ORDERED STEAK; GOT GENERIC DRIED DOGFOOD: Budget deadline routinely bring out the free-lunch crowd as the local letters to the editor column has shown lately.
Another day, another dippy “give up back the money” epistle, usually from someone who has also complained about the lack of services the County provides.
But the broad brush crowd always seems to have a blind eye to what we actually spend the money on and apparently doesn’t mind when their money goes down the rat hole of the cronyism-dole and various and sundry Incumbency Protection Plans- the only things that the Mayor and Council seem to be good at providing
The “extra” $2.2 million supplemental appropriations reported yesterday in the local paper has a couple of examples. But digging in the regular budget yields dozens of boondoggles and inflated prices and overpayments to the revolving door of the Public Works Department’s Employees, Ex-employees and Future Employees’ Benevolent Fund, such as triple-priced bridges and paying more for less asphalt.
And there’s always financial room for Jell-O research, causing the administration to get hand cramps writing up all those make-work programs and signing blank checks for poor, starving outside consultants and attorneys.
One of the most amusing ways to spend the “extra” money is the new re-inflation of the now $350,000 pay-off-to-Kekaha appropriation for- well for no one seems to know what for, but I’m sure my good friend Bruce Pleas will figure out something ... maybe malasadas and manapua for all.
Now no one wants a dump, GMO seed experiments and rocket launching facilities in their neighborhood except those making money from them. And Kekaha has more than it’s share of environmental disasters waiting to happen or already occurring.
But what area doesn’t deserve a break. The North Shore has to put up with losing their very neighborhoods to vacation rentals due to the County’s lack of enforcement and boneheaded, dumb-growth planning policies that created them.
Kapa`a has to literally pay double for gas to get though traffic that was created by the County with it’s famous lack of foresight and resulting infrastructure when it zoned everything for resorts and then didn’t expect them to be built. Koloa? Maybe we should buy them some trees. Po`ipu? Well forget Po`ipu- does anyone actually live there anymore... or should we say any voters? Koke`e? How much is appropriated to pay all of us when the state takes away our playground and hands it over to the tourists with gates and carnival-like concessions at every turn?
Well it just might be that the Kekaha community- one of the towns that votes overwhelmingly to return incumbents to office every other year- is rightly pissed at the Council and guess what? In Kekaha they vote in greater numbers than the rest of us. A third of a million dollars greases an awful lot of electoral skids.
Another supplemental absurdity is $850,000 for another Lihu`e Development Plan aka the Grove Farm Memorial Protection Bill. Since half the appointed faces and government contractors have ties to old Massah GF, let’s see how we can squeeze in a little more development of their Lihu`e lands. The $850,000 for the third try at a plan (because twice was not enough) while other town and area plans are not only non-existent but many have had money appropriated for them that’s still sitting in the Planning Department unspent... along with a half a dozen other consulting projects that any normally brain-powered Planning Department would be doing internally instead of awarding them to ex-planners who opened businesses to suck ’em up at the tap of the County tavern.
Over the years we’ve heard a lot of the “lower my taxes but fix the potholes” nincompoops rants like “I’m a social liberal but a fiscal conservative”. Well what does that mean? It means you’re either a fool or a crook who wants stuff from the government but doesn’t want to- or thinks you should have to- pay for it.
The same of course goes for the people who say there are too many government laws and regulations... but don’t get them going because each one can think of at least one more issue for which “there oughtta be a law”.
One man’s red tape is another’s protection of their rights to a safe and healthful community and environment. The problem is not too many laws it’s having ineffectual laws with no teeth to regulate those who think the world owes them a living even if it means turning everyone else’s surroundings into a pig pen or a slave plantation.
If anything we need to spend more and spend it on the things that will benefit all of us and repay us a hundred times over like better roads, public transit, better police and fire protection, restrictions on land use and enforcement of land rape law- and that’s just from the County.
The State needs more money to raise the salaries of teachers, lower the numbers of kids in each class, fix the schools we have and build more or them. But I’d like to see the parents- all of whom want these things- who say “yes- tax me enough to pay for what I want”. Health Care? Crumbling infrastructure? Buying land for open space, parks and cultural and historical protection?
We all want all of those things. We hear a chorus of cheers for each one. But ask “who wants to pay for them” and everyone looks at their shoes and shuffles away.
The little red hen gets no answer when she asks “who will help me... plant and harvest the wheat, gather the fuel and build the fire, mix the ingredients and bake the cookies?” But you can bet they’ll all come around trampling each other when she asks “who will help me eat theses wonderful cookies?. They can’t imagine why they should be asked to pay for them.
Yes folks you heard it here- strike up the band for bigger government and higher taxes.
And people ask why this petulant pup doesn’t run for office...