Tuesday, December 01, 2015

If We Had a Real Say

Yesterday, my husband went to the county courthouse to pay our local taxes. He said he was going to tell the treasurer that our share was not to be spent on shell buildings.

Shell buildings are the big thing right now in local conversation. The county wants to build an empty building, hoping it will lure in a big corporation. The problem is, they want to build it atop one of the loveliest knolls in the county, which also happens to have historic structures located on them. The supervisors want to "relocate" the structures.

Of course, the money we paid goes into the county's general fund, and it will be spent however the supervisors determine. I will have to content myself with thinking my share is supporting the schools and the county library, and somebody else's share is supporting the things I disagree with.

I began wondering what it would be like if our representatives really voted our interests at all levels of government. Perhaps on the IRS form there should be a place where we could mark how much of our taxes we wanted to go where.

For example, I might want 30% to go to welfare programs to reduce inequality, 10% to infrastructure, 30 percent for public safety (police, fire departments, etc.), and 30 percent to public education. You, on the other hand, might want 100 percent to go to military. Whatever. Your mileage may vary. None of us would agree on the funding ratios, but I bet when the totals were in that the numbers would not be as the dollars are currently spent.

My point is, they don't ask. Locally, representatives don't ask, statewide they don't ask, and nationwide they don't ask. They take their election as some kind of mandate to do what they want and to stick to the harmful and destructive political lines that have been drawn. This occurs even though poll after poll at the national level indicates that the citizenry would rather see public funds spent in different ways than the current breakdown, but nothing is ever done about it. The people in power do what they want, and if you have an opinion, your best bet is to be sit over there and be quiet. Otherwise someone will, at the least, want to argue with you.

But if we are all quiet, then no one will be left to speak out for us when it is too late. So if you want your tax dollars spent elsewhere, locally or otherwise, say something. Write your representative. Writer a letter to the editor.

Complain about it on your blog.

We have voices. We must learn again how to use them.

1 comment:

  1. oh anita, this topic makes me so angry...when i read they want to move those cabins for a shell building i almost lost it...i get angry over it each time i think about it...you are right, it is such a beautiful spot...what a stupid thing for them to have planned...they are not going to be happy until that whole area is turned into some commercialized money spot...

    ReplyDelete

I enjoy your comments and always appreciate the opportunity to visit the blogs of my readers. I hope you have a great day!