What are we willing to give up to right government ship?
By Russ Pankonin, The Imperial Republican Co-Publisher
Like it or not, we’ve all become a little too used to sucking on the government teat. Is that a bit harsh? Abrasive? Offensive?
Probably so, but it’s time to talk about reality.
You may want to deny that fact but in some way or another, we all benefit from the workings of government, whether it be on the local, state or federal level.
Whether it’s tax breaks, subsidies, or local services, we all benefit somehow.
The problem now is that we’ve all gotten a little too comfortable eating out of Big Brother’s hand and we’re not ready for him to pull in the reins.
So the big question facing us today centers on what services are we willing to give up if we want to right the government ship?
Our federal government faces unprecedented deficits projected to climb as high as $20 trillion over the next 8-10 years.
This same deficit problem has crippled states as the effects of a slow economy trickles down.
Even though Nebraska still faces a two-year shortfall estimated at around $600 million, we’re one of few states in that good of shape.
When we make $600 million in cuts in Nebraska, there’s no doubt there’s going to have to be some sacrifices.
Factor that out for the federal deficit and the cuts needed there and it’s not a happy scenario.
Somewhere we need to find some common ground between Republicans and Tea Partiers who want spending cuts along with tax cuts to stimulate the economy and the Democrats who want to raise taxes on the richest as well as protecting their health care program.
There’s going to be pain at every level.
I often hear how taxes in Imperial and Chase County just keep going up and up. I wouldn’t argue that, either. But if we want lower taxes, what services are we willing to reduce or cut out?
Shall we quit snow removal in town? Quit sweeping the streets? Quit the street maintenance program? Shut down the pool and ball programs?
Should we maintain county roads less? Shall we cut back on maintenance budgets? Should we stop offering EMS services?
Should we reduce the teaching staff at the school? Should we eliminate programs? Should we quit bussing?
Tough questions, aren’t they? The problem we have is that everyone wants cuts, as long as it doesn’t affect them.
Unfortunately, as a nation, we’re already passed that. We’re all going to have to bear a share of the load, whether it be in the form of cuts and/or increased taxes. It’s not a pretty scenario, but a scenario we’d better get used to if we’re going to right our ship.