Things Never Change

When Mrs Chief and I moved to Ohio five and a half years ago, we bought a 3-bedroom ranch.  One of the bedrooms became an office/computer room.  Well, three years ago our oldest daughter moved in to work on a Master’s degree.  Eventually the computer room became so cluttered it should have been designated a “hazard area.”

Well, T has completed all of her degree requirements and has moved out.  And the Ol’ Chief is holding field day (Navy Speak for Comprehensive Cleaning) on the office/computer room.

And that is when I ran across a copy of The Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale, IL) from Monday, 20 Mar 1995 which contained a Letter to the Editor that I had submitted.  Here it is:

Editor, Southern Illinoisan:

As the ridiculous discussion continues by politicians who, in pandering to the electorate, talk about cutting and lowering taxes, let us review some lessons of history.

Anybody who believes that we can reduce the unit cost by providing less government has not studied their history.  Consider why we have any government at all.  We, collectively want to ensure national security, preserve public order, defend the political, religious and property rights of individuals and to provide ‘common goods’ such as universal education and a healthful environment.  Providing each of these services is more complicated and expensive today than it was 75 years ago and they will be proportionately more expensive in the next century.

And, it stands to reason, as the population grows, that growing population needs more government.

But, the most important reason we need to raise taxes on a national level is one that is more painfully obvious here in Southern Illinois than in many parts of the country.  That reason is education.  Tomorrow’s economy will require a better trained work force and a work force that will need to be retrained several times during their working lives.  Southern Illinois public school students are being shortchanged on the quality of education they now receive because the state refuses to fairly fund education.  And far too many displaced workers are not receiving the training they need to be able to fully contribute to a growing economy.

But, we don’t have to raise taxes and we don’t have to fund education.  Not al all.  But a country that won’t pay to train its future wage earners faces a dark future in a globally competitive economy.

I really do not want to pay more taxes.  But I realize that both the essence of Christianity and capitalism is the concept of putting something back today for the future.  Therefore, I understand that I must be willing to pay more in taxes today so the United States will have a bright future in 25 or 50 years.

So let’s quit whining, raise taxes, cut defense spending and get on the road to a brighter national future.

That was written & published 17 years ago.  Just what has changed.  In the last 14 months the newly elected governor of Wisconsin has hammered the teachers in Wisconsin.  The newly elected governor in Ohio tried the same trick on teachers but all public union members fought back, got the issue on the ballot and the governor lost.  But as a guy who will not take “No” from the voters and cannot be recalled, he is up to his Snidely Whiplash tricks again.

Some things never change.

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