You get what you pay for

A popular topic of discussion in my town seems to be how crappy the roads have been all winter. The discussion has moved into the local newspaper and into the city council chambers.

I have to agree with a lot of the criticism because many of the roads that I drive on everyday are pretty bad. However, I do not blame the city council or the city workers for the ice covered and snow packed roads. I put the blame on the anti-tax crowd that gets all worked up about any discussion of property taxes. Every time a new budget is discussed the anti-tax gets all riled up about property taxes without stopping and thinking about what we actually spend our money on. This lack of rational debate has caused us to become a low-tax minimal-services society.

If you think it is a wise investment to pay overtime for city workers to hop into their snow plows in the middle of the night to clear the roads, then you might just have to pay a couple more dollars on your property taxes.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of all taxes. I understand that our tax money is wasted over and over again by the federal, state, and local governments. I don't like the fact that $9 billion of tax payer money is missing in Iraq. I don't like the fact that the state promotes corporate welfare if the company promises to locate jobs in the state. I don't like if cities abuse TIF districts that divert tax payer money away from schools and other services. It is too bad the anti-tax aren't as vocal on these issues.

The question isn't how much we pay in taxes, the question is about the the quality of services we receive from those taxes. Unfortunately, we have become a low-tax minimal-service society. So if you complain then you need to understand that you get what you pay for.

Tags: Taxes

About the Author(s)


  • How about

    a decent snowplowing of the roads.  That’s all I ask for.  Some governors almost get thrown out of office in some major cities for failing to have streets plowed during and after big storms, but here in Iowa a week after a storm I still can’t see the concrete.  I have to wait until a warm day, like today, for the ice and snow to get cleared.