by Mel Griffith
It appears that Bradley County government will again be able to live within its means and that our taxes will not be raised this year. We have now gone several years without a tax increase which is a tribute to good management on the part of the county mayor and current county commission. In addition to meeting current needs with several departments getting substantial increases over the last year, we are finally planning ahead and starting to save up a bit for future needs. This savings account is called capital projects budget and if it works out well it will mean that when there is a future need, such as a new school, we won't have to borrow every single cent of the money as we have done in the past. That is a good management practice that is overdue. Of course, it is always more fun to spend money instead of saving it, so a few people won't be happy with this development, but future tax payers will be grateful.
It appears that the state is also being managed well and will not increase our taxes either. Hopefully, all the nonsense about a state income tax went away with the failed administration of the previous governor. However, it was somewhat disturbing that when the state turned out to have revenue surplus this year, the legislator's only concern was how to spend it. The obvious answer should have been to save it until the next financial crisis, which will probably happen the next time there is a recession. That way there wouldn't be another panic to raise taxes the way there was the last time the money ran short.
Too bad more of the good management at the local and state level has not rubbed off on Washington. There they continue to spend borrowed money like there was no tomorrow. They promise to reduce the deficit by half by 2009 as if that was some kind of accomplishment. In the meantime some new pork barrel grant is announced about every week, and that's just locally. Imagine what it amounts to nationwide. It's reported that a billion dollars of Katrina aid was wasted through poor management. While reckless spending continues, looming crisis in Social Security and Medicare are ignored. After a lifetime of criticizing the Democrats for being big spenders, the Republicans have proven to be even worse managers than the Democrats. Neither party shows any interest in responsible management. The war has become an excuse to get everybody's pet project funded the same way the Columbine shootings became an excuse for everybody to get their pet school regulation, for example, absurd dress codes put into place.