We used to see these signs at various public works projects. Some cities and counties still post notices to remind citizens and voter that taxes go to work. However the AJC wrote another story on how your tax dollars are working … on the wrong pet projects.

Mostly these articles in the AJC have focused on ‘user fees,’ a GOP tool. This particular tool is part of the GOP’s market theory of government. Government in this theory is for sale, not the usual for sale to the highest bidder. Each government service is for sale for anyone that ‘wants’ to use the service. Tolls roads are an example of a pay as you go government service. Parking meters on public streets. State Park entry fees. Fees for boat ramps. Hunting and fishing licenses. Maybe we should include school taxes, the purchases of band uniforms and instruments, and fees for field trips. But we don’t have the money for field trips anymore. Do we?

And that shortage for funds is the problem. The GOP has been taxing those people who want the most service from government. That sort of makes sense. If you want the government to provide fishing then you have to support that government service. With tax dollars. Sort of the service that gets the most revenue gets to survive budget cuts. Or some idea that government should be like a profit making business.

The GOP government, just like business, is robbing the profit from pay as you go services to fund tax cuts. Like the tax cut that pays off to Hollywood producers.

Are we talking about real money?

How about $15 million from cell phone fees taken from consumers and never used to upgrade 911 call centers as required by law? The GOP doesn’t know where the $15 million went. Doesn’t care.

In 2009 alone, the state took in more than $86.5 million from 14 fees collected by county civil and criminal courts. The money was supposed to train police officers. Ask Representative James Mills where the money went? Ask Representative Carl Rogers were the money went? That dynamic duel won’t answer.

Representative Harbin said the money went to the general fund. “Right now, it is purely out of necessity,” said Rep. Ben Harbin (R-Evans), the chairman of the budget-writing House Appropriations Committee. “We have to balance our budget. Everything is being cut, even the revenues they would be getting have to be cut.”

That’s “even the money” cities, counties, and kids “would be getting” if the laws were followed.

But Harbin wasn’t ‘exactly honest.’ Just like Mills and Rogers aren’t exactly public servants. The problem was discovered in a 2005 audit. An audit concluded 5 years ago. The five year old audit pointed the blame directly at the Governor’s Office. What did Perdue do? Nothing but build some boat ramps for his Go Fishing policy.

So when your wife spends a few extra dollars for a Breast Cancer Awareness license plate, does the money go to breast cancer research? Nope. Look in the general fund which is used for pet projects like remodeling the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House offices.

Gives a new meaning to the phrase, Vanity Plates.

Our public servants are always bragging about bringing money to local projects. Make them put the money where their mouth is. Bad grammar and all.

 

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