Local Control, Efficient Government, and Personal Responsibility
Proper Role of Government
As we look at what is happening in health care, it is time to look at what is the proper role of government. Few people seem happy with the government telling us what we should do or should buy and there are even times when the state does the same.
Where is the line drawn? Once our federal and state governments provide money that they tell you how you must spend, will the next step be telling you how to spend all of your money?
The federal government being the most removed from direct contact with the people has the least ability to know how best to serve their constituents. Conversely, the government closest to the people can have the greatest impact on the people and the greatest ability to know what the people want and/or need.
Those who have worked hard their entire lives should not find themselves in the position of having to sell their home in order to pay their property taxes. While there are programs such as reverse mortgage or circuit breaker, which provide some relief, they don't address the real problem. There are times when three years of property taxes are equal to the value of the property or after paying off the mortgage the property tax becomes the new mortgage.
The state should protect the rights of property owners, especially our seniors and those on fixed incomes. When it comes to health care which is a big cost for our seniors, the state should look for ways to reduce the cost by promoting the purchasing of health insurance across state lines, reform tort laws to reduce the amount of frivolous medical malpractice suits and seek methods to reduce the cost of FDA approved drugs such as importing them from Canada.
The state spends over 50% of its entire general fund budget on education. Those best qualified to determine how that money is spent are the local school boards, administrators and principals. A good example of how not to do this was when the federal government started getting involved in schools and imposed requirements through No Child Left Behind, a good idea but no with no funding. Both federal and state continue to put mandates on schools and take away local control. I believe we must give choices back to the parents and empower them to help educate their children. Those choices should include charter schools and should allow a parent to choose which elementary school their child will go to, not just because you live in this house you must attend this school. The way to strengthen education is for the parents to be involved.
The backbone of our economy is small business, and by small business I mean those who employ 2 to 15 people. The state at time brags about bringing companies that employ hundreds, but they come and go and the real strength is in the small, family owned business. We need to be careful not to place undue burdens on them such as over regulation, excessive paperwork or taxes on services. As the state struggles to balance the budget we must realize that the reason the state has less money is that all the businesses are also struggling because they have less. The solution is not to raise their taxes so the state will have more money but to continue to make government more efficient. As a business has to pay higher taxes they must cut cost, and that usually means less employees, which in turn creates another cost for the state. An example would be the gas tax, if you take five dollars away from an individual that is five dollars less he can spend in another business and that economic multiplier would be gone. Now is not the time to take money out of the economy and give it to the government.
The people of District 21 deserve honest and fair representation. Forced annexation by any city should not be allowed. Anytime the city wants to annex it should be able to justify the additional cost with added benefits. Annexation comes down to taxes versus services, and there should be a clear understanding of what benefits those within city limits receive for the additional taxes and when they will be provided. Any city wishing to form a local improvement district (LID) should be required to put the issue to a vote of all the effected property owners. Taxation without representation should never happen.