Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Cautionary Tale...

I'm breaking my "no more presidential election blogging" rule just long enough to note that John McCain's 11th hour campaign tactic is to point out the dangers of having one party controlling everything. Without any effective "pushback" from an opposition party, some better ideas are inevitably going to end up in the trash can, and a good chunk of the nation will, at least for the next two years, essentially be without a voice in the business of America.

McCain is right.

For evidence of this, let's look at my hometown of Montgomery County, Maryland, where even liberal Republicans have been seemingly forever driven from office. Without any GOP dissent, the County Council has effectively killed a proposal to charge ambulance fees, a move than would have generated 14 million dollars in revenue at a time when the county is facing a 250 million dollar deficit. This is the same county that earlier this year killed a proposal to sell alcohol on Sundays because the evils of selling booze outweighed the potential extra revenue that Sunday sales would bring.

As usual, politics are at play here, and there's no yin to counter the yang. Volunteer firefighters are leading the fight to kill the ambulance fee, because they say they shouldn't be required to charge people for services when they themselves are providing their time for free. That's all well and good, but it doesn't pay the county's bills.

If the ambulance fee is approved, the volunteers are promising to fight back and place the issue on the ballot in 2010. And guess what else will happen in 2010? Every single member of the county council will be up for re-election, and members of the council don't want their names on the same ballot as an unpopular fee that they supported.

With all of our elected officials sleeping in the same political bed, there's no one with the political will to fight the status quo in Montgomery County. And taxpayers are paying the price.

Keep that in mind when the Democrats control the House and the Senate and the White House.

And keep your checkbook handy.

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