On the campaign stump, Sarasota County commissioners could say they stood firm on taxes. The 2013-2014 fiscal year millage rate will not increase.
County commissioners voted this week to keep it at 3.3912 mills.
But if you took the time to look at Sarasota County’s proposed budget document, your eyes actually might bug out.
Total spending is budgeted to increase 20% — with capital spending budgeted to jump 117.7%. Look at the budgeted increases in the constitutional offices and general budget in the accompanying table — each rising more than twice as fast as the combined increases in population growth and inflation.
And here’s the killer: They county plans to expand its payroll by 116 positions.
Happy days must be here again.
We know they’re not. Unemployment is still above 7%, an indicator the economy is not operating at full capacity. What’s more, look at the county’s population growth — virtually flat. That, too, says the economy remains tepid.
So this condition begs the question: What is so different today compared to, say, six months ago that requires the county to rush to increase its spending?
We know commissioners will say they are just catching up on capital projects and services that were delayed or trimmed during the recession. Yes, we get it. The county needs to keep its sewers and water systems operating efficiently.
But it’s difficult to comprehend why, for instance, spending must rise $7 million and $5 million, respectively, in the Financial Management and Human Resources Departments.
Commissioners have demonstrated once again a truism of government: It will consume whatever you give it. The only way to tame it is to starve it.
+ Fatal conceit
There is no example in the history of mankind that proves government can manage anything more efficiently and effectively than the private sector.
This is the obvious truth that Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and all the other congressional Democrats refuse to accept — all because they don’t want to give in to the opposing political party.
Logic and economics say it’s so — that there is no way the Affordable Care Act is going to improve the cost, results and delivery of health care. No way.
Consider this from John Goodman, creator of health-savings accounts and regarded by many in his field as the foremost expert on health-care in America. Writing for Forbes.com last month, Goodman said:
“Is it really credible to think that ObamaCare will reduce the cost of health care?
“Consider that ObamaCare aims to insure an additional 27 million people. If economic studies are correct, once they are insured, these people will try to double their consumption of health care.
“On top of that, millions of employees and their employers will be forced to upgrade their health insurance, making it more generous (and more expensive) than it currently is. Again, more insurance coverage inevitably leads to more spending.
Then, there is a lengthy list of preventive services everyone is supposed to insure for, with no copayment or deductible. Even seniors on Medicare are affected. Although no serious scholar has asserted that it has any medical benefits, seniors will be getting a free “wellness checkup” every year, all of which takes doctors’ time and uses valuable resources.
“What we are describing is a huge increase in the demand for care. But the Affordable Care Act does nothing to increase supply. This is virtually guaranteed to put upward pressure on prices. To the extent that prices are prevented from rising, it will create enhanced rationing by waiting. And almost anything patients and doctors do to circumvent the cost of waiting will also add to the money cost of care.”
More logic: All you hear about Obamacare and the health exchanges is the word “subsidies.” Millions of Americans will be receiving subsidies to pay for their health insurance.
From where do those subsidies come? Whose money is that? It’s your money — confiscated from you and handed as an unearned benefit to someone else.
People think those subsidies spent on health insurance will keep the economy going. They say the people from whom that money is confiscated would spend it anyway. But they forget, the subsidy recipients have done nothing productive to earn that subsidy. They are leeches draining everyone who is working and producing and draining the economy at large (see Europe!).
Let’s look at this still another way to understand how Obamacare will play out:
• Who operates the U.S. Postal Service? Congress, the president and their attendant federal bureaucrats. How’s that working out? Bankrupt.
• Who issues and manages most of the college loans? Congress, the president and their attendant federal bureaucrats. How’s that working out? Record defaults.
• Who operates and manages the Internal Revenue Service? Congress, the president and their attendant bureaucrats. How’s that working out?
• Who operates and manages Social Security and Medicare? Congress, the president and their attendant bureacrats. How are they working out? Bankrupt.
We could go on and on citing failed government programs. And yet Obama, Reid, et al are so conceited they are willing to sacrifice Americans to their political egos.
The definition of treason: “betrayal of your country.” It applies.