Al Swift 2¢ Worth

Why Do We Still Believe In The Tooth Fairy?

People want government services and low taxes. The only way that can happen is to find a really generous tooth fairy. But most of us know they don’t exist. So why do we continue to want government services and oppose the taxes needed to pay for them?

The answer might just as well be the tooth fairy. It is “eliminate waster, fraud and abuse,”
“Oh they’ll find it somewhere, they always do.” Government should live with in its budget like I have to do” (You would be a very unusual American if you actually live within your budget.) One of my favorites back during the Reagan, Gramm-Rudman days was “If you’ll just kill all that foreign aid, you can balance the budget in no time.” The fact was foreign aid accounted for about .6% of the budget.

That all boils down to simply – the tooth fairy. It is easier to believe in some cockamamie way to avoid facing facts than it is to admit the services cost money. Good services cost more.

OK. So what? Well nine people are dead in a Metrorail crash and already is appears one of the reasons is the penny-pinchers wouldn’t come thru with the dollar to make safety changes recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board. I wish every official that, in any way, prevented Metro from affecting those recommendations had to go to each of family those nine families and explain that the tooth fairy was supposed to have taken care of that.

The fact is that we expect public transportation to be cheap and to pay its own way. That is an impossible formula. There are virtually no public transportation systems in the world that do so. (Some can break even on operation if the government pays for infrastructure. But that’s about as good as it gets.) Air ports are subsidized, transit systems across the country is subsidized; Amtrak struggles because it is not sufficiently subsidized. Greyhound buses have all but disappeared. And if you think you car is free, check the property tax and the gas tax that are used, at least in part, to give you FREE highways.

And yet, too many of us think that’s all provided by the tooth fairy. If that were only true. But then none of us would have a tooth in our heads.

Posted on Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
By: csh
Posted in: 2009
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