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If you’re going to make a fool of yourself, do it right!

By Walter Geiger Taxpayers are fed up and rightly so. Property owners pay for darn near everything and they are sick and tired of it. Many are ready to kill off public works and recreation departments. They don’t care if the grass along the road gets cut. They expect you to pay the full cost of the program if your kid is going to play recreation sports. They are sick of buying fuel for school buses, want your kid to take a sack lunch to school and couldn’t care less if another high school sports contest is played or stadium built. Meanwhile, those who work are working harder than ever just to tread water. They watch helplessly as more and more money is taken out of their checks to feed, clothe and pamper those who refuse to work. They view this as forced charity. The government takes money it did not earn to redistribute among those who also did not earn it and have no intention of ever earning it. They are sick of public housing projects, welfare, food stamps and the lot. Don’t even mention Obamacare to them. They feel you deserve precisely the housing, food and health care you can pay for out of your pocket and not a smidgen more. This mindset is not restricted to Lamar and Pike counties. It is spreading throughout the country like wildfire as evidenced by the Taxed Enough Already (TEA) party movement. The problem is this: politicians are addicted to your money. Since the implementation of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs, those politicians have given away enough of it to the nation’s growing entitlement class as to create a vast additional population of people who are addicted to your money. Tea partiers see hundreds of thousands of children growing up in America who have never seen anybody in their household get up and go to work each morning. These kids think the check comes in the mail and aspire to nothing more than to draw one or more of their own. Cutting taxes is easy to talk about but not so easy to implement. No one wants to see sick, hungry kids in their own hometown. Still, government is the natural habitat and breeding ground for waste and bloat. The larger the government entity the greater the waste and bloat. You could probably cut funding and staffing for welfare, food stamps, free school lunch programs and foreign aid in half without a single person going hungry if you did it right. That is why the Tea Party message resonates and will continue to resonate. Tea partiers must, however, be wise in spreading that message and not look foolish in the process. I saw one fail that task last week. He took the podium at a heated meeting on fire fees and boasted with great fervor of having attended tea party meetings throughout the country. Then, peering at the name placards of the assembled county commissioners, spotted the one he wanted and confronted the man behind it. ’I just learned you are my commissioner and next year I am going to run against you,’ he shouted. He was oblivious to the fact the man had run for reelection last summer and been defeated. A man near me chuckled and said, ‘If you are going to make a fool of yourself, do it right.’ Indeed!

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