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Individual Chatham County citizens can decide for themselves how to best spend their own money

By Tom Glendinning
Posted Monday, June 10, 2013

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Pittsboro, NC - In a well organized Chatham chatlist piece by Ms. Karen Crowell, we find that her approach to the critique is process and mathematically challenged.

On budget matters, the previous Chatham County Board of Commissioners believed that and acted on the premise that government should throw money at problems in order to solve them. This management strategy is the reason for the upheaval in local and national politics, among other objections. And our country was suffering a deep recession. The stock market lost 50% of value on the DOW. That equalled the performance of 1929-30 and we were in bad shape.

Our school fiscal support places us at 6th or higher in the state for student supplement. Yet our performance does not show the comparable result. So teaching is not a matter of money. It's a matter of quality and dedication.

The non-profit issue is used as to bludgeon the board when changes are designed to yield better results. The main cuts are to applications requesting funding which include administration instead of services delivered and for two agencies which will become part of the regular annual budget instead of grants. Though not understanding the math of the changes may prove challenging. The results will be better.

One main issue with the old BOC was increased spending, which I understand is the liberal solution to everything. Unfortunately, the country suffered a recession two years before 2010 and the county total budget had increased by 65% in four years under that board. Since 2000, the budget grew by 130% total and 70% pro rata, while population increased only 33.5% and staff did not increase in number. Spending was easy for that board. The reversal of leadership was no wonder given these facts and figures.

Having worked in the tax department, I informed myself with records and drew my own conclusions. Until my revelation, I supported the ruling party as I had for fifty years. Now, I consider those strategies and government policies unconscionable because they have hampered the economy and destroyed job creation.

As far as SB677, HB985 or SB897 are concerned, these new fiscal bills will offer tax relief for everyone over the planned implementation period. The target income tax is 0%. This would mean receiving 7% of your income back to spend as you wish. This increase will cover any hike in sales tax, as only part of income is spent on new purchases. Corporate tax cuts will allow more hiring, lower prices and flexibility in business budgets.

Now, I know we are talking two different languages. You want government to control every dollar available. I am convicted that individual citizens, taxpayers, can decide for themselves how to best spend their own money. If they are allowed to have it, the economy will revive on its own. Government does not create jobs, nor does it cause an economic recovery, without getting out of the way. So I expect no agreement on these points. I do wish to present the other point of view in hopes that some of the public may have information contrary to the liberal party line without buzzwords causing automatic knee jerk approvals and cries of "huzzah!"

To some, explanation for your dazzling array of figures from paragraphs 7 to 12, the assumptions of the budget are sound. In reality, if the amount granted is $ 165,000 and overhead/administration is 60%, the total covered is $ 413,000. Your logic is the same as that of the NC insurance commissioner. Company proposed premium hikes are 20-30%. He allows only a 4-5% hike.. His claim is that he saved taxpayers the dollar equivalent of 16-25%. In actuality, the savings is hypothetical and his bragging means nothing, costing taxpayers another 5% real money.

In the areas of hunger, housing and health care, the county goals questionnaire for departments asks information on program effectiveness: students attaining honor role, animals saved from euthanasia, medicare prescription supplment, housing for homeless. I do not see that this process will leave someone hanging on the precipice because of lack of funding, as liberals like to paint the actions of the conservative officials, here or in Raleigh.

They are strategies designed to offer funding to more direct services than for office work in an attempt to be more fiscally responsible than previous boards. Recognize that our county pro rata budget grew by 53% in four years, 2004-8, not in line with population growth. That means that they spent $ 25 million more dollars without increasing staff. And it grew from $49 million in 2004 to $81million in 2010, or $32 million, again without growth of staff.

I know that you champion government and despise private enterprise. So, again, we speak different languages. Ask yourself one question, which may be considered rhetorical. Who pays the bills? If it is government, that is fine. I present one challenge for you. Let government pay its own way for two successive years, and I will join you to celebrate in the streets. NC income tax 7%. Next year, 7% of workers return to their jobs in Raleigh. Repeat for the US and Chatham in proportion. If it is the private sector, get out of the way and let it make money. It will create more jobs. It will pay more taxes. The economy will recover on its own. FDR did not learn this and the depression lasted 30 years, only to recover when the wartime economy changed to peacetime production causing massive hiring. That recovery still took fifteen years for the DOW to recover to pre-October, 1929 levels after 1945.

If the country is going broke, then change is good. What happened before was not good.

As far as the stress reduction kit goes, please take a joke in the spirit that was intended. I have been tired of using the kit while previous commissioners and legislators were in power. I am glad for the relief.
Chatham Non-profit Funding Process - Stress Reduction Kit, page 24:

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Individual Chatham County citizens can decide for themselves how to best spend their own money

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