“We need to raise taxes or we will have to cut Police, Fire and Teachers. ” This excuse for raising taxes replaced the “Children” which was big in the 90’s. I like this one even less, because there is an element of extortion to it, as well as outright hubris.
The main thing you need to remember is that we as citizens know alot better as to how to spend our money then our legislators do. And, you can never go wrong with more of it in your pocket. Also, before I give anymore money to someone I’ve been supporting, I like to know what happened to the money I already gave them. With that said the next time some “fat cat” Governor lays this rap on me, I want or shall I say demand to know the following:
1. do they drive their own car or does the state provide them with one?
2. who pays for them to live in the Governor’s Mansion?
3. What is their yearly salary… when was the last time they were given a raise?
4. how many people do they have on their staff… and what do they really do?
Before we make any cuts in Police, Fire and Teachers here is what we can do first:
1. require state legislators and leaders provide their own car and pay for their own gas.
2. have them pay rent on any state owned housing and pay utilities.
3. take a pay cut or maybe a roll back on a raise.
4. consolidate or let go of some of their personal staff.
The money saved in all four of these areas can go to pay salaries for policemen, firemen, and teachers. It’s done in all the time in the private sector. Also, these are the kinds of tough decisions an average family makes. But as we all know, our politicians will never do with less– voluntarily that is.
Well the last thing I would like to do is analyze how they could, if they had to make cuts in police, fire and teachers.
Fire: this one is tricky, but not impossible. What I would do is ask myself what I really need to put out a fire?
- essential equipment and trained personnel.
- a place to store the equipment
- housing for the personnel
Now what don’t I need?
- a fancy fire house… just a roof over someone’s head might do.
- fleet vehicles for staff that don’t actually fight the fires( out in the country volunteer fire fighter’s use their own vehicles… perhaps the “Commish” could drive his own.)
- a Dalmation… all kidding aside, any equipment that is not related to fighting fires… if you want to personally provide it, by all means.
- Sensitivity training or any other needless seminars.
Teachers: This I know is a sacred cow issue. And, no sacrifice is too small for the “children”. As a result, we end up with a lot of non essential personnel:
Health Teacher. Would it be asking too much to have the school nurse take over the teaching of health? It could be done by having a series of all school assemblies through out the year.
PE Teachers. Do we really need a separate teacher to supervise “kickball’? Private schools get by with having the history teacher take on that role.
How about just a Principal and a Dean? What does a Vice Principal do that a receptionist can’t?
Shop Teachers. Why do we want to encourage kids to work in a factory? If some kids are interested in that, perhaps they could show some intiative and get a summer job at a garage, or some other industrial arts business.(bold words I know)
Home Economics Teachers. Again private schools get by with farming those duties out to other teachers.
- And lastly, Janitors. Here is another idea, maybe we could have Janitor/Shop Teachers.
Our primary focus for school should be to teach kids the three R’s, history and science.
Police: This is one of my faves. Isn’t it funny that the same people who worry about cutting police are ok with cutting Army, Navy, Airforce, and Marines and all the equipment that goes with those jobs? Politicians cut defense spending all the time. Very few people see this as a problem. So much so that I have seen bumper stickers that state that it would be nice if we had to have a bake sale to buy a bomber. Since we are ok with cuts in our Military, let’s examine how we could make cuts in our Law Enforcement.
Personnel: Seriously how many police officers does it really take to execute a successful seat belt check point? We always ask where a cop is when we need them. Well there are plenty… but they are too busy checking to see if you are wearing your seatbelt.
- Red light Cameras: since when is it necessary to invest in hi tech equipment that violates our constitional rights? And just how much money do these tickets generate?
- Vehicles: do they really need to drive a Charger? Or, would something comparable to a Crown Victoria do?
- Weapons: why spend money on tasers, bean bag guns and other things non lethal that end up causing the perp to sue the police officer in the end? And why do they need to be armed to the teeth when they can’t even shoot the bad guys when they have to?
- Equipment: how necessary is a Ninja Mask?(if that’s how you want to dress, instead of guns, use throwing stars and nunchukas) It used to be Swat got by with wearing jumpsuits and blue ball caps. So, why do we need them to look like special forces?
Again, I want cops, teachers, and fire. But, my point is is that even in those areas there are some unnecessary expenses that could be cut if we really had to.
Remember, any politician, that tells you to give them more of your hard earned money to prevent the cutting of necessary services like police, teachers and fire, should not get one red cent. Instead, they should be fired.