The morning paper’s lead political columnist gets it wrong again, and possibly is forgiven by the boss because he so frequently simply re-states management policy in different words.
His headline says: "Streets are icy? You get what you pay for." Wrong. Tax dollars are taken from citizens, under threat of fine and imprisonment, for the purpose of operating municipal government on behalf of all citizens.
That’s what we pay for. And the giveaways which absorb such huge amounts of public funds should follow - if exist at all - when the city services for which we do pay are completed to the satisfaction of citizens. And only then.
Hundreds of millions of tax dollars have been and are being spent on projects approved by the so-called leadership of this city, without the suppliers of those dollars ever having been asked for their approval.
The columnist takes the approved Washington approach to fiscal problems. He even mentions the $10 million being handed to the local basketball team. But instead of making any suggestion toward an effort to eliminate, reduce, or even prioritize such outrageous expenditures, his answer is "...we will have to chip in a little more." (Following Washington’s lead, can we take a whack at any local millionaires and billionaires?)
What is needed is to chip at...no, let’s make that "take an axe to"... corporate welfare of all kinds, with great emphasis on every dollar which goes to any business refusing to produce data justifying a request for public dollars.
A newspaper has constitutional protection so that it can be a watchdog over government for the people. And we know that in this case we’re talking about the opinion of an individual, misguided as it may be. But is a costly new scoreboard for the basketball team really a higher priority than safe, ice-clear streets?
Isn’t it time for editorial policy of the paper itself to be asking some questions about whether we’re really getting we’re paying for? And if we're not, why not?