HOFFMAN: I am a cynic because …
Free Press Weekly Opinion Columnist
I am a cynic even when I don’t want to be. I have a hard time believing you are not a cynic, too. I do not expect much, I only expect people and organizations to be consistent in their statements and positions.
I am a cynic because of TABOR. Politicians you just voted into office who ran against politicians who wanted to keep the money now vote to keep the money. Here is a case in point, GJ City Councilor Phyllis Norris, who along with the Mayor Sam Susuras, sided with two other councilors to keep city tax revenues uncounted in TABOR calculations.
Where was our GJ Chamber of Commerce in this debate? Why have we not heard from them? I guess they are a little red in the face given the fact some of their handpicked folk have committed heresy. Mayor Sam as you probably know is married to the chair of the Republican Party. We also have not heard from the party on this issue, very curious.
Here is an epiphany that just revealed itself to me. This realization creates some level of cynicism. When they propose a project, it is always excessive and they know it. Remember the original police station plans with staff-only workout facilities and more? Recall more recently the elaborate Avalon plan with glass enclosed everything and roof-top facilities? They are simply overboard in their initial presentations.
When they then “scale back” the cost and scope of the project, the concept suddenly becomes more palatable, and we become more agreeable, AND they get exactly what they needed all along. We feel like winners because of the reduced cost when we were actually conned.
I am a cynic because the Realtor community demands continued government intervention in the mortgage market (FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) because they know the public sector will not provide low interest 30-year mortgages and then complains when the government intervenes to stop predatory lending practices of “owner-carry” sellers. They declare that another freedom is lost and demand that government should just stay out of business; this all within a five-minute period.
I am a cynic due to all the folks who claim that business is best left to private industry. I guess they mean that so long as it does not have anything to do with mortgages, sugar prices, tax subsidies for oil companies, farm subsidies, and accelerated depreciation schedules for oil refineries. Socialism is only socialism when the money is given to individuals. When our tax dollars are given to corporations, it is capitalism?
I am cynic because of all the folks who have simple explanations for very complex problems. I am a cynic because of the need for a large number of our citizens to trivialize every issue, to create a conspiracy for every action, and to demand easy answers and 30-second analysis of significant economic and international issues. I am a cynic because people demand their “America” back yet refuse to act like the American they once were. I am a cynic because 12 years ago the “Patriot Act” was enacted with provisions that significantly eroded personal freedoms. At the time, when warned of these dangers, the citizens said: “It is OK, I don’t say anything they can’t hear, I am not a criminal.” Now everyone is appalled that government is using those powers which we felt would keep us safe but not actually intrude on our freedoms. Gee, I guess when they arrest you without charge you will then, and only then, become a foe of indefinite detention without charge?
Another cause for cynicism is the lack of a community rec center within our fair city. Other cities and towns that have rec centers for the use of their citizens include Fruita, Delta, Montrose and even Rangely. There simply are no funds for this unless maybe we agree to a tax hike or a TABOR giveback. There are funds for everything else including acquiring and demolishing White Hall in the hope that someday we will return that property to the tax rolls and regain our costs.
As GJ City Councilor Marty Chazen has claimed, it seems the city only acquires property when no one in the private sector wants it. This is some sort of welfare program for politically connected owners of distressed property, socialism of yet another type perhaps.
Jim Hoffman is a local Realtor and investor who, when not working, loves skiing, camping and fishing (in season). He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Economics may seem complex, but it’s actually common sense, which explains why politicians have difficulty considering the economic effects of their legislation.