We need lower taxes, fewer frills
I am a reasonable person who taught college for 27 years. My areas of expertise are information systems technology, banking and finance and investments. I hold graduate degrees from The Johns Hopkins University. I thought I should let you know where I am coming from with my comments.
By continuing to live beyond our means, we only exacerbate budgetary problems for the future. Governments must only fund absolutely necessary services, not wish-list items. Let the 4H clubs, etc., fund themselves. If these are worthwhile endeavors, they will do just fine. These budget items are not essential services for a government to sponsor. No raises for any government employee until the budget crises has recovered. No travel allowances for any state or county employee, probably a good idea even after the crisis is over. Use the telephone for communication instead of costly travel. No tax hikes for any reason including hidden taxes on property owners, out-of-state property owners and visitors to our state. And no excuses.
Budgets get out of hand during boom times, then suffer when the cycle shifts and the party is over. The party seems to be over. I think everyone cannot deny this. We will never toot our horns again unless some common sense begins to prevail. Cycles in business are normal for our economic system. They tend to repeat themselves ad infinitum. They just take different forms. If we plan for this occurrence correctly, it will mitigate future budgetary strife. Governments should not build into their budgets expanded roles in society that they cannot afford during bust times in the cycle.
Always increasing taxes and fees to pay for unsustainable budgets causes major burdens on all citizens. And hidden taxes are also to blame. These so-called quick budget fixes do not help a poor budget situation, but only puts the whole system into a downward spiral that can be impossible to reverse. Until this spiral comes to an end it will wreak all sorts of havoc and despair like the 1930s. We need not follow this path. We must be smarter.
The only answer to our problems is a responsible budget. Do not overspend during good times. When the cycle reverses itself (as it always does) government will not be caught between a rock and a hard place. Government should provide only the necessary services that protect life, property, safety and fair capitalism with lawful economic pursuits. All other uses for taxes should be considered frills to be avoided.
If taxes are raised in this economic climate they will not help the community at large, but will only create more have-nots — just different needy and increasingly poorer citizens. Solving a budgetary problem by creating a new class of impoverished people only shifts this burden to others.
Lowering taxes for all of our citizens will put more money in the pockets of the people. The people will then be able to spend us out of this mess. Those who save or use their money to pay off debt, too, help create capital for further investment and the freeing up of lenders to provide new loans.
Continuing to tax citizens during a down cycle in the economy has never solved budget problems. It just creates more problems and deeper depressions than need be.
I am not affiliated with any political party, committee or lobbying group. I am a citizen, just like you.
Stuart Singer, New Port Richey