The Way I See It
By cj pollick
Pinellas County Budget Problems- Almost every local government in Pinellas County has financial problems. Of course, many of those financial problems relate to our growing national recession and declining property tax revenues that are "shared" with local governments.
Tax revenues are declining and have been declining in Pinellas County. Projections of declining county revenues reflect tens of millions of dollars in shortfalls for the next several years. The loss of revenues should, nevertheless, result in county cuts in spending and fixed payroll costs. In other words, it is time for county and local government spending habits to change. Ordinary citizens understand why such spending habits must change.
Now comes the tough part, where should the county planners cut expenditures? Cut project spending? Cut payroll and/or employee benefit expenses? Cut elected official compensation and benefits? Hmmm, where should the millions of dollars of needed cuts be made?
On the other hand, it might seem to many people that when the annual county budget is over a billion dollars, a mere $40 million looks like a minor issue. This financial problem is not just for Pinellas County planners; it is, and will continue to be, an issue for most every local government to resolve. Government spending habits must be changed in order to meet declining revenues. Elected officials must make tough decisions when deciding if some important citizen-supported projects should be cut for the next several years or if government payroll should be cut. The politics of this issue should be interesting since every incumbent will face tough questions from local voters and special interest groups.
They Just Don't Get It- If you listen to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, you would think the loss of former Sen. Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts senate seat to a Republican was something good for leading democrats in Washington.
According to Pelosi, "We'll press on to get healthcare reform passed", but, and as Pelosi said, "We got the message from Massachusetts voters". Really? What exactly did Nancy Pelosi take from the democrat election loss in Massachusetts? "We heard the voters and we will press on to pass healthcare reform".
Interestingly, 75% of respondents to an online poll stated they did not support passage of the current healthcare bill. They favored elected officials in Washington helping to boost our economy and the creating of jobs.
Newly Elected Senator Brown Had It Right- Voters in Massachusetts heard (then) candidate Brown proudly proclaim to them that our US tax dollars should be spent fighting terrorists and not spent paying attorneys to defend terrorists in New York City.
Most Americans are outraged that President Obama supports trying captured terrorists (war criminals) in our US court system by use of government-paid defense attorneys. Yes, our government will retain and pay New York defense attorneys to defend captured war criminals and use our US court system (and all US inherent legal rights as if they were US citizens.)
These captured terrorists will be treated like any legal citizen of the United States. Imagine the fun attorneys will have trying to obtain, what is commonly referred to as, "classified" government documents and information?
Total cost for all of the attorneys and their expenses to the taxpayers of America?
Tens of millions of dollars - plus whatever other damage might be done to our nation's security and embarrassing public comments defense attorneys might spew in the defense of their terrorist clients.
What about the use of our military courts and trials by the US military?
No, our President and legal staff is trying to show how nice we Americans can be when trying captured war criminals. No military trial for captured war criminals - they will enjoy our court system in New York with government paid US attorneys.
Not a bad deal for the terrorists, explained Sen. Brown when campaigning in Massachusetts.
President Obama Tries To Regulate Large "Commercial" Banks- Banks such as Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Goldman, etc., have come under review by President Obama. Yes, the President is trying to control the manner in which certain super-large banks associate with Hedge Funds, special investment advisory services, and other "commercial" manners of promoting financial profits.
There are some political pundits that believe the President's comments could spur regional bank growth (as banking customers review with distaste the inner profit-making techniques used by super-large banks, such as Citigroup and Goldman's).
The President has stated that he wants tougher government regulations regarding the manner in which super-banks operate with Hedge Funds and special investment advisory firms.
Not a bad idea. This is however, another case where the President has a good idea, but has avoided making the idea something both Democrats and Republicans could embrace. Just like trying to make certain features of healthcare reform things most people would support. Good reform ideas that should be addressed - after people are back to work.
Understandably, many people like President Obama; however, and at the same time, the same people think his ideas are too extreme for implementation. Thus, ideas of the President have become "politicized" instead of being worthy for consideration in a more reasonable form.
For example, if the President addressed the nation's economy and the nation's high unemployment as top priorities, his approval ratings would climb. "Fix the economy," say most people when polled. Then, and after the economy is rolling, perhaps the President could address things like sensible taxes, social security stabilization, Medicare deficits, national security and ignore large banking regulation. After all, who does not support lower business, personal, and capital gains taxes, a secure and funded social security system, stabilized Medicare, health insurance portability and regional premium rating opportunities to help lower premium rates, and a strong national security program?
The President once stated he had a plan to bring sensible change to Washington. For some reason or another he abandoned that goal and became entangled with typical Washington partisan politics. Nevertheless, the President still has time to change his ways…or he will most assuredly follow in the footsteps of President George W. Bush (not someone you would invite to speak at a campaign rally).
Yes, President Obama has some good ideas, but first he needs to get the economy going and help create private sector jobs, jobs, and more jobs. Regretfully, not much has changed in Washington since the Bush years, except which political party is wasting taxpayer funds. America supports common-sense people like Scott Brown in Massachusetts, and what they thought they had with Obama.
Not Very Promising- According to the latest Rasmussen Reports poll, only 30% of US voters say the county is headed in the right direction.
Economy Not Good- Welfare rolls rose for the first time in 15 years in 2009. The number of people receiving food stamps and unemployment insurance also spiked.
It Is Down To The Colts And Saints- Last Sunday was possibly the last time Bret Favre will play an NFL football game. As football fans know, he had the chance to pull out a victory but, unfortunately for Favre supporters, he made a bad toss of the football and it was intercepted in the closing seconds of the game. Even though the Vikings outplayed the Saints, the Saints prevailed by solid defense and causing Viking fumbles. The New Orleans Saints are in the Super Bowl for the first time in team history.
And, as expected by most people, the Indianapolis Colts led by Peyton Manning beat a gritty New York Jet team. The Jets led the first half of the game, but could not stop the Colts offense the second half. The Indianapolis Colts now head to Miami to play the Saints in the Super Bowl. Saints vs. Colts - it should be a good game. Favorite? Vegas odds makers might favor the Colts.
"As government expands, liberty contracts" -Ronald Regan
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition