Thursday, June 29, 2006

What Matters Most To You?

Its Still Those Stupid Taxes, But -- Surprise -- Not "How Much," Rather, "What For"

"...And here’s a really interesting result from the poll. We asked people whether they were more concerned about how much they pay in taxes, or how government spends their money. Sixty-eight percent said it’s the how, not the how much, that really irks them. Just 31 percent said it’s how much they pay. ..."

Not that we put much trust in public opinion polls -- or that the public's opinion (does the public have an opinion?) matters much to those elected to serve, but some interesting facts and figures have emerged from a recent poll conducted by the Center for Governmental Research.

The poll asked 2492 New Yorkers "What do you think is the greatest issue facing New York that a governor could do something about?"

Of course, that's a rather loaded question. Is there ANYTHING that a governor of the Empire State could -- or would -- do something about?

But we digress.

As reported in Tension in New York over Taxes, while 20% of those polled were most concerned about taxes [followed by Education (19%), and Jobs (10%)], a resounding 68% of those responding to the poll said how their tax dollars were being spent was more of an issue than how much they were paying in taxes. [When the poll results were tabulated by region, 33% of Long Islanders answered Taxes.]

Hey, what do they know?

The obvious conclusion, though never addressed directly in the poll [that's fodder for another poll, and another million dollars in grant money to the pollster], is to eliminate (or at least consolidate) the "how," which will, in turn, make the "how much" that much less of a burden.

Consolidate school districts, sanitary districts, fire districts. Eliminate patronage, unfunded mandates, and services that are duplicated on multiple levels. Cut waste, find and prosecute fraud, and stop the flow of tax dollars to special interests and private institutions.

Wow! We think we already save a few billion right there!

When some 83% of New Yorkers say that our State government is doing a poor job in keeping taxes low, you've got a real problem on your hands. With few real solutions in the hopper, and the delusional vortex in Albany sucking the wind out of sound ideas worthy of discussion and debate (as in, "Why solve pressing issues when you can simply throw money at them?"), the problems are bound to only get worse.

So what's the answer to our tax woes? Easy. Conduct a couple of polls, put a rebate check in the mail, and call your State legislators in November!

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