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Monday, August 04, 2008

Richard "Rick" Moses - The Kind of Ramsey County Commissioner We Really Need

The elections for seats on the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners are often pretty quiet affairs. A lot of people have a hard enough time naming their state representative or state senator, let alone their County Commissioner (AM 1500 talk host Bob Davis often springs this question on callers who complain about government but refuse to get involved to change things and most can't even make a reasonable guess). Incumbents often run unopposed or with only token opposition and tend to retain office for several election cycles.

The unfortunate thing is that the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners are one of the many taxing authorities that raid the pockets of county residents, and the bunch currently in office have not shown the slightest hint of fiscal restraint. The board accounts for a large portion of the property taxes assessed on residents, as well as exerting their big-spending influence on public transit, road and bridge maintenance, county government services (and, of course, the associated fees), welfare administration, and various other government largesse. The board is also a conduit for collecting other revenues as authorized by the tax-mongers in the state legislature as was recently demonstrated when the board authorized the piling on the taxpayer of a county-imposed sales tax increase when the legislature gave them permission to do it. To add insult to injury, these clowns also recently approved a 25%(!) pay increase for themselves!

This year, for the first time in a long time, the taxpayers have a realistic opportunity to bounce at least some of the big spending, big government liberals from the board in favor of fiscally responsible representation.

Richard (Rick) Moses, a long-time New Brighton resident and fiscal Conservative, has announced his candidacy for the District 2 County Commissioner seat. Rick is a hard working, thoughtful advocate of small, limited government and the rights of taxpayers who will bring some common sense and fiscal restraint to a body that currently spends, decrees, and regulates without restraint.

After years of enduring tax hikes, promotion of expensive transportation boondoggles, countless tax and fee increases, and ever-increasing government intrusion into our daily lives courtesy of the incumbents on the board, Rick's view on the proper role of government is refreshing. The "Economics 101" page on his web site states the case nicely on why most, if not all, of the current County Commissioners need to be ousted by the voters:
A government employee can turn over a dollar, but cannot create a new one. This fundamental principle is why we must carefully watch government growth, including the number of employees, the salaries and benefits. This goes for counties as well as any other level of government. Government expense is a net burden on society. Sure, some of the expense is essential such as law enforcement, the courts, roads and streets. But “right-sizing” is also essential. You don’t want too much, yet too much is exactly what is happening in government.

The job of creating new wealth is in private industry. Not government. Private industry is relied upon to lift the whole economy. Adding taxes on industry, property and individuals creates a drag on the economy.

To put it another way, the kid at Burger World, the union carpenter, the car salesman and the bank president can create wealth. Simply by being productive in their field they can pump new dollars into the economy. The government can only spend what was created by them.

Yet, many politicians (and sadly, many academics) have it exactly backward. They say adding government employees stimulates the economy. Or promise to create new government jobs as a way out of a weak economy. The longer we elect politicians who think that way, the bigger mess we make of the economy. Equally important is what happens to your tax dollar.

When government takes a hard-earned whole dollar from you, that dollar gets a haircut, no matter what it is spent on. A part goes to administration. Overhead. The bigger the overhead, the less of your hard-earned dollar goes to the intended purpose. The current commissioners either don’t understand the above, or do know it and keep carrying on as if it did not matter.

Have any of the commissioners said we must keep a lid on the number of employees hired, their salaries, their benefits? Have any made an attempt to actually cut taxes? Reduce overall expenditures year over year? No. Instead they all have gone out of their way to add taxes, spend millions more on questionable projects, and help themselves to a big boost in salary.

The only way to stop this and reverse the trend is to elect fiscal conservatives now rather than later. Or we can simply watch as our freedoms and wealth are frittered away by big government.
The current holder of the seat Rick is running for, Jan Weissner Parker, is one of those politicians who has it exactly backward. She is a very big spending, very liberal advocate of big government who has consistently voted for more government and more taxes to support it. Parker lamely attempts to hide behind a claim of "independence" while throughout her thirty year career as a professional bureaucrat voting in lockstep with the big government, high taxes policies of the DFL liberal agenda. She was one of the board's more vocal advocates of the recent sales tax increase. When I called her office to lobby against the increase she very assertively stated that the tax was "justified" as the county "really needed" the money and offered up the usual liberal crap about "fairness" and "sharing the burden". It seemed that it never occurred to her that those who earn the money might also really need it, perhaps even more so than the government.

It's long past the time to break the big government tax and spend cycle and to start getting the county government out of our pockets and our daily lives. Electing Rick Moses to replace a big spending liberal like Parker, along with Jim Schottmuller to replace the might-as-well-be-a-DFLer RINO in District 1 would be a significant step toward reigning in the Ramsey County tax and spend machine.

The first step to make this happen is to get yourself and as many of your Conservative friends as you can to the primary election on September 9th and vote for Rick in District 2 and Jim in District 1. Primary elections typically have a very small turnout, so if those of us who pay attention to and want to do something about government largesse come out in force we could could send some career bureaucrats packing early.



Anonymous Daisy said...

Rick will certainly fight to keep our taxes down by challenging the status quo into doing things economically!

He's the best thing to take on candidacy in a very long time!

Don't assume someone else will go to the primary and vote, YOU need to get yourself there and anyone else you can round up.

This is a chance that does not come by often enough, let's show our support by voting and getting others involved in this great opportunity for the citizens to be heard!

8/08/2008 6:48 PM  

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