Monday, October 19, 2009

Anti-spending Congressman protests lousy transit service

I try not to be blatantly partisan on this blog, but I did mention I'm a strong liberal, right? So it should come as no surprise that I was seeing red when I found this post on Wonkette today. A Republican congressman voted against funding for DC's Metro system, and then was surprised and indignant when that system failed to transport protesters from his district... to a rally... to protest government spending.

This is one of those annoyances of American politics- the connection in peoples' minds between taxation and government services has been severed, and this is especially true for those on the right. It's even worse here in California, because, through the initiative process, we manage to vote for a whole boatload of services, and then turn around and vote for another boatload of tax cuts.

Ladies and gentlemen- taxes pay for good things. Schools, bridges, police and fire, and yes, public transport. These are things that would not exist if it were left to the private sector to provide them, or if they were provided, would be provided at an inadequate level and for the elite few. I would happily pay an extra penny on the dollar in sales tax if it went to supporting a real public transport system here in Riverside.

I don't know what my point is in all of this. I guess I just want to point out why our state is going down the tubes so quickly, and ask all of you to think about this when you make political decisions. Taxes mean services. They are not some random theft from your paycheck or grocery bill because politicians like to see you suffer. If we want a well-functioning society, we have to be willing to pay for it.

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