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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The 2012 election is about the role of government


The other night my wife asked me about what all the political commotion was about, so I thought about it for a minute, then I said “it’s all about the role of government." There's one side that wants smaller government, no matter what the circumstances. The other side thinks that government has a role to play. I went on to explain what certain buzzwords meant such as crony capitalism, government intervention, socialism, capitalism, and how they relate to the role of government in our lives.

My wife is not political at all but even an uninterested party knows about the unrest in our country. Her conservative friends are political but she tells me that she just nods and smiles and waits for the proper time to change the subject. I told her that’s a good way to keep good friends but it won't not help her in the upcoming election. I went on to tell her that the next president will probably appoint two replacement Supreme Court judges because we have a couple of judges who are getting along in age and are having health issues. I've told her that Roe vs. Wade will be in serious jeopardy if a couple of conservative judges are appointed.

The role of government whether it be the local, state, or federal is being taken to task and if one supports a position contrary to their belief, they're called a socialist. The definition of socialism is an "economic system based on state ownership of capital." We don't have that in this country unless you want to say Social Security, Medicare, and VA Care are all forms of socialism. I don't think that's where the country is; that's a view taken by extreme right wing conservatives/libertarians.
I see conservative/ libertarian outburst every day when our city gets involved in projects that they think should be left exclusively to the private sector. On one hand, I think that if the projects are kept at arms- link between the city and investors; then its okay. They should also be transparent, legal, and aboveboard. I have yet to see evidence of any wrongdoing in the sale of the pump house. From what I've read it was a win- win for both parties. Sure, it invites suspicion and those deals should be limited if possible. For instance, if no other interested buyer comes forward what’s the city supposed to do? I've seen the pencil pushers make their case using only one side of the ledger. The private sector and the government will not always make the right decision but people hold the government more accountable because they think their mistakes will always raise taxes. They think because they are taxpayers, they have a controlling interest in what the government can do. Technically that's correct but realistically the decisions are left up to the elected officials. Then there are those where the city can do no right, they will complain about construction in front of their business establishment, excessive spending, crony capitalism, and everything else under the sun. I think some are City Council wannabes but they know they can't get elected, so they gripe excessively. It's a good thing that those positions are not permanent but it doesn't help matters if only 17% of the registered voters show up to vote.

I don't keep up with state or local government affairs very much but I do keep up with the federal government. This year we will get a choice; if you want to continue cutting taxes for the wealthy, cutting spending without investing, and believe propping up the corporations will lead us to prosperity then the Republican Party will do that for you. If you want to leave massive cuts until after we start recovering and concentrate on more on innovation, infrastructure repair, and protecting the entitlements but realizing they need reform, then the democrats are your choice.

That's how I see the role of government in this year's election.


Edith Ann said...

The issue with the Pumphouse Restaurant is that they city should have stopped with the sale of the building.

If you will recall, the whole big deal about the sale of the building is that it was going to cost the city $235,000.00 to demolish the building. So by selling it for $68,000.00 they saved $168,000.00...until they installed $185,000.00 worth of parking lots for the Texas Zoo (1/4mile up the road) conveniently located abutting the Pumphouse land.

Wrongdoing? Maybe not. Does it pass the sniff test? Certainly not. We wouldn't even be having this discussion if every new business got a free parking lot. But they don't, so we are.

We haven't even had the discussion yet about the curfew in the park. This establishment will be staying open past the park curfew on three nights. What happens then? Suspend the rules? Move the gate? When we have that big flood, who pays for the repair of the parking lots? There are a lot of little niggly things that those geniuses at City Hall failed to consider when they struck the deals they did pon this piece of land. But that is how they often do things down there--act first, think later.

And, for the record, the COV does not always have the best record of partnering with private sector. It always costs someone more money than it should, whether it works out or not!

Mike said...

I get all those points you made but did you make an assessment for a willing buyer... The Pumphouse was a sore spot and an item difficult to sell.... The Pumphouse will pay property tax for several years(maybe) offsetting some of those costs. Our company (I know private sector) used to sell some of their old items at a loss to get them off their depreciation schedule and off the tax rolls, buy replacement property and set up new depreciation to recoup what they sold the old item for... I'm not saying that the COV did this because I don't have privy to the contract.

Every new business will not be able to take advantage of every deal the comes along. You call it a free parking lot... I call it boot or goodwill.... It's sort like the road to Caterpillar; pay the cost now or pay later because the big trucks and the amount of traffic will tear up the road.

Are you positive that the rules and damages due to flood were not specified in the contract? They usually are but that could still be brought up at a council meeting and be resolved before the incidents happen.

I will take your word that the COV doesn't have a good track record when it comes to partnering with the private sector but that's no reason to abandon the process altogether.
I just read an article with the private sector and government took a gamble and prospered.

I know I didn't change your mind one bit and that's understandable.

Do I go to COV meeting? No
Will I ever go to one? No
Do I know the players involved? No
Am I completely in the dark? maybe but I do read our local government's balance sheet which eases my mind without reading or hearing all the intricate details.

Edith Ann said...

It is really not about the money. It is about the deception that the City employs in order to pass this smelly business.

They would be so much further ahead of the game if they were just straightforward and truthful!

I wish the city would quit telling me there was a parking shortage in Riverside Park when I can drive through there at any random hour and find plenty of parking.

It is the chronic and costant deception on spending money.

Is it too much to expect for city government and county government to at least try to be upfront and transparent?

Mike said...

As you well know,I don't have the slightest idea about deception because I don't keep up with the day-to-day operations...I think it comes down to the level of trust...I trust Pozzi and you don't,so I don't need as much transparentcy as you do...I go to the voting booth ,cast my vote and then I let them do their job but I can understand some don't feel that way.

The differrance is that you are looking at it from ground level and I am looking at it from afar.

I respect your views but I don't share them on this issue....I realize I don't have your knowledge on local matters and that I am probably wrong and naive but I'm being truthful..You wouldn't want it any other way.

BTW The other candidates are piling on Ron Paul for not wanting to go to another war.

Edith Ann said...

I know. We have this conversation ever so often! One last comment about the deception and then I'll let it go (for now ;)) All one has to do is stand in the new parking lot and look up the road to the zoo and say to himself: "These parking spots are for the zoo and the rest of the park where there is a parking shortage." Once you do that, it becomes crystal clear that they are creative with their explanations.

Okay, I watched the entire debate--Ricky is getting good at using a whole lot of words to say nothing, isn't he? Paul was taking some hits for sure. Bachmann was getting assertive there at the end, "I am a serious candidate!"

I am kind of glad we get a break!

Edith Ann said...

Alright, because NO ONE can beat a dead horse like EA--it is about the money, too! They are going to spend it faster than they get it, no matter what.

There. I'm done.