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(NPR)   Bootstrappy voters in Colorado Springs refuse to pay, so city shuts off the lights   (npr.org ) divider line
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17732 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Feb 2010 at 12:45 PM (6 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-02-14 03:41:00 PM  

GaryPDX: dennysgod: But, but taxes are for commies to control the people and not for things like street lights, road repairs, schools, military, police, fire department, library, and water/sanitary services.

"The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation." -Vladimir Lenin


You walk into your local convenience store and head to the cold walk-in beer room in the back. The choice is overwhelming. Budweiser, Michelob, Bud Light, Busch Light, Stella Artois, Grolsch, Kirin,Tsingtao, Corona, Negra Modelo, Rolling Rock, Widmer, Miller and Coors. In fact, all of these beers are controlled by two companies. MillerCoors under the direction of South African Breweries (SAB) and AnheuserBusch InBev. Two multinational corporations controlling the beer choices of 300 million Americans. What bankers have done is they privatized all of their profits and socialized all of their risks.
 
2010-02-14 03:47:59 PM  

ZAZ: More like, when they realize they don't want to cut the fat. The mayor closed the branch library down the street from me but kept on his $100,000 per year communication director. This is the guy who sends press releases to reporters and records announcements about trash pickup. The new mayor fired him and some of the other dead wood the old mayor had collected.


Yeah, there's always the few bubbles of sacred cow fat. Somehow it's never okay to can administrators, even when their salaries could be used to hire two guys lower on the food chain. Layoffs usually start from the bottom less senior people (which is okay, I suppose) but the people up top never get bumped back down a rung, so eventually you can end up with too many bosses and not enough people actually doing the task at hand.

When the org chart looks like an inverted triangle, there's a problem...
 
2010-02-14 03:49:34 PM  

windstrider: Seriously. We hear all the time that public sector employees make too much money compared to their private sector counterparts, but is that truly the case in Colorado Springs? Are the city government employees making too much money?


The ones who are disconnecting streetlights are. Disconnecting the lights is probably costing the city as much as it would to keep running the lights for six months.
 
2010-02-14 03:56:40 PM  
I don't understand. CS was the mecca for the ultra-right.

Surely Focus on the Family is rolling in dough and can bail out the city.
Isn't that what Jesus would do?

Can't the rest of the religious right come in and buy all the overpriced real estate
to help them out? What about the teabaggers?

How about a BAKE SALE?
 
2010-02-14 03:57:09 PM  

Tyee: Let's see what happens if you let people keep the money they earned, they might not have to turn into criminals living a life of crime. In any case it will be fun to watch this. I have no doubt that we'll hear about the rising crime rate, if there is one, however if that doesn't happen as you predict, I hope it gets covered also.


The total ignorance of 20th century macroeconomics in this post is AWESOME. Check out "paradox of thrift." Sure, sure, the paradox is all Keynesian, and you must be a big ol' libertarian Hayekian, so we can have a fun debate on the relative merits of increased savings, instead of having a retard slap-fight over intellectually empty conservative talking points. Which you totally don't want to do at all.
 
2010-02-14 04:04:30 PM  
Shadune: Disband the military machine and there would be no need for federal income taxes. Let the states/municipalities take care of roads/police/etc. and tax at an acceptable rate for their residents and level of service.

Problem solved.


s1ugg0: Sure until someone realizes how nice it is here and how we can't stop them from taking it.
/I'm a liberal but thinking like that is foolish at best and dangerous at worst.


Shadune: National defense is vital. But the kind of military that spends all its time overseas attacking other people is ridiculously expensive (not to mention the generations of long term costs for wars of aggression). Stop invading other countries willy nilly and we can dramatically decrease the burden of cost on the American people. Trying to remember the last time the US was invaded by a foreign entity...

Stop spending money killing other people for political/religious reasons and we can actually take care of our domestic needs AND lower the tax burden.


I'm going to go with the War of 1812 as the last time the US was invaded. And 1941 (1942?) as the last time we were attacked by a foreign nation. I generally agree that we should stop invading foreign nations willy-nilly, but even with that, if congress would quit funding all their pet military projects to keep money being spent in everyone's home state and the military would quit spending money on expensive crap that will never be used and stationing troops in places (Germany, Belgium, Italy, Korea, Japan, Turkey, etc.) that haven't seen active war in over 50 years, the military budget could probably be cut in half. The amount of money wasted spent on military family benefits astounds me as well. My experience has shown me that single soldiers are cheaper and better (more emotionally stable, etc.), but military wives vote and scream "won't someone think of the children". I've known soldiers who've gotten married just for the economic benefits. What other employer gives so many benefits for married people that their employees merry just for the benefits?

As for the city cutting street lights and park maintenance, I think that's just to annoy the voters into letting them raise taxes again. My own city always has plenty of money for all the nonessential budget items, but then when all the money is spent comes begging and pleading for more taxes so they can give the police and firemen a raise. Who would say "no" to that? It's the public sector equivalent of "think of the children". I say the city should have put their raises on the top of the budget and cut from less important stuff. It's all about priorities.

Finally, what the heck is the city doing owning a hospital and utilities?
 
2010-02-14 04:12:56 PM  

mikemil828: FlashHarry: hmm... maybe saudi arabia is no longer the conservative mecca, so to speak. though i'd wager they're still tougher on crime and women who refuse to know their place than the good citizens of colorado springs.

In Saudi Arabia 100% of its citizens by law are Muslim with two of its cities completely closed off to non-muslims all together. I know on fark hyperbole is common, but come on.


That is pretty conservative!
 
2010-02-14 04:31:01 PM  

GAT_00: Heh, it is a small scale version of when the Republicans were in the White House. Don't raise taxes, don't cut services, run up huge debts. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?



Did you even glance at the article? The entire thing is about cutting services.
 
2010-02-14 04:35:55 PM  

Yoyo: What other employer gives so many benefits for married people that their employees merry just for the benefits?


Hordes of people in the US get married for the health insurance.

Part of military spending (or "military industrial complex spending" really) in these days of the WTO is because it's the one form of manufacturing (read: well paying jobs) that is legally able to be protectionist, because you can invoke the national security exemption with the WTO.

So on a local level, yeah, people don't want those jobs cut.

It all boils down the same "cut the budget in other areas, other states, on other people, but leave my stuff alone." It's "pork" and "spending" when it's far away, but when it's local, all of a sudden people realize that it's jobs.

Here in Illinois we have similar when it comes to talk of closing excess prisons. Everyone yells about it, but when the former governor[1] tried to close some, the ones near me screamed about it, had huge campaigns, posted signs in their yards, and the whole bit - "don't close the prison," "save the prison" etc etc.

[1] who will be entering one soon, most likely...
 
2010-02-14 04:38:07 PM  
For all the crap Aurora gets, this makes me laugh. Aurora anticipated budget issues years ago and started making adjustments then. Granted, we still have some issues, but they're not turning off the street lights and our parks are pretty darn nice.
 
2010-02-14 04:38:13 PM  

Krack: Did you even glance at the article? The entire thing is about cutting services.


Yeah, but the end part quotes a guy insinuating the the government is only doing it as some sort of bluff.

"The government is using its typical tactic of making highly publicized cuts in order to make people feel the pain to some extent," says Douglas Bruce, a small government activist and author of Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights."

"Typical tactic." Yeah, because you asked for cuts, buddy. You have your cuts. Enjoy.
 
2010-02-14 04:40:41 PM  
I would certainly favor slightly higher taxes if we had a city council and mayor who wouldn't just flush it down the toilet. I'm still bitter they spent $32M of our tax dollars to keep the USOC here. The other day I read we're still on the hook for another $4M, too. Super!

This city absolutely sucks ass. Our city government appears uninterested in attracting companies that bring along high paying jobs, the infrastructure is about 20 years behind the times, and they don't seem to put any limits on city expansion. I wish the military would move out to just to twist the knife a little more.
 
2010-02-14 04:47:12 PM  

Father Jack Hacket: "Seems like the city ... is over-paying its workers," Shirlee Kelley says. "I think the salaries have to come down to be more even with what the private sector is paying."

Seems like someone has been reading the GOP talking points.
.



It's common sense not a "gop talking point", or would you prefer to continue to pay the bloated salaries?
 
2010-02-14 04:52:02 PM  

ClockCat: mikemil828: FlashHarry: hmm... maybe saudi arabia is no longer the conservative mecca, so to speak. though i'd wager they're still tougher on crime and women who refuse to know their place than the good citizens of colorado springs.

In Saudi Arabia 100% of its citizens by law are Muslim with two of its cities completely closed off to non-muslims all together. I know on fark hyperbole is common, but come on.

That is pretty conservative!


Only in the deluded mind of a fark libtard.
 
2010-02-14 05:03:07 PM  
COSprings could be a nice town but nobody wants to pay taxes, so even the roads are kinda shiatty. This town isn't 100% evangelical libertarian though, there are a fair number of hippies and liberals. They came out in force for the last presidential election but appear to have been completely passive during the last ballot referendum.

Of course what the national media isn't saying so much is that we're all pissed off at the corrupt mayor's shenanigans with the US Olympic Committee. even as a namby pamby liberal type I don't care about the damn USOC. Tourists will always come here for the views.
 
2010-02-14 05:05:56 PM  

Molavian: Trained cops? The average cop puts a magazine downrange once a year to qualify. Their safety lies in numbers. Many "yokels" are military-trained combat veterans.

Have you thought this plan all the way through?


Funny, I just put 12 magazines through two guns for quarterly qualification two days ago. I would wager that cops are far better trained in firearms skills than any military veteran.
 
2010-02-14 05:07:15 PM  
I live in Colorado Springs, so I'm really getting a kick...

Part of the problem with the proposal which was voted down is that it was never-ending. The economy is down, so sales tax collection and property taxes are down. But the proposal didn't take that into account. It was a permanent raise in personal property taxes (iirc, businesses were exempted) - it gave the city counsel more money forever, and that just isn't going to fly here. No matter how you cut it, it was a power/money grab.

Other problems include having a city manager (she's the one in charge overseeing how the money is spent) having her own house upside down & in foreclosure in California. People thought. "if she can't manage her own money, how can she manage ours"? There have been problems with spending tons of cash on new vehicles, the police helicopters, sweetheart power rates for various businesses (the city runs the utilities company), the USOC deal, etc. The mayor was accused of malfeasance at one point, a good number of the city counsel members are in the back pocket of Focus on the Family, etc. People don't trust city counsel for a number of reasons, some of which are entirely valid.

Additionally, the police are paid at a rate which is higher than the NYPD, and so on. That one doesn't bother me so much, because we have fewer police officers per 1000 residents, and I'm sure they work for the money. But since I wasn't the only one voting, I know it made a difference. For the record, even with fewer officers, we have a lower crime rate than most comparable cities. City workers are paid at or near the top of the scale, too.

Finally, the way the proposal was structured was flat out dumb. It should have been a sales tax. Instead, the burden would have been on homeowners through property tax. At a time when foreclosures are up everywhere, and some people are barely making it, "Let's raise property taxes to pay for the parks. Yeah, some people may lose their houses, but look - we'll have nice green grass!" wasn't going to cut it.

Could I afford it? Yes. Could most people afford it? Probably. But some couldn't, and many were unwilling to effectively evict their neighbors so that the fountains at the park run this summer.

Members of city counsel (who wrote the proposal and didn't have any sort of backup) were essentially saying that the citizens either had to take it in the pants or be punished with deep cuts everywhere. People had had enough, didn't trust the counsel at all, &; essentially told the counsel that they'd rather do without than fund more waste, graft, and excess.

/rant off/
 
2010-02-14 05:08:07 PM  

UNC_Samurai: We saw this coming a couple of weeks ago (Sorry, redlit; TF only). The city was stretched too thin because of the decline in sales tax revenue, so they proposed a property tax increase. The populace thought that was too socialistic for them, and so the city cut spending.

The small-government people will scream that there's so much fat in the budget these cuts were just a scare tactic, but it's a problem on the local and national level. We turned tax increases into such an albatross that we can't use a legitimate function of government anymore. There are times when tax increases are necessary in every level of government.


I will agree there are times. However there is a very real issue with cost cutting. Why should the public workers be much better protected than the private workers? I'm sitting here in 12.8% unemployment (and a lot of people who still have their jobs aren't making what they used to) while the public sector is whining that they didn't get as big a raise as they expected.

There is also the eternal problem of attempting to sneak operating costs into bond issues. When I see any operating costs on a bond issue I always vote no. This leaves few bond issues that I even have to consider--and around here they're always things that should have been paid by new home assessments rather than the population at large.

itazurakko: penetrating_virga: Nice sound logic there. What's going to pay the bills? Unicorn farts and "the rich?"

"Bootstrappy" is shorthand for the segment of the populace for whom any taxes at all are anathema, the sort who only chant "cut the fat!" as the solution to every problem.

It's easier to say than "the 'drown the beast in the bathtub' crowd."


The problem is they fight tooth and nail to preserve the fat and cut the rest of it. When there is no substantial waste or excess around and there still isn't enough money then I fully agree with tax increases. It's just that state never happens.

thornhill: The truth is that most union workers purposely take lower pay than they could get in the private sector so that they can get better health insurance. That's why the unions were so upset with Obama taxing expensive healthcare plans. During contract negotiations unions typically agree to no or little pay increases in return for excellent health insurance. So if Obama was going to force them to downgrade their health insurance, then they had traded away pay raises for nothing.


That's how it used to be--but now the wages have crept up to above private sector levels while still paying the higher benefits also.

Kevin72: HeartBurnKid: somedoctorguy: Uncontrolled government spending is a disaster. Look at California. Politicians need to stop treating their constituents like an ATM.

If that's the message you took away from California, you're sadly mistaken. The problem here is that, through the referendum process, the voters treat the government like an ATM.

NO. After proposition 13, almost every citizen proposition has been thrown out or gutted by legal challenges after. On the other hand, when big business slips a fast one in by marketing it one way, but having tons of fine print benefitting business, no citizens' group could possibly have the funds to challenge it in court. Our democracy has become a juristocracy.


Business makes sure to have a competent attorney help plan it so the measure complies with the law. The private bandwagon petitions almost never do. Again and again things are passed that are obviously unconstitutional and of course they get struck down. Don't blame the system for that.

itazurakko: The Slate article (pops) linked above pretty much says it all. That one happens to be criticizing Scott Brown but he's one of many - people keep saying "cut the fat" or "yeah I'll reduce waste and solve all the problems" but NEVER being able to show a single way to do that, or even promise any concrete cuts to get close.


The problem is that there is no line item "fat" and thus it's not easy to cut. How about bringing in some outsiders to review things and identify what's wasteful and what's productive and what's productive but overpriced?

How about a local case? A non-union company won the bid on some roadwork and the politicians are going ape trying to figure out how to not hire them. They've already been smacked down once by the courts and are still squirming.

itazurakko: ZAZ: More like, when they realize they don't want to cut the fat. The mayor closed the branch library down the street from me but kept on his $100,000 per year communication director. This is the guy who sends press releases to reporters and records announcements about trash pickup. The new mayor fired him and some of the other dead wood the old mayor had collected.

Yeah, there's always the few bubbles of sacred cow fat. Somehow it's never okay to can administrators, even when their salaries could be used to hire two guys lower on the food chain. Layoffs usually start from the bottom less senior people (which is okay, I suppose) but the people up top never get bumped back down a rung, so eventually you can end up with too many bosses and not enough people actually doing the task at hand.

When the org chart looks like an inverted triangle, there's a problem...


There are a *LOT* of bubbles of fat. Generally they manage to look productive but have costs well in excess of what would be needed to produce the output.
 
2010-02-14 05:09:09 PM  
And yes I too am sick of Doug Bruce.

I met a public librarian from Ohio this summer and she was saying Colorado (specifically TABOR) was being held up as an example of what to be afraid of.
 
2010-02-14 05:19:29 PM  

itazurakko: Krack: Did you even glance at the article? The entire thing is about cutting services.

Yeah, but the end part quotes a guy insinuating the the government is only doing it as some sort of bluff.

"The government is using its typical tactic of making highly publicized cuts in order to make people feel the pain to some extent," says Douglas Bruce, a small government activist and author of Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights."

"Typical tactic." Yeah, because you asked for cuts, buddy. You have your cuts. Enjoy.


The "typical tactic" is to ignore the behind-the-scenes waste that could be cut at the expense of a few politicians and their business contacts, or the employees of the city in favor of cutting highly visible (or in this case, no longer visible) services that affect everyone. Rather than responsible governing, this is pure extortion.
 
2010-02-14 05:23:37 PM  
<b><a href="http://www.fark.com/cgi/comments.pl?IDLink=5025050&IDComment=581​89774#c581 89774" target="_blank">jankyboy</a>:</b> <i>I would certainly favor slightly higher taxes if we had a city council and mayor who wouldn't just flush it down the toilet. I'm still bitter they spent $32M of our tax dollars to keep the USOC here. The other day I read we're still on the hook for another $4M, too. Super!</i>

This.

The USOC deal is the gift that keeps on giving. Other things that suck include:
* A mayor who is so cozy with FotF that he refuses to issue a "welcome" to the Pride Parade every year, even though it's done for literally every single other event held on city property. Plus, he looks like the Joker from the Batman comics without makeup. I expect the Penguin to walk by every time I see his face on TV.
* City counsel spending money on stuff that they already know the answer to. Like: "Let's $tudy whether we can charge money to access Garden of the Gods Park. Hmmmmmm. It says here that we can't, since it was in the charter documents when we accepted the land about several decades ago. Wow. That's just like last time we paid to study this. Five years down the road, lets spend money to look at this again". Lather, rinse repeat.
* Let's blow a wad on allowing big businesses (but not individuals or small businesses) to get deep price breaks on their utilities if they'll agree to occasional power interruptions (which have never actually happened).

<i>This city absolutely sucks ass. Our city government appears uninterested in attracting companies that bring along high paying jobs, the infrastructure is about 20 years behind the times, and they don't seem to put any limits on city expansion. I wish the military would move out to just to twist the knife a little more.</i>

This is another thing - city residents are paying for <i>massive</i> infrastructure expansion out east (the new suburbs, all of which are build by giant corporations) while the core of the city gets nearly squat. In essence, we're all subsidizing the construction of roads, utilities, etc, to upper middle class (and higher) people who move east of Powers Blvd., and the builders who are building the houses. All this serves to make massive suburban blight affordable to those who could already well afford it at the expense of those who can't.
 
2010-02-14 05:29:35 PM  
This should make all the enviro-communists happy. Isn't light pollution killing some spotted squirrel, or owl, or cow?

And freakin' hippies make the biggest mess in parks. Just watch King of the Hill. :)

Seriously, every time a bunch of hippies get together for a concert, the place gets destroyed.
 
2010-02-14 05:43:37 PM  

Yume no Hikari: Am I the only person in Colorado who's really sick of Douglas Bruce flapping his gums? He wrote a ballot initiative that's singlehandedly screwed over local governments statewide and set the pattern for similar measures across the country, and for this he gets to run off his mouth on NPR?


Yeah, until he points out that the city/county/state/whatever didn't go through the proper steps to raise taxes for stuff. Like the waste water "fee" in El Paso County. It looked like a tax, it was structured like a tax (based on the size of your property and the size of any buildings), you paid it like a tax (only property owners owed it, instead of everyone), but by calling it a "fee" they thought they'd get out of having to raise taxes as the law allowed.

People like Doug Bruce serve a necessary purpose when they make the city/county/state/whatever adhere to the law as written. That isn't a bad thing.

Making elected officials follow the laws is a Good Thing, even if we don't agree with the specific law. Having someone, even a PITA remind them that they aren't above the laws that govern the rest of us is laudable.

And, if we don't like TABOR (the Doug Bruce authored Taxpayers Bill of Rights (pops to the Wiki), we can remove it with the same mechanism which put it in (by amending Article X of the State Constitution).

/1992: the year Colorado Springs screwed us all
//between TABOR and Will Perkins' anti-gay idiocy


Out of that hateful, prejudicial crap sprung wonderful things like the Gill Foundation and the smack-down of Amendment 2 by the US Supreme Court.
 
2010-02-14 05:44:49 PM  

Tyee: It sees there are more people in this thread that are upset with what is happening in Colorado Springs than people who are upset about it and live in Colorado Springs.


I lived there for 25 years. And no, I'm not getting a kick out of these replies. The idiocracy that runs Colorado Springs and indeed most of Colorado in general are the excact reason I left.
/Live in Vegas now.
//Viva las Vegas!
///Doug Bruce is the devil.
 
2010-02-14 05:46:41 PM  

Loren: The problem is they fight tooth and nail to preserve the fat and cut the rest of it. When there is no substantial waste or excess around and there still isn't enough money then I fully agree with tax increases. It's just that state never happens.


So I'll ask - what, SPECIFICALLY and with money amounts, is this "substantial waste and excess" they should be cutting first?

That's the thing - people ask that all the time of candidates for every office on the ballot. But not a one of them can ever answer. Some of them try, they point to some office they can eliminate or whatever it is (and that's fine). But the numbers just never add up. It's like the people having a diet coke with their fast food meal and thinking that's going to make the difference.

I'm certainly not saying that there should never be cuts, or that there should never be tax increases for that matter. But for a while now, "just cut the fat!" has become a meaningless mantra. That's the part I find problematic, because people fall for it and don't demand a realistic look at numbers.

dustbunnyboo: This is another thing - city residents are paying for <i>massive</i> infrastructure expansion out east (the new suburbs, all of which are build by giant corporations) while the core of the city gets nearly squat. In essence, we're all subsidizing the construction of roads, utilities, etc, to upper middle class (and higher) people who move east of Powers Blvd., and the builders who are building the houses. All this serves to make massive suburban blight affordable to those who could already well afford it at the expense of those who can't.


Interesting - my area has similar issues. Lots of the new suburban residents (or surrounding small town residents, really, but they're the ones that moved there in the past 15 or so years and ALL to a man work in the urban main town, so hell yes they're suburbanites) complain about their county money funding stuff in the older parts of the city, without thinking about all the sewer taxes and what not that we central-area residents paid to make the opening up of their shiny new plastic 'burbs possible.
 
2010-02-14 05:46:47 PM  

reimanr06: itazurakko: Krack: Did you even glance at the article? The entire thing is about cutting services.

Yeah, but the end part quotes a guy insinuating the the government is only doing it as some sort of bluff.

"The government is using its typical tactic of making highly publicized cuts in order to make people feel the pain to some extent," says Douglas Bruce, a small government activist and author of Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights."

"Typical tactic." Yeah, because you asked for cuts, buddy. You have your cuts. Enjoy.

The "typical tactic" is to ignore the behind-the-scenes waste that could be cut at the expense of a few politicians and their business contacts, or the employees of the city in favor of cutting highly visible (or in this case, no longer visible) services that affect everyone. Rather than responsible governing, this is pure extortion.


The thing is, everyone complains about these ethereal things... they think government workers are all making 100k+ when the skilled ones can leave (even in this economy) to make more money elsewhere. Then we go on to "behind the scenes" stuff that we don't or can't know about, but surely constitutes the bulk of government expenses. By biatching about things without citing specifics, the tax-cutters fauxment a lovely hatred of government and taxes, so we get legislation like TABOR, then people biatch about how the government doesn't perform the functions they want.
 
2010-02-14 05:47:39 PM  

reimanr06: The "typical tactic" is to ignore the behind-the-scenes waste that could be cut at the expense of a few politicians and their business contacts, or the employees of the city in favor of cutting highly visible (or in this case, no longer visible) services that affect everyone. Rather than responsible governing, this is pure extortion.


So again, what exactly is this waste?
 
2010-02-14 05:50:25 PM  

UNCPWAD: Here is some food for thought.
Everyone knows the current budget deficit is right about 1.4-1.3 trillion.

Government outlays are about 3.6 trillion and receipts are 2.3 ishhh

So theoretically we could balance the budget if we cut every government outlay by 1/3. That seems like a terrible, terrible idea during 10 percent unemployment. Even if we play with the numbers and cut Military/National security spending by 50 percent we are still a trillion short. New taxes are coming and my generation is going to be stuck with the bill.


PWAD Program? Class of 2004 here. Tell Jackie I said hi.
 
JDD
2010-02-14 05:51:45 PM  
Services are not what needs to be cut in economic crisis, every municipality has fat to trim. The reason they cut services is so there is a rally cry for the tax increase crowd. "oh no, there's garbage in the park! we have to raise taxes, stat!" Services and education are the pawns in the tax game.

Here in Oregon, we just passed two tax increase measures (during a recession) to close a 780 million dollar budget shortfall with the battle cry of "think of the children!". Less than a month later, they announced approval of SIX HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS in new bike paths in Portland. This is worth getting "bootstrappy" about.
 
2010-02-14 05:54:54 PM  

JDD: Services are not what needs to be cut in economic crisis, every municipality has fat to trim. The reason they cut services is so there is a rally cry for the tax increase crowd. "oh no, there's garbage in the park! we have to raise taxes, stat!" Services and education are the pawns in the tax game.

Here in Oregon, we just passed two tax increase measures (during a recession) to close a 780 million dollar budget shortfall with the battle cry of "think of the children!". Less than a month later, they announced approval of SIX HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS in new bike paths in Portland. This is worth getting "bootstrappy" about.


Well, this. When you talk about turning off streetlights, it makes me wonder what the budget is getting spent on that's more important.

(Admittedly, it *could* be stuff that really really is more important and can't be cut)
 
2010-02-14 05:56:01 PM  

JDD: Services are not what needs to be cut in economic crisis, every municipality has fat to trim. The reason they cut services is so there is a rally cry for the tax increase crowd. "oh no, there's garbage in the park! we have to raise taxes, stat!" Services and education are the pawns in the tax game.

Here in Oregon, we just passed two tax increase measures (during a recession) to close a 780 million dollar budget shortfall with the battle cry of "think of the children!". Less than a month later, they announced approval of SIX HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS in new bike paths in Portland. This is worth getting "bootstrappy" about.


Oh thanks, another post informing everyone that there's always fat to trim with no specifics of how this particular city could have cut anything else... sweet, only like a hundred of those so far. This is the problem the city council faced... weeks of hearings where people said meaningless crap like "cut the fat" and they kept asking what people wanted to cut and nobody had any concrete or specific ideas.
 
2010-02-14 05:57:19 PM  

buckler: House of Tards: You're lazy and dishonest.

Really? Please cite your references.

My point was that my job required far more in terms of education and training than the landscaping job I mentioned, yet they were relatively pampered in the government job economy.

"Lazy and dishonest"? You have no farking idea who or what you're talking about, so unless you can come up with some supporting evidence, you should probably shut the fark up. Oh, it wasn't a "summer camp job", retard. It was a full-time occupation; one that I'm certain you wouldn't last a week at.


My references, motherfarker?

I cited and linked a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You talked about your farking poor me anecdote. So you either refused to read it (lazy) or chose to ignore it in order to call me full of shiat and spin your narrative (dishonest).

I cited a study that compared apples to apples. You compared your farking youth counselor job to a goddamn grounds maintenance position. Either you couldn't come up with a better benchmark for a youth counselor than parks maintenance (lazy) or you are trying to use some class resentment to show why you were so picked on (dishonest).

And since you were too LAZY to go into depth about your youth counselor job, I picked the one that came to mind first. It may not have been the best comparison, but it still is shiat ton more HONEST than the maintenance guy you used as a comparison.

As for that job? No, I don't want to do it. That's why I chose a different field that got be out of that pay range awhile back.

Again, good luck with your whole victim thing though. I bet you really get a lot of mileage out of that.
 
2010-02-14 06:07:41 PM  

Dire: House of Tards: Comparisons don't work that way!

You don't compare a Youth Counselor to a Landscaper 3. Well, you do, because you're still feeling like a victim from your summer camp job from 20 years ago.

However real adult people who look for facts, not to avenge a petty grievance would compare your youth counselor job to one from a private day camp. The landscaper job would be compared to a job with a private landscaping contractor or the groundskeeping staff for a private office park.

You aren't the only person who has ever applied for a job buckler, you precious little snowflake, you. Though if you do all tasks as well as you compare things, I sure as shiat wouldn't hire you. You're lazy and dishonest.

Not taking sides here, but did you just equate a government youth counselor job with a day camp counselor job? Are you fecking insane? Comparisons don't work that way indeed.


Depends on what he's doing. From my experience "Youth Counselor" goes all the way to probation office staff, to before and after school programs to summer camp crew leader. buckler didn't go into any more depth as to what he was doing, so I didn't really have a better baseline to compare.

I guarantee you that I was still comparing a damn site better than he was, especially given his follow up that he's all bent out of shape because the parks crew was lazy.

Apparently a lazy Parks crew somewhere invalidates Bureau of Labor Statistics studies nationwide. Who knew?
 
2010-02-14 06:09:18 PM  
 
2010-02-14 06:12:33 PM  

itazurakko: UNC_Samurai: The small-government people will scream that there's so much fat in the budget these cuts were just a scare tactic, but it's a problem on the local and national level. We turned tax increases into such an albatross that we can't use a legitimate function of government anymore. There are times when tax increases are necessary in every level of government.

Pretty much. There's one guy in TFA complaining already:

"Small argues wages are comparable to other municipalities. But that doesn't satisfy critics, who don't like the cuts the city is choosing to make.

"The government is using its typical tactic of making highly-publicized cuts in order to make people feel the pain to some extent," says Douglas Bruce, a small government activist and author of Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights."

It's always "cut the fat! cut the fat!" but when the cuts happen and they realize it's services they actually want, they wail about that. They seem to think there's always some endless waste going on just around the bend, it's craziness.


Douglas Bruce, by the way, is a shallow simpleton showboat slumlord rabble-rouser. He's the idiot who, after being appointed to fill a state house vacancy, kicked a reporter on the house floor, becoming the first member ever formally censured by his colleagues. He is an embarrassment to the state.

He's quite popular in the Springs.
 
2010-02-14 06:13:43 PM  

ashelynCO: For all the crap Aurora gets, this makes me laugh. Aurora anticipated budget issues years ago and started making adjustments then. Granted, we still have some issues, but they're not turning off the street lights and our parks are pretty darn nice.


This.

Aurora has been pretty honest about what they can keep open under the current funding and what they can't keep open. Though I don't think the republicans really expected them to close the libraries.
 
2010-02-14 06:25:35 PM  

40yoVirgin: "We've taken all the trash cans out. We're not going to be doing any litter collections in the parks," says Larry Small, vice mayor for Colorado Springs. "We're hoping the citizens will pack it out themselves."

Bwaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahah!

Lazy-ass, disposable-society Americans picking up after themselves? We are a society that circles the parking lot for 30 minutes to find the parking spot closest to the store so our fat asses don't have to walk to far.

That's rich!


Your newsletter, let me be the first to subscribe.
 
2010-02-14 06:27:24 PM  
images.tdaxp.com
 
JDD
2010-02-14 06:58:13 PM  
firefly212 2010-02-14 05:56:01 PM

JDD: Services are not what needs to be cut in economic crisis, every municipality has fat to trim. The reason they cut services is so there is a rally cry for the tax increase crowd. "oh no, there's garbage in the park! we have to raise taxes, stat!" Services and education are the pawns in the tax game.

Here in Oregon, we just passed two tax increase measures (during a recession) to close a 780 million dollar budget shortfall with the battle cry of "think of the children!". Less than a month later, they announced approval of SIX HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS in new bike paths in Portland. This is worth getting "bootstrappy" about.
Oh thanks, another post informing everyone that there's always fat to trim with no specifics of how this particular city could have cut anything else... sweet, only like a hundred of those so far. This is the problem the city council faced... weeks of hearings where people said meaningless crap like "cut the fat" and they kept asking what people wanted to cut and nobody had any concrete or specific ideas.


I gave a specific example from my city. EVERY city deals with the same wasteful attitude. I don't live in CS, but I know how politicians think. So are you suggesting that a municipality does NOT have fat to trim? That'll be the day.
 
2010-02-14 07:56:25 PM  
Nighttime satellite pic of Colorado Springs
wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com
 
2010-02-14 07:59:36 PM  

Father Jack Hacket: because the government tends to employ more educated people.


you're a troll.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2010-02-14 08:06:11 PM  
Loren: There are a *LOT* of bubbles of fat. Generally they manage to look productive but have costs well in excess of what would be needed to produce the output.

One of the other heads the new mayor chopped off was the city solicitor who was contracting out way too much routine work to highly paid private companies instead of hiring one more staff attorney at half the price.
 
2010-02-14 08:08:55 PM  
Close public restrooms in parks?

Where will white married christian men go for blowjobs?
 
2010-02-14 08:15:55 PM  

Doppleganger871: Seriously, every time a bunch of hippies people get together for a concert, the place gets destroyed.


FTFY.

/You should have seen Glen Helen Pavilion after Ozzfest '07
 
2010-02-14 08:19:28 PM  
itazurakko:
Interesting - my area has similar issues. Lots of the new suburban residents (or surrounding small town residents, really, but they're the ones that moved there in the past 15 or so years and ALL to a man work in the urban main town, so hell yes they're suburbanites) complain about their county money funding stuff in the older parts of the city, without thinking about all the sewer taxes and what not that we central-area residents paid to make the opening up of their shiny new plastic 'burbs possible.

In Colorado Springs, the people who are paying for City Council to hand money to large corporations, wealthy builders and new homeowners (of large homes) are the people who live in the more established parts of town. It's like any other town - rich, middle class, and poor.

It isn't lost on some of us that there are no housing opportunities for poor people in any of that new construction. So, they get to pay to line the pockets of people who already have money, and would have paid the additional increase if it had passed, but they have less than no chance of living there, or for their kids to benefit from the new charter schools popping up in the area, or any of that.

All of which is why I find it hilarious that some are complaining that people are going to "suffer" because this didn't pass. Newsflash: people in some parts of town have old homes, roads and schools. The big difference now is that they aren't going to have to fund brand new homes, roads and schools for the middle and upper class.

The difference between here and anywhere else is this: Colorado is different from some places in that we never have enough water & are ruled by a multi-state water compact. We can't just "take" water out of the river and we can't take a single drop more than the city is entitled to. The fact that we don't have enough water should limit growth, but it doesn't, because City Council funds builders to keep the growth rate artificially high. It could not exist without taxpayer funding.

Getting water to people who wish to live in the suburbs way the heck out in the suburbs is an unbelievably expensive proposition - thousands and thousands of dollars per house - to the point that there are some small developments in the southern part of the county (which didn't have rich builders) who have never had water - going on several decades. Those people buy water in tanks & truck it to their property daily.

The idea that those people who've waited decades for water get to join the rest of us (who have to follow strict water rationing some years) in paying out the butt building stuff for people who can already afford it is an insult.

Anyone who looks at the tax issue ion Colorado Springs and feels bad for the poor people or because we won't have green grass in the park clearly doesn't understand how things work here.

Stop pouring money directly into the pockets of people who want big new houses in suburbia and the builders who build those houses. Then we can talk about a tax increase for parks, museums and so on.

The current budget model is to artificially grow grow grow, paid for by current taxpayers, instead of allowing what the market or circumstances allow.

If I sound liberal or all squishy for poor people... I'm not. I just don't see spending money to make wealthy people more wealthy and threatening everyone else with cuts to services to do so.
 
2010-02-14 08:28:06 PM  

bunner: It's time to shake the Etch a Sketch. Time for jubilee. Or we can just keep pretending that nobody will ever call us on our fake economy and fake currency that we use to prop it up.


While I don't entirely agree with your argument, the locution "It's time to shake the Etch a Sketch" is a winning one. +1
 
2010-02-14 08:36:11 PM  

nobodyUwannaknow: Close public restrooms in parks?

Where will white married christian men go for blowjobs?


Bushes by the interstate, like they do in California?

dustbunnyboo: Anyone who looks at the tax issue ion Colorado Springs and feels bad for the poor people or because we won't have green grass in the park clearly doesn't understand how things work here.


...which had me wondering too, about the water thing (I recall reading about some of the schemes in other parts of Colorado to ration the water and what not) - are there any rules on new 'burbs that the yards have to be naturally arid?

Or the park, yeah, it's crappy to have dead grass. But perhaps they can take the opportunity to redo it with something other than grass, after the grass is gone? I dunno, bark chips on the path/under the playground items and rock gardens elsewhere, or iceplant, or whatever?

Some parts of Arizona have rules that new developments must have dry-surviving yards, it seems like a good idea to me. If people want lush green yards (or dandelion forests!!) they can move to the Midwest...

I do think some more rational way to charge new suburbs for their own infrastructure extension costs would be welcome. Charge the builders, they can put the cost onto the homes. But around here too, even though water per se isn't the problem, the builders cry that well, they need these subsidies or else they won't build (to which my response is "fine, don't yet the door hit ya") and the city caves. Because the developers (and here it's certain big movers and shakers) always say, well, you'll get the money back in property taxes, and there is never a shortage of people wanting to sell their farmland near town and retire on the proceeds.

Because...

dustbunnyboo: The current budget model is to artificially grow grow grow, paid for by current taxpayers, instead of allowing what the market or circumstances allow.


... yeah. It's unsustainable. If that's a fuzzy and green idea, so be it, but there ya have it.
 
2010-02-14 08:41:39 PM  
For all of you who were wondering about why Colorado Springs had 3 helicopters - they were GIVEN to the city by Fort Carson.
 
2010-02-14 08:52:38 PM  
Colorado Springs? Cry me a farking river. Hope all the right wing douchebags that live their enjoy their city.
 
2010-02-14 09:01:30 PM  
FTFA:

"We've taken all the trash cans out. We're not going to be doing any litter collections in the parks," says Larry Small, vice mayor for Colorado Springs. "We're hoping the citizens will pack it out themselves."

HAAA! HAHAHAHAHAAAA! *gasp* Ahh-hahahahahahaaaa!

/they're so funny!
//they're serious!?
 
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