Vote Yes AND No

Editorial for the Jeff Davis County Mountain Dispatch – August 25, 2014

In a few days some of you will go into the voting booth to make a decision that affects not just you but your children, grandchildren, your neighbors and your community. The decision you are being asked to make is whether you, as a citizen of Jeff Davis County, will pay more in property taxes in order to make up for some of the funds taken away from our schools by the Texas Legislature.
One way to make that decision is to look at short term self-interests. “I don’t have kids in school,” or “I pay too many taxes already!” Both of those statements are true for me.
Another way to make that decision is to look at the long term. Do our town’s children deserve to have an arts program? Music? Sports? Should we be able to hire educators that challenge our kids to rise higher than the average percentile? Does our town benefit from extra-curricular programs that encourage healthy productive citizens and help keep our kids from looking to drinking, teen sex and drugs for diversion?
A third way to make that decision is to look at why we have to make it at all and then do what’s right. Now, I’m not talking about Pete or Poncho or Jose, but when we send legislators to Austin and Washington who vow to cut government spending don’t be surprised when they do just that. But understand exactly what they mean when they say it: They’re not talking about cutting government spending that benefits those who fund their campaigns and give them cushy jobs when they leave office. They’re talking about taking billions of dollars in education funding and handing the bill to you and me. This is the chickens coming home to roost.
These guys talk about “small government,” sure. But they love big government when it benefits their donors. Just keep those campaign checks and PAC money coming. Small government for you. Big government for their cronies.
So when you go into the voting booth next week do what’s right for our kids and our community and vote YES. I don’t like it either but it’s the right thing to do. Then when you go back to the voting booth this November do the right thing again and vote NO to those “small-government” snake oil salesmen who give our tax dollars to their wealthy donors and then leave us to pay the bills back home. If you don’t then get ready to open your wallet again.

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