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In a recdent column, a local publisher (McCollister; http://www.businessreport.com/article/20131014/BUSINESSREPORT0201/310149986), discussing the sixteen day government shutdown, wrote: “Our business hadn't been affected one bit. Was yours?” and “...one could start to believe that these 'non-essential services and employees' are just that,” concluding that there might not be a reason for them to return to work or for the services to continue. While he wasn't specific about who he was talking about perhaps he should have been; perhaps being exact is the solution to the never ending discussions about excessive government spending and big government. Maybe specificity is the key to solving our spending dilemma. How exactly do we want our tax dollars used?

Government is made from parts, each part has a name and—supposedly--a function. Why not make a list of all the parts, with budgets attached, and let us, the People, vote on each item listed? Every service from police to education to garbage pick-up, voted on to keep or dump as we the People see fit. And bureaucrats, too, those $150,000-plus salaried fat cat bureaucrats: do they deserve six figures? Add everyone and everything to the Keep/Dump List; put that list on a ballot (a big ballot, admittedly, but that symbolizes the problem) and let's vote. McCollister and me and all who are fed up with expensive government would love that chance to decide who/what has value to us and how much that value costs. No more whining about high taxes, lazy chair-warmers, useless programs (Art funding? Seriously?)--just solid governing of the People, by and for, etc.

Funding, of course, is the heart of expensive government. After selecting what we want to pay for, we decide how much. What quality service do we want: gold plated or pewter or somewhere in between? (Garbage pick-up everyday, twice a week or once a month. Ditto police, fire, etc.) After we put a dollar figure after each item listed, we add the numbers and compare it to government's tax income then trim (less taxes) or pad (more taxes) as needed.

We get what we want; we want what we pay for.

What could be fairer?

Greig Olivier


10153 Jeff Hwy

BRLA, 70809