Mt. Vernon Register-News

March 25, 2014

Wake up calls

The Register-News

---- — Today, I turn on the television after returning from the morning trip to the fitness center and guess what the first thing I see is? One of the talking heads telling us the Post Office will need a bail-out from the government that will approach $100 billion because of unfunded health care liabilities for active and retired postal workers.

Every day the news is flooded with the status of enrollees for new folks seeking insurance under the new law (Affordable Care Act) that dominates the news. This will go on until the folks wake up and realize that the cost of health care must come down and we want a system of care; not a market that only provides care if you have the money to pay the administrative cost of the insurance industry and runaway price of hospitalization.

We need a direct pay system similar to Medicare with a single payer system to eliminate the huge administrative cost associated with the present insurance system. Spending billions on advertising and a reported 30 percent for administration does not make a lot of sense, does it?

A wake-up call is coming that no matter what our present government proposes; health care cost reaching 18 to 20 percent of our total GNP in the United States is a disaster beyond any flood, hurricane or war that we have fought. The erosion of the middle class will be catastrophic. The only way to stop this tsunami is your voting power that puts people in office that represent you, not the special interests with billions to spend electing their candidates. We need to get back to doctor’s helping patients and chunk all the other garbage overboard.

I turned off the news that has become a redundant theme attempting to sell a product that does not solve the problem of cost and decided to read my local Register-News paper. I want to say this as succinctly as I possibly can.

If the taxing bodies —state, county, city, schools and all others — do not get the message from recent events that we are fed up; I do not know what it will take.

We are not stupid! We know it takes money to run governments, schools, etc., and that a large percentage comes from some form of tax. Don’t they realize we have the second reported highest property taxes of all states in the nation? We just want to know that increased taxes should not be the first option when a financial problem exists.

We want to know that our political leaders and school leaders have explored every avenue of improved efficiency, reduced cost and reduced service risk before increased taxes are even in the dialog. We want to know that not only has the fat been trimmed, but the bone will be nicked if we go any farther. Attempting to raise PTEL limits is an example of how people think when they spend other people’s money.

Our local citizens, by a huge margin, just told us how they feel about sales tax increases. They are speaking out loudly about the new school financial fiasco and the potential for increased property taxes.

It borders on arrogance and lack of care to keep up the accumulative tax increases and placing financial burdens on future generations that will pay dearly after some of us are gone. I think that wake-up calls are telling all of us loud and clear and I hope they are hearing it, that we want solutions that parallel what we do in our own lives.

Most of us do not spend more than we take in. Most of us do not borrow money our kids will have to repay. Most of us are not immune to downturns in the economy as our counterparts in government. We know that when times are tough we must tighten the belt.

We should expect no less from the folks we pay with our taxes. We want increased taxes in any form to be the last consideration; not the first just because they can.