Painter rips apart the Hamilton County commissioners for not even letting us vote on a plan to preserve two our our region’s most iconic buildings, Music Hall and Union Terminal:

The people of Hamilton County want to restore Music Hall and Union Terminal. But our good intentions have been frustrated. […]

But our commissioners won’t even let us vote on it. […]

Instead, in a breathtaking display of chutzpah compounded by ignorance, two Commissioners, Chris Monzel and Greg Hartmann, at the last minute concocted a back-of-napkin alternate scheme that even they can’t explain. And Monzel is not even sure he will vote for his own plan!

What Kind of Country

This episode of This American Life put many of the thoughts I’ve been having, but couldn’t figure out how to express, into words.

So many Americans are currently stuck in the mentality of yelling and screaming “smaller government!” without thinking about what that actually means. Like in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where citizens voted down a tax increase, and as a result, the city had to make drastic cuts, like laying off firemen, turning off street lights, and closing down parks. Some citizens were willing to spend their own money to turn street lights back on, even though they were paying significantly more for these services than they would have paid in taxes.

Council member Jan Martin:

He had just written a check to the city for $300 to turn all the street lights back on in his neighborhood. And I did remind him that for $200 if he had supported the tax initiative, we could have had not only streetlights, but parks and firemen and swimming pools and community centers. That by combining our resources, we as a community can actually accomplish more than we as individuals.

I understand that people get frustrated when they feel like they aren’t getting anything in return for their tax dollars. But, as this example shows, that’s not the case. People are getting mad because… I don’t know, because the government exists, I guess? If that’s the case, here’s a list of places where you might want to consider moving.

Stop for a second and thing about the big picture. What kind of country do we really want?

The Result of Anti-Tax Extremism

Little Miami Schools is being taken over by the State of Ohio because the citizens of that school district have repeatedly failed to pass a tax levy to fund the schools. The anti-tax/anti-government extremists got their way and the schools will now suffer massive cuts. Students will likely not have any extracurricular activities. They will miss out on advance education opportunities. Little Miami Students will not have good educations.