Make everyone's life better: Pick a side

Carlton Fletcher

Carlton Fletcher

I want what I want.

-- Tool

While talking with local political candidates during this campaign season, one thing in particular has hit me: Why in the hell would anyone want to put themselves through this process?

Sure, there are people born to the job, and there are others who grow into it. But the more time I spend with local politicians and the more comments I hear from their constituents, the more I realize it takes a special person to put up with the demands of being a part of the government machine.

Here's issue No. 1 that would leave me drooling in my morning oatmeal:


Citizen No. 1, two days later: "We deserve better services from our (national, state and local) government. I don't care how much it costs, I want my garbage collected on time, my roads in perfect condition, my property protected, a close eye kept on my neighbor who I'm not so sure about, and a smile on the face of all the local, state and federal workers whose salaries I'm paying. ... Oh, and did I mention that if you even talk about raising my taxes, I'll run you out of office?

I've read so much rhetoric of late from people who claim government is "trying to run the lives of citizens" when it should be "getting out of their business altogether." There's nothing wrong with that concept in theory. But what I've found most such "patriots" are really saying is "you government people with all your silly rules and all those unfair tax levies and your restrictions that you place on what I can do on my own property should just go away ... I'll call you in a few days when I see something I think you should fix."

These are the people who complain about the cops in the doughnut shops until they're in an accident or are victims of a crime and then demand that law enforcement respond to their needs immediately. They're the ones who demand budget cuts in the Public Works department but want the rights-of-way on the roads they travel kept clear at all times.

Officials in places like Lee County, which burst into the spotlight as one of the nation's fastest-growing counties in the 1990s when white flight and the abandonment of nearby public school systems brought new citizens in droves, are frequently the targets of some of the most irrational demands of their new citizens. These folks left places like Albany, which provides high-quality services, for a rural county that had to learn on the run to deal with the sudden influx of people.

And those people, accustomed to top-notch services in their former places of residence, demanded the same in their new homes. They wanted prompt garbage service, law enforcement patrols at frequent intervals, the best quality electrical and utilities services, emergency crews on immediate standby, every pot hole filled and every median mowed ... but don't even think about bringing up the dreaded "T" word.

I personally don't care if you're so anti-tax that you'd oppose any measure that includes the word or you're so sure the government can meet all of your personal needs that you're willing to keep shoveling more and more of your hard-earned money into their coffers so they can take care of you.

You can wear the "tax-and-spend liberal" or the "fiscal conservative" label proudly, and I could not possibly care less. Just remember the limitations that each comes with.

Because the one thing I have learned that's been of value to me during this campaign season is that at some point you have to pick a side. The one thing so many people are having a tough time grasping is the cold hard truth that you just can't have it both ways.

Email Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcher@albanyherald.com.


Bethany2012 3 years, 4 months ago

Would not add anything .Thx Carlton


DoctorDorite 3 years, 4 months ago

For someone who "dreads bringing up the "T" word you're sure writing alot about it lately ?? Taxpayers are finally realizing ( rightly so ) enough is enough and politicans need to work within a budget just like the average taxpayer does with his housewhole income. I find it strange that these politicans are mailing out brochures promoting this as if the majority of the citizens are supporting it which I don't see happening, makes me wonder also who's paying for all this mail being sent out (the answer to this I'm seaching for ). We are already paying for the mentioned services but recieving very little in return, ie. it does'nt take 6 people to fill a pothole with 2 doing the work and 4 watching, where I come from thats considered waste even if its someone elses money. We are paying record amounts in every type tax known to man already in Georgia and locally not to mention permits needed for everything and the "chosen" officials are wanting more, to this I say "YEA, RIGHT" ! Now how about an article about WASTE in government, that would make for better reading.


Cartman 3 years, 4 months ago

You still don't get it, Carlton. There are two approaches to government: High level of taxes and high level of services, i.e. California, Illinois, New York City, etc. The other is low taxes and low level of government services. I prefer the latter. You purposefully mischaracterize the "patriot" position as being low taxes and demanding a high level of services. It's easy to portray a straw man and then it's fun to knock him down - isn't it? Given a vote on the matter, I will continue to vote NO to SPLOSTs and other taxes, as long as our public officials squander the money. If they are irresponsible - why give them more?


Abytaxpayer 3 years, 4 months ago

Thx Carlton for another story against Responsible Taxpayers who want Government to be accountable to the taxpayers.

Answer this…. How should we feel when the city commissioners refuse to consider a lower rate hike and call for the full 1.33 hike then within 5 mins Postell makes a grand stand speach that despite the fact the CR Museum failed to file paper work requesting operating funds that he feels the commissioners must skim money out of the budget to give to something that no one including the churches will support. Demanding a big hike then claim O we got plenty money to waste on failed ventures......T-Splosh is another fine example the commissioners want us to vote yes and trust them to decide where best to waste our money. I say vote NO make them define a permanent list of projects for us to vote on in two years when it will come up again if defeat now.

So before you blame the public for talking out of both sides of their mouth HOW ABOUT calling for some Honesty from the commissioners.


stc1993 3 years, 4 months ago

I had a boss from Baton Rouge LA he told me back in the mid 80's when the first splosh was coming up for vote. "Don't ever vote for a tax increase even for a penny because when you do it will never go away." It was suppose to last only a few years here it is 25 years later & it is still going. Now they are wanting to add another one. I've always voted no & will continue to do so.


Mr_Heatmiser 3 years, 4 months ago

Sales Tax Hotel Tax School Tax Liquor Tax Luxury Tax Excise Taxes Property Tax Cigarette Tax Medicare Tax Inventory Tax Car Rental Tax Real Estate Tax Well Permit Tax Fuel Permit Tax Inheritance Tax Road Usage Tax CDL license Tax Dog License Tax State Income Tax Food License Tax Vehicle Sales Tax Gross Receipts Tax Social Security Tax Service Charge Tax Fishing License Tax Federal Income Tax Building Permit Tax IRS Interest Charges Hunting License Tax Marriage License Tax Corporate Income Tax Personal Property Tax Accounts Receivable Tax Recreational Vehicle Tax Workers Compensation Tax Watercraft Registration Tax Telephone Usage Charge Tax Telephone Federal Excise Tax Telephone State and Local Tax IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax) State Unemployment Tax (SUTA) Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax Telephone Federal Universal Service FeeTax Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon) Utility Taxes Vehicle License Registration Tax Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax

By all means, please allow me to vote for another tax on myself. And I'll be sure that I don't talk about how I'd like to get what I'm paying for.


DoctorDorite 3 years, 4 months ago

Heatmiser I like the way you think, you left out about 14 other taxes though but I think/hope your point gets through. THIS people is Socialism plain and simple ! One thing I've learned about socialism is when they take over they immediately dispatch all political leaders in office and start over, which may not be a bad idea, LOL


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