Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Debt Ceiling Debate

It was interesting to listen to an interview with a Virginia Democrat, One of the Gang of Six?, who said that if the tax rate is lowered like it was when Reagan was President, that consumer spending would increase like it did before.  There is also talk of "Entitlement Reform".  Let's hope that means eliminating the Safety Net and putting people into work training programs rathering than perpetuate generations of non-workers families who should be contributing to society not living off of it.

It's also good to hear talks of reducing spending.  An average household would never be able to survive on the spending habits of government.  What if all safety nets, pork bellies, foreign aid, tax credits like EIC and additional child tax were eliminated.......just for a year?  Seems to me that the deficit would close significantly and quickly.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'll Spell it Out "Entitlement Benefits"

Entitlement - means it's owed to you.  Generally it's something you work for, is due, and there shouldn't be any shame in asking for it.  However, this type of Entitlement means it's "my" money.  Swallowed up in taxes out of my pay check before I even see it. 

Per the New Deal it's reallocated funds to help individuals over economic humps so they could have living standards equal to those fortunate enough to still have jobs. It means you still have to look for a job, have pride in ownership, and live modestly. DSS and the Safety Net were NOT meant to be a way of life.  Someone said to me recently when I said I needed to stop and get some cash; "Oh are you going to Walmart".  I looked at them and said," No, I work for a living".  End of that conversation.

How about EBT cards being accepted at fast food chains! That's not up to my living standards.  I can't afford to eat out anymore.  How about using your EBT card for cigarette, lottery tickets, and beer but being charged four times more so the merchant can pocket the rest but ...shhhhhh..... you really were rang up with bread and milk.  I can't afford any of that either: not at $10 a pack and $9 a six pack.  And thank goodness that not only the merchant got arrested but so did the 42 (and numbers climbing) EBT card holders that misused their cards.  Thank you, Mr. DA.

I would say that there hasn't been a good ole fashion protest or boycott since the 70's.  And even though I support small business, these franchises that open their doors so more tax dollars abuse occurs, don't have my support anymore.  Please offer to give them a job, NOT TAKE THEIR EBT CARD.

(I was looking for links to include in this post, but unfortunately that had racial slurs and vicious comments. If anyone finds a good article, please post the link.  Thanks)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Golden Hill

Golden Hill supporters are well organized and committed to keeping open a professional care facility for any individual needing the service.  On the other side, all nursing homes in Ulster County are located on the eastern side of the County leaving the southern end without local coverage.  Arguably, Wawarsing and Rochester municipalities need a health care facility so loved ones can visit, and residents in need of medical monitoring that cannot live independently aren't so far removed from their community.  These same communities notably have a shortage of medical professionals that would add a quality of life to the area as well.

Unfortunately, as with everything in the County, it's a political football of personal agendas, concerned CSEA workers, and reports slanted in the direction of preferable decisions.  As elected officials, the desire of constituents should be the driving force of County legislative voting.  It is also the officials obligation to educate the constituent so they fully understand the issue including its cost and effect.  For instance, updating the Golden Hill facility will cost up to 85 million which will be past on to all tax payers.  The County will still have to pay medicaid, and get approval from the State to sell the Golden Hill license before the transaction is complete. 

This is not and will not be an easy process given the mix of political flavors involved, but keep the letters of support for all alternatives pouring in to your elected officials.  As with the right to have every vote counted, so should your opinion be on a County issue.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Just A Thought

Government never runs like a well managed household.  A budget is prepared, voted on, and every last penny spent or you don't get the same amount in next year's buget.  Or so I was told.  Yet the new Director of Health with his MBA has cut one million dollars from the Health Department line and he was given the Mental Health department to work his fiscal magic.  I like the concept.

When I was younger, I kept my household budget in check by putting money in envelopes, and when it was gone that was it.  as I got older I thought it would be great to try and keep up with my neighbors, and although I can't complain about what I have, I work too much to enjoy it...........and I'm getting old fast.  So Ive some to the realization that cash is great, and I won't buy anything without it.  No credit cards. I live simpler and I enjoy it.

If I made this choice, I would expect the officials I elected to continue this practice in open government.  Don't bond for vehicles, don't spend money on mandates that don't have overwhelming returns, and if your envelope is empty at the end of the week stop the spending.  You see as Americans we aren't so dumb, and you as officials only know what's best for us if you are genuinely committed to listening.  I honestly wouldn't mind if you hired more people to investigate welfare fraud so the truly needy were the only ones that get assistance, and equally if some folks loose their jobs because the personnel budget is too high that's unfortunate but necessary..........remember there is attrition.  Over 100 properties were up for auction on April 13th, that can't mean that things are going well.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why We Really Elected You

I had the need for some input so I began scrolling through the news after simply doing an engine search on "news"...mmmmmmmmmmmm "Knit your Own Royal Wedding", ""Love you body like Neve Campbell, "How about Federal Debt Ceiling to be Hit by May 15th. Ceiling....what ceiling.  Do you mean that our elected officials have maxed out their credit cards (sorry) our credit cards, and now they are discussing raising their limits?  My daughter did that with my credit card when she went to college, and I cancelled it.  No raising the limit, no giving her another one.  If you can't manage a budget, especially when my money is involved then you're done.

Now what this is all leading to is that our local officials are so busy with smoke and mirrors, and mismanagement that the budget coming out in the next five months hasn't been addressed.  They're so busy cancelling meetings, then calling special sessions (I counted seven since January), that they can't get their act together.  Hell, they can't even schedule a picture day.  It's April; the County book won't be ready until June. 

The resolution writing, committed legislators are being shut down by the old-timer pack if it doesn't fit into their agenda.  What a shame. This alone is a reason for term limits.  The initial reason for voting in our politicians is because we believed that they would make changes, help quality of life issues, and give us back the ability to live on what we make.  Yes we can make our own decisions, Yes we do know what's best for us, and right now we are looking for legislative action before you max out our credit cards and we see more people walking with backpacks than driving cars.  Just check out the vote on the Freeman's front page today.  Would shutting the federal goverment down impact you.........no. Why?  Because they are doing anything either except misplacing 2 billion dollars in the mid east.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

And Auerbach Taketh Away

When legislative leadership once again gets busted for arranging a secret meeting with the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency, they come out with a brilliant public relations campaign declaring that the RRA has received an "A+" (yes that's tongue in cheek) by the NYSDEC for cleaning up its act.  At a private tour on Wednesday, February 16th, the DEC went out to inspect the RRA's progress in mitigating the environmental mess that had been ongoing.  In attendance was DEC big wigs William Janeway, Region 3 Director; Thomas Rudolf, Region 3 Regional Engineer; Martin Brand,Regional Material Management Supervisor; Dave Pollock, Regional Enforcement Engineer; and Larry Ricci, Environmental Monitor. “It was a pleasure to tour the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency facilities at Kingston and New Paltz. DEC appreciates that a concerted effort has been made to improve the reliability of the operations,” said Mr. Janeway.

If you notice, Mr. Ricci is an Environmental Monitor which means the RRA pays to have their operations overseen by the DEC because over the years its been mismanaged to the point its become an environmental hazard. The WGHQ Wadnola show complete with Roberts and Frey sidekicks touted what a great job they did overseeing the RRA (even thought as past Board members and present Committee Chairs they were clueless), and a press release went out.

Then BAAAMMMM, out come Comptroller Auerbach with news that his report is coming out in the next ten days, and he will be seeking the DA's assistance in following up on a criminal investigation based on allegations from interviews and information from RRA staff.  Comptroller Auerbach has been a driving force to keep this County on target financially and oversees all departments operations. I hope that despite the political pressure he must be getting internally, he continues his work.