Mark MacKenzie wrote a great article the other day that was about how local governments are finding their budgets are being cut because the house values are dropping.
My comment slowly became its own post.
You see the problem with government in the past 50 years or so is that they can’t seem to budget as a family would budget. When my family doesn’t make enough money because I didn’t sell as many houses one month or the houses I sold were at the lower end of the market, my family cuts back, we decide what we need and what we want has to wait.
But, the government doesn’t work that way. Once they have been given the money once, it is like adrug to them, they have to have more and more and more of it. They never cut back or lose a program that they have put in to place.
Now, I have to say that last paragraph isn’t completely true, they do cut back, but only on the things that affect the most people and the things that should actually be cut last.They cut Police, Fire and Schools first because they know this will get the most attention.
The government needs to realize and tell people that if we are making money, then yes we will help fund our pet projects, the ones that people like and make people feel good. But if the money goes away because of something like the situation we are presently in, then the feel good programs need to go away first, they need stay with in their budget!
Asa business owner, I can’t just say, hey I’m going to be making less this month because I only sold 2 homes, I need you each to pay me an extra 1% at closing to make up for the 3rd home I didn’t sell. That way I can stay within my budget. No, I have to cut back, but the government says, hey we have gotten used to this amount of money and now we require you to pay more, so we can continue to live like we had when times were good.
Think about it, the Oregon government right now is saying it can’t live on 15 billion dollars and wants to raise taxes by an additional 1 billion dollars so they can have the 16 billion they had last year. This is all with the 2nd highest unemployment inthe United States at 15%. But, why do they need this additional money? To help pay for schools, police and fire, the first things they cut from the budget.
But, what about in 2007? What was the budget then? Oh, only 13 billion? So, why can’t they just adopt 2007’s budget and refund the 1 billion to the tax payers as a stimulus package? Can you imagine 1 billion dollars going in to local business and what that would do for the economy?
The government needs to learn to live within their budget, whatever that budget is and remember that their first priority to the public is police, fire and schools. Everything else after that is a want and if you can’t afford it, then you are just going to have to wait until you can and not try to strong arm the public for the money. I can’t do it to my customers and you shouldn’t be able to do it to yours, remember you work for us, not the other way around!