Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
As this week marks the thirtieth anniversary of the inauguration of Ronald Wilson Reagan as president, it seems like a good time to look back on what three decades of conservative economics have wrought: Tax cuts focused primarily on the already wealthy; union busting; lax regulations on business and financial markets; decreased spending on infrastructure, and “free trade” policies. We were told these things would lead to a prosperous new future for all of us.
Instead, the gap between the rich and the rest of us has risen steadily as working wages have stagnated and most of our good paying working class jobs have been moved overseas. Our country’s industrial base is depleted, our infrastructure is crumbling, our national debt has increased tenfold, and China is poised to usurp our role as economic world leader. And family life is suffering. In the Sixties and Seventies, my wife’s single father was able to afford a four bedroom house in the suburbs and raise seven children on a bus driver’s salary. Now, she and I both have to work just to be able to rent. “Reaganomics” has turned our country into a second-rate power, a feudal oligarchy where the masses toil to service our Wall Street masters.
And now, our political and financial elites say we’re just not doing it enough. They say we need more tax cuts for them, lower wages for us, more outsourcing of our jobs, less spending on our people and our infrastructure, and while we’re at it would we mind eliminating our social safety nets and defunding education for our children. They must think we’re stupid. Are we?
The Garfield County Commissioners are in an unenviable position. With reduced property assessments they will have less budget money for discretionary projects. They will first have to provide for fixed expenses such as maintenance of county equipment and property with a cushion for breakdowns requiring replacement and unanticipated repair. They must allocate funds for necessary police, fire, rescue, road and bridges services.
Constituents will be pushing their representatives to start or to get on with a project or desired improvement. Each project that won’t be hurt must be delayed until funds become available. The writer will probably take some flack for this example, but a delay in acquisition of property and rights-of-way for hiking and biking trails can certainly wait.
I believe the people of this county will support decisions by the commission to allocate funds for essentials and carefully choose discretionary projects until more money is available. There will be some political statements hurled at them in opposition to their tough decisions but their job must be done.
Do you suppose this attitude would work in Washington D.C.? Nah, they don’t listen to the people who provide their money. They consider it an entitlement to waste as they desire.
Jack E. Blankenship
One wonders if God doesn’t have more important things to attend to than a Garfield County Commissioner meeting, or, for that matter, take sides in a football game. Surely elected officials can write a budget and fix potholes without heavenly assistance.
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Grace Wesseling is an animal lover, a cheerleader of seven years and another soon-to-be graduate of Bridges High School, class of 2021.