It seems like all you hear as elections near these days is “no more taxes”—both politicians and citizens often seem to be in lockstep on this issue. Now, while no one wants to pay out more and more for governmental services, maybe our top consideration shouldn’t be restricting or eliminating new taxes but rather determining “What is really best for America.” Here’s a few examples why I voted for several recent tax increases.
—Recently, I received a brochure in the mail that requested I vote for a sales tax increase to improve and expand the bus and transit system in Spokane. Since I have never used this method of transportation my knee-jerk reaction was “Taxes, we don’t need no (more) stinkin’ taxes.”
But I read the material anyhow and though unimpressed by the claim this expansion would “increase economic vitality and create construction and permanent jobs” (throwing money at anything will do that), one sentence that talked about this service most benefitting the elderly, low-income, students, and the disabled struck home. It made me think that for many people, a good bus system might be the only way to get to work, to a doctor’s appointment, to school, or to a movie. A few cents here and there from me (and a hundred thousand others) and a whole bunch of people will have one less obstacle in life to deal with.
I’m going to vote for the sales tax increase.
—Just a few months ago, I had a chance to vote on whether I wanted to support the renovation of the large park in downtown Spokane known as Riverfront (first developed for World’s Fair Expo ‘74). Now, did I think this was more important than building a much-needed jail or providing better health care for children—well no—but these weren’t the issues the powers-that-be were letting me vote on.
I studied the proposal and came to the conclusion that even if I only attend a few events here each year, this park is the heart of a city I care about and without it Spokane would be nothing more than one long strip mall. And even though I could care less about a project that was being touted as being an “even larger tourist attraction” and having a “big economic impact” (meaning the park will be even more crowded and the big downtown hotel owners will get even richer), I realized that this was a nice gift I could give to my daughters, my grandchildren, everyone who lives or visits Spokane, and yes, myself. So I voted yes.
—Recently, elections were held all over Spokane to decide which school bonds and/or levies (bond money goes towards building construction and levies fund salaries and operational costs) would be approved. Many seniors vote against these issues because “I don’t have children in school any longer, so why pay for the kids of other people?”
For me school election votes have always been a no brainer. I voted yes because I feel a good education system is the number one key in keeping America strong and healthy into the future. I think all GEEZERS need to realize that if they live another 10, 20, or 30 years, it will be the kids in school today that will determine the quality of life for seniors in their later years.
I’m proud to say that the people of Spokane approved more than 90% of these bonds and levies even though Washington requires a three-fifths super-majority (this comes from politicians pandering to the “No Tax” people) vote to pass.
I guess what I’m trying to say is to be sure when you vote, do not just blindly vote against anything with a price tag. If America is to stay (or get back to being) strong, we need to constantly keep moving forward even if it means opening up our wallets once and awhile.
With our politicians are too busy worrying about themselves to look out for us, it is up to us citizens to start making the decisions. Time-after-time, politicians have failed to increase taxes that really needed to be raised because they were afraid supporting any additional taxes would lose them votes. In many cases, these hacks have not supported tax increases then stood by and did nothing to curb spending with the result being we are now up to our asses in debt. Forget the politicians and their magical “something-for-nothing” propositions. GEEZER voters have the numbers and if we use our power wisely we can bring about changes that will benefit everyone.