Why is it that individuals, households, and businesses have to live within their means and governments seem to be excluded from that concept? If your budget only allows for a certain amount of spending, then important decisions need to be made on where your money goes.
I was surprised that the editorial staff of the Record-Courier chose to weigh in on the state of the Federal Highway Trust Fund's impending insolvency. I was very disappointed to read that the editors believe "the easiest and best way to do this (fix the Highway Trust Fund) is to raise the tax on gasoline and diesel fuel." In what alternate universe is raising taxes easy or the best thing to do?
I believe that it is the function of a government to take care of the things individuals cannot themselves. Public safety and national defense: Individuals are not equipped to police their communities, fight fires or prevent invasions from foreign lands. Public education: Not everyone is capable of providing high-quality instruction to our youth. Social services and the common good: A safety net needs to be in place for the less fortunate and regulations put in place to protect us from abuses. Lastly, infrastructure and transportation: Average citizens should not be building bridges, patching crumbling highways, or plowing snow from our roads. Most everything else should be considered optional and our tax dollars should not be earmarked for them without a popular vote of the people.
Obviously, I believe that quality, safe roads and bridges are vital to our nation and that deferred maintenance of them is not an option. Yes, the gas tax hasn't been raised in 20 years. Yes, inflation has increased and cars are more fuel-efficient. But, is raising the overall amount of taxes we already pay to fund this practical or prudent as the editorial board of the Record-Courier proposes?
I must make decisions every day about how to best spend my limited supply of money; why can't our government do the same? I don't agree with the extremists of the Tea Party, but I understand their underlying philosophy of making government accountable for how it spends our money.
If the editors would like to pay a little extra at the pump to help "fix" the problem, then I applaud their dedication to a broken system. Myself, I don't confuse paying more taxes with a patriotic duty to country.
John Hochkraut, Shalersville