Saturday, May 5, 2007

A letter to the Editor in the Newsleader today.

Are elected officials the ruling class?
Candidate Scott Sayre signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. He stated that he would not raise tax rates. I wrote that I was gratified he did so. Shortly thereafter, The News Leader published three opposing views from their online forum section. They went a step further and added their own editorial in opposition the same day.
Opposition to my letter seemed to be for two reasons. One, that the signing of the pledge was just a ploy for votes. The second was that it is narrow-minded. In regard to the first, is it a ploy to give voters what they ask for? Is it a ploy to make a promise and keep it? Is it a ploy to actually say something you mean? The state budget has doubled in the last decade from about $17 billion to $34 billion. Population and inflation have not doubled. If the budget maintained pace with both, the budget should be around $24 or $25 billion per year, according to Del. Chris Saxman, R-Staunton. What happened with that extra $9 or $10 billion? Do you think there might be a little pork in there? Do you think it's a ploy to let voters know a representative of the people wants to spend their money more wisely?
Some people said it was narrow-minded for the candidate to lock himself into a firm position. I think it is narrow-minded to think delegates and senators must raise taxes every time they want to spend money for something new. I don't want my representatives to be so closed-minded that they think every program they started should remain funded forever. I want my representatives to align the state's priorities so that I don't get tax increases when the state has a surplus.
The difference can be boiled down to two views. One has the politicians in Richmond saying, "I need all this money to run the government the way I want to do it. Give us this amount of money to make it work" The second is that the people say, "This is the amount of money we can afford and want to use to run the government. Representatives, align the priorities and make it work." Are they the ruling class or elected representatives?


Blogger Spank That Donkey said...

Dead on Letter! It is narrow minded to only think of raising taxes to provide basic Govt. Services...

Why can they not look for savings and new appraoaches to fund our Govt?

Ben Cline has had his 'Yellow Pages' Bill ignored in Senate Finance now (Sen Hanger's committee) for like three years now.

That must be to innovative for Potts Chichester and Hanger!

May 5, 2007 at 9:27 AM  

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