Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Barbour: It's Tax & Spend Time

Ah, the idiocy of politicians. A few months ago, I was proud of Governor Barbour for standing up against the idiocy of the "Bailout" where the Federal Government sends itself further into debt with nations that are actively hostile to our way of life.

Yet, here he is, just a few scant months later pushing to ensure that I think he's fairly worthless as a politician.

Mississippi, like most states, is facing a shortfall in its general fund. People are spending less which means all those taxes on sales, and Corporate fees, and the various other things where the government takes money away from those who actually produce wealth, are down. It's estimated that the state is ~$300 million down from expectations, and there's only a month left in the fiscal year.

That's a lot of money to have not been collected. So of course, the politicians are in something of a frenzy. After all, they need that money to further their own little power schemes, and to hand out money to their constituents. Oh, excuse, we're supposed to call them, "the worthy poor" or some tripe like that.

So, after taking in 300 million dollars less than expected, you'd think that someone in Jackson would realize that now would be a good time to cut spending. After all, if I bring home $300 less than I expected I would certainly do so. After all, contrary to the Government's belief, one really can't continuously spend money which one does not have.

But alas, that's where one gets into the issue of politicians and their idiocy.

My guess is that they don't really understand where that money comes from. They don't understand that for every penny they bring in, that's taking a penny away from one of their constituents. Those thousands of dollars that I spend on sales taxes, state income taxes, property taxes, sin taxes, and my share of fees levied against the companies I frequent could have been spent on my family.

That's money that they're taking from me under duress, all because they feel the need to push their social agenda and hand out money. In 2008, this is how the state split up the money they took in from its people (the General Fund):
  • Social Welfare - 2%
  • Agriculture & Economic Development - 2%
  • Corrections - 5%
  • Debt Service - 6%
  • Hospitals & Hospital Schools - 5%
  • Medicaid - 8%
  • Other - 9%
  • Colleges & University - 17%
  • K-12 Education - 45%
It's easy. Take a category, and cut. Look at K-12 Education, nearly half of the funds taken in go towards that. On average, 20% of their budget goes to indirect costs--which are those things not directly related to teaching our kids. How much of that is needed? Would it not be better to do things like cut back on the cleaning staff, and instead make the kids clean up the school? Would it not be better to strip away the administrative overhead, and give more power directly to the school's principles? I think so.

It's easy to find things to cut--it's just sad that so many people come to expect the government to hand things to them, or to take care of things that a generation ago, our parents/grandparents would have done.

It's even sadder that the politicians are so determined to keep their jobs and their power, that they'd willing drive us all further into debt, rather than do the right thing and work towards shrinking our government.

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