Un-Elect Your County Judge and More

Un-Elect Your County Judge and More   (Posted by Mark Moore at Arkansas Watch February 12, 2013)

Ok, maybe not all seventy five of them, but the majority of them for sure. I got a call from a friend who was at the meeting of the County Judges Association convention. He said they were congratulating each other on getting the sales tax increase for highways passed. Even at the county level it appears that we have politicians who count it a victory when their budgets go up, not when the families they are alleged to be serving are protected from yet another tax increase.

Friends, does it really make sense for us to spend so much time trying to “take back the country” when you have someone like that running the government in your own county. Taking care of business at home ought to be a higher priority. That these men used their influence to lay yet another tax increase on families when people in the private sector are staring directly into the abyss of the Greater Depression shows a staggering disconnect.

Oh, they have their rationalizations and dishonest accounting to justify it in their own minds, but these are people who should know better. Whatever they tell you back home, this is what most of them are telling each other among themselves.

No sooner did the self-congratulatory back-slapping for the last spending spree die down than Gov. Mike Beebe started exhorting them to push for yet another scheme to lay even more debt on our backs and transfer even more money from our pockets to a group of out of state persons. This time it would be to subsidize a proposed steel mill in Mississippi County. And they appeared to be all for it!

Not only was the Governor pushing it, and the County Judges appear to be behind him, but Republican House Speaker Davy Carter expressed support for the project too, excepting that he wanted to use current government money to do it rather than borrowing the share of the deal that would be borrowed! If only we had a political club in this state that would have larger differences than nit-picking about the details of how they should loot the people to fund crony-capitalism!

I deconstructed most of their claims here, but I neglected to mention one of the most obvious ways to refute their claims about all of the “jobs” their boon doggles will create. They always count the jobs that they believe will be added there by taking $200 million out of your pockets over here. But they never subtract out the jobs which will be lost over here by their vacuuming that $200 million over here and sending it over there. Basically they list all the job “pros” and then pretend their actions don’t produce any “cons”. That makes the whole thing a con. Clearly, sucking $200 million dollars out of our pockets to create growth over there is going to hurt growth over here, but they never acknowledge that.

Some smart legislator with integrity should ask the Legislative Research folks to find 1) the total estimated operating expenses of every Arkansas Business, neglecting taxes and 2) The total number of jobs in the state. Dividing the first number by the second ought to give a rough idea of how many dollars of business operating expenses are needed to support one job. Let’s say it takes $70,000 of operating expenses to support one job. What that means is that for every $70,000 government takes over here to put into some scheme to “create jobs” over there then approximately one job is lost. Using that example, spending $125 million taxpayer dollars to “create” those 525 jobs would cost 1,785 jobs over here. No sale.

Of course the use of debt to “create jobs” is another often used con. I am constantly amazed that people whose I.E. appears to be high enough that they can function and earn a living are ever taken in by this ridiculous assertion. Borrowing in itself cannot create jobs. All it does is take economic activity from the future and spend it in the present.

Only when the resources are properly allocated does it on the net create enough new resources to pay back to the future more than was taken. Otherwise, past debt continues to hang over your economy, dragging it down. This is exactly what we see now. All of that past spending to “stimulate the economy” was borrowed economic activity from the future. The future is now here and our account is depleted. The politicians did not spend it as efficiently as the market did, because they used some of it to pay off political favors.posted by Mark Moore (Moderator) at Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mark Moore is a long time activist and policy wonk with an extensive political resume. He describes his current political label as “Localist”, a philosophy of government best described in this E-book “Localism, A Philosophy of Government” (for Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Localism-A-Philosophy-Government-ebook/dp/B00B0GACAQ/ref=pd_rhf_pe_p_t_2_GB3H)
(On Barnes and Noble Nook et al: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/localism-a-philosophy-of-government-achbani/1114141668?ean=2940015982688)

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