Monday, August 29, 2011

Yes, you need to pay more in taxes

Government budget cuts, we're always told, are "draconian" and cut government services "to the bone." That's always the rationale for higher taxes: We've cut everything we can cut, and there's just no alternative to increasing revenue.

Well, here are a few items that might make you think twice about the need for higher taxes.

First, the State of Illinois has spent thousands of dollars paying convicted sex offenders to babysit. That's here.

Then comes the City of Minneapolis, which is trying to lay off firemen, but is offering up to $84,000 a year for a new "Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator." Details here. How did people ever walk anywhere or ride a bike without a government "coordinator?"

Not to be outdone, the St. Paul School District is paying its superintendent - who already has a base salary of $180,000 - another $40,000 to move from the suburbs into the city proper, even though there is no legal requirement for her to live in the city, and even though she already owns a condo in the city. Details here.

Finally, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is spending $700,000 - more than the median cost of a home in the city's famed Sunset district - to add a 10-foot wheelchair ramp to the podium in their chambers even though none of the board members are disabled. The rationale for a ramp that costs $70,000 A FOOT is available here.

Just a little something to remember the next time you hear a public official complain that "we just can't cut any more from the budget."

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