Opinion

EDITOR'S COLUMN Dec. 5, 2001 A letter from your representative

It’s December and our mailboxes are filling up with letters. Not Christmas thoughts from loved ones, but epistles from our elected representatives who are taking advantage of the franking privilege for one final fling of free publicity on the taxpayer dollar before the end of the year. I received several such letters last week and as a form of personal penance, I read them all. But I can’t recommend the exercise unless your sins are great. Instead, read this one letter which pretty much summarizes what all the politicians are saying.

DEAR CONSTITUENT: As you know, the tragic recent events have blown out of the water the budget our legislative body adopted just last summer which, I must add, passed despite my personal objections. Even though I voted for the budget in a desperate attempt to end the session before they could spend even more money, I knew it was a bad budget. That budget was written by our government’s chief economic forecaster, Ms. Rosie Scenario, who is presently hospitalized with a severe case of apoplexy.

Now that dark economic clouds are looming and may rain down on our financial future, maybe the politicians in charge will finally realize that government must restrain itself and stop wasteful spending. We would all like better transportation, better health care and better education, but we can not afford such luxuries in a time of economic crisis.

It’s time for government to control itself, and that will be my number one priority when business resumes in January. We must cut the bureaucracy, cut needless rules and regulations, and provide incentives to get our economy moving again, all while meeting the new demands on government created by our relentless march toward recession.

While working to reign in the insatiable monster of government spending, I will also pay close attention to the growing needs of my own legislative district, where businesses and jobs are threatened by the current climate of terror. After holding a series of public meetings on our needs, I have developed the following five-point plan. 1. Fund the Downtown Revitalization Effort, which needs $4.2 million for new simulated gaslight poles, a carousel to attract tourists, and paint-by-number murals depicting our history which the tourists themselves can create by paying one dollar per number painted.

2. Provide $1.2 million to begin studying a multi-modal transportation system which could be up and running before the end of this century, or early the next.

3. Create $600,000 in new agricultural subsidies so people who have been laid off can still afford to fertilize their lawns, thereby helping to maintain housing values.

4. Increase law enforcement funding by 30 percent, to deal with terrorist threats and the increase in laid-off ne’er-do-wells.

5. Purchase $4 million in computers so the unemployed can look for jobs in the Internet.

There you have it, my fellow citizens. By working together to reduce the size of government while supporting our local community, we can use this current crisis to finally nip the growth of government in the bud.

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