Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tooele County's Priorities Will Only Hurt The Poor

Rod Arquett recently asked, why is America so divided? I wanted so badly to call him because it would have
been a great chance to plug my book The Great Compromise: Getting Past The Emotional Nonsense Dividing
America, available on There are a lot of things, most of them have a middle ground, but there is one change in America that we can offer no compromise on, and much to my disappointment, it was on full display at this week's Tooele County town hall at the Tooele High School.

All around the country everyone is going broke, individuals, municipalities, states and of course the federal government. We’re all hurting, but while most of the poor and middle class workers of the world are having to make significant cuts to our budgets to get by, we have far too many in government who have fought tooth and nail to avoid cutting their budgets. The biggest battle in the federal government has been over spending. At a time when the average person is losing money Obama adds trillions of dollars to the debt, making an already bad situation much worse.

The tragedy of all this spending is that it takes more out of the private sector to stay on top of it all. The more taxes and fees the businesses have to pay, the more regulations they have to deal with, the fewer people that the private sector can employ. Tooele learned this lesson recently when the over taxed and over regulated Energy Solutions had to lay off a huge number of employees. Business has, of course slowed, and as a result the number of dollars collected by the county from this business has fallen sharply.

The situation at Energy Solutions is far from the only complication facing the county, but it was a major focus of the town hall. It is important to keep this tragedy in mind as this is not an anomaly. High taxes and extreme regulations lead to this very thing. As businesses dry up, so to do the employed, as they dry up so too does their spending, all of which drys up the tax dollars that a county, a state, or the federal government can collect.  Raising taxes during economic downtimes only exacerbates this situation, even Obama agreed with that at one point.-1

I was stunned at how many people at the town hall seem disconnected with this economic reality. I don’t want to see Deseret Peak deep sixed either, but I have to separate frivolities from necessities. We need the police, we need schools, we don’t need Deseret Peak, it’s nice, but far from necessary and proper. There are a number of legitimate services that the government must provide as outlined by the federal and state constitution. Paying for you to go swimming is not one of them. And there is lay the divide in America.

No longer is it about serious issues like racial, religious and gender discrimination, but those who feel like they deserve a free lunch (or swim as the case may be) versus the rest of us who work and scrimp and save, only to have the fruits of our labors stripped from us by means of force to subsidize someone’s recreation, literally as in the case of Deseret Peak. No longer is about ensuring abortion is safe, legal and rare, but now safe, legal and free, that is to say, paid for by me, and I happen to be pro-life. How is that fair?

Your kids will not go to jail if the complex is privatized, sold, or closed. Heck, I never went down there. Odds are they will just find something else to do. We have theatres here, we have a bowling alley. Heck, if you’re like me you’re spending much more time in GameStop than at Deseret Peak. If physical recreation is you’re thing, that’s fine, but right now Gold’s Gym is offering Month to Month for a measly ten dollars,  I shouldn’t have to pay for your habits, any more than you should have to pay for my World of Warcraft subscription. If getting the county back in the black means getting the complex off the book we should do it.

Besides, there isn’t as much to fear in pursuing a privatization option, if such exists, the best keep secret by the liberals promoting their recreation at your expense is that New York’s Central Park was privatized some time ago. John Stossel did a huge expose on this.-2) Private parks have actually done better, in many cases, than the government run parks, in reality. We should be more afraid of hurting the poor and middle class worker with these draconian tax increases, of taking food off their table, than we are of making a small handful of entitled folks pay to go swimming.

The simple truth is that property taxes are not a progressive tax. It will hurt the working poor in Tooele. Not only by forcing them to pay more to the county, but if you think that Tooele’s businesses will just absorb the cost you’re only fooling yourself. They will all increase their prices to offset the taxes, and when those taxes become too much to bear they will leave. At a time where gas, food, energy and shelter and life essentials all over are skyrocketing in price, these additional inflationary drivers will only further burden Tooele’s poor and middle class, and as that burden increases those poor and middle class will leave turning Tooele into Utah’s own tribute to Detroit.  Detroit should stand tall as an example of what happens when frivolities rule your politics, a lesson we too may learn the hard way. For sixty years they spent themselves into oblivion, and because of their refusal to get their priorities straight, painful austerity is no longer optional, but mandatory. If we can't learn from their mistakes our beautiful town won't be much different. The houses will be empty and largely in a state of disrepair, the businesses boarded up, but hey at least we’ll still have Deseret Peak Complex

-1) FLASHBACK: Obama Says You Don't Raise Taxes In A Recession-

-2) Stossel Gets It Right on Parks Privatization, Harris Kenny, Reason Foundation 12,2,2010 accessed 8-14-13

Daniel Moir, Tooele City

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