reply to post by Justin Oldham
posted by Justin Oldham: The simple fact of the matter is that there are too many people in office today who have dirty hands. I count my own
State's senior Senator in that mix. Ted Stevens is a very nice man, but he's been in D.C. too long.
The problem we face is much more significant than replacing a few crusty old timers who believe if you can’t help your friends, who can you help?
However sacred we hold the 1787 Constitution, and despite its 27 amendments, half of which we ignore and the other half are ineffectual, we are still
applying the basic principles we adopted then (1789) to run a world entirely different today (2007). Jefferson may have perceived this limitation as
being inherent, when he said something like “every generation needs a new look at governance.”
You know the numbers. 3 million then, 300 million now. Less than 500,000 square miles then, 3.6 million square miles now. Washington’s travel time
from Mt Vernon to the first inauguration in New York, 10-12 days if you are lucky! The speed of a walking horse. And you have to rest a horse every
hour, 5 or10 minutes. And horses only “work” in daylight. And etc.
Today we have x-rays made in small town hospitals read by radiologists in Bombay! All via the internet. All the toys sold in the US are made in China.
Lead paint or no. Even cars assembled here frequently contain less than 20% domestic content.
So how much longer are we going to struggle along in the twenty-first century using 18th century rules? I watch CSpan and other public access
channels. I see Congress in action, when it’s in session, I see the state legislature in action and I watch the local City Council in action but it
is ll too gloomy to watch with pleasure. The size of government has overwhelmed our individual capacity to either comprehend or to operate or to
Two months ago, I obtained a copy of the $870 million budge for FY 2007. Actually the FY runs from September 1, ‘07, to August 31, ‘08. It’s
really called FY ‘07-‘08. Why we can’t have our fiscal years coincidental with our calendar years is another thing I don’t like. You can’t
discuss budgets in ordinary language. You have to say, “the ‘07-‘08 budge.” a lot of citizens think this is a TWO years budget which may keep
some heat off the elected officials. It looks purpose made to confuse and keep taxpayers at bay. It looks purpose made to confuse and keep taxpayers
at bay. 800 pages, 15-20 lines per page, each line for an item in the budget.
Between 12,000 and 15,000 separate lines or entries. Some as small as a few hundred dollars others as large a $138,000,000 for salaries for the 2,700
unformed police officers. Another line set $7,500,000 for overtime. Another line had $31,800,000 for health care insurance. And on and on.
We discovered the other day that one agency budgeted at $250,000 a year had spent $1,750,000 last year, making over the past 5 years a total overdraft
of $4,000,000. How can this happen? Does the bank honor any check regardless of the amount on deposit? Is there any auditing? Who countersigns the
drafts exceeding the budgeted amount? What is the point of having a budget at all, in this case? This bit of info was discovered by the local
newspaper searching another issue. But for that, it appears this particular agency was unconcerned about budgets. What the heck good as the City
Council done about this over the past 5 years? Is this the only agency doing its own thing? Well, I have to stop now.
But I’ll have more later.
[edit on 8/25/2007 by donwhite]