Hey! Randy

Jobs for the Boys

Posted by heyrandy on October 17, 2008

It is silly season: the time of life when people who should know better run for election to public office.  There is not much I can do to stop this farce, but why should I try?  Someone has to spend my money.  If it can’t be me, it might as well be someone I never met elected by people I don’t know.

It is what is done with the money that I find to be so vexing: it is taken from me.  I am the victim.  I don’t pay taxes because I want to.  I pay taxes because there will come to my house guys (and, these days, girls) with guns.  They will rob me at gun point.  This is usually a felony, but the guys (and the girls) have badges.  This makes it not a felony.  It is only a felony if I don’t pay.

It seems that everyone and his brother wants money they have not earned.  They all have their hands out for tax money for their projects.  Money for the Arts.  Money for the schools.  Money for bridges to Nowhere.  Nowhere must be where the “Money for” ends.  It has to end somewhere.  (We also have bridges to there.)

There is no end of people who want “Money for” and no end of “Money for” people who want it.  Every good, bad, and ugly idea is advanced with a plea for government funding.  Why not? Its free.  Well, no; but who cares if you are the one getting?  I do.

There is a lot of concern about special interest groups giving politicians campaign contributions for political favors, but I have not heard too much about politicians giving out political favors for votes.  This is where the money goes: into some kind of jobs program.  It may not be called Jobs for the Boys courtesy of Sen. Graft, but it really is.  Everyone is getting on the government payroll.

Whenever you hear “Public and Private Partnership” read that as public pay, private benefit.  I have heard many pleas along the lines of “we will get all the public money back in increased sales tax revenues.”  Or better, “the project will pay for itself.”  On this type of reasoning the local political class has built a refuse processing facility that was supposed to turn garbage into fuel for the local power plant (it never worked; the stuff wouldn’t burn very well, and the building is now a recycling center for our household bottles and cans), a minor league baseball stadium (it drinks money), a ferry boat across Lake Ontario to Canada (it sank in a great lake of red ink), a major league soccer stadium (a major league drain on the city’s finances now that the team is going broke), and the purchase and demolition of an indoor shopping mall for a new office building (it is not the city’s building, of course).

Yes, the boys (and the girls) need jobs, and it is your civic duty (and legal requirement) to pay for them.  If you don’t, you may end up making license plates for the prison industrial complex.  That is one way to get on the payroll.  You may even like living in Attica.


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