Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

To the Editor:

Last week, meetings were held for three of the five Bourbon County executive boards that have been granted taxing authority by citizens of the county. In all three meetings, decisions were made by elected board members to keep current tax rates the same as last year and not raise levies. We who attended those meetings as concerned citizens were gratified at the decisions made but remain convinced that our taxes at all levels are still much too high in light of the severe recession/Depression or just plain "hard times" that all Americans face in this current prolonged and severe economic crisis.

How can this be? Taxes weren't raised this year so all should be fine, right? Wrong.

There are five compelling reasons to have the decisions made this year carry over with certainty for many years to come until the citizens catch up and are able to keep, in justice, a fair share of their hard earned wages. We must regain some semblance of control over our own financial well-being and freedom.

* The debt level for families, governmental entities, businesses, etc., are at all-time highs and going up. For example, for every dollar the federal government spends in our name it must first borrow 40 to 45 cents from someone in order to pay that one dollar. That someone will bill our children at a later date for the principal and interest on our debt run up by our politicians today.

* The value of the greenback created by the Federal Reserve in 1913 has fallen from 100 cents then to a mere 4 cents today. That collapse in purchasing power is known as inflation which has destroyed the value of savings for all of us who are on fixed incomes, i.e., the retired elderly, disabled, unemployed and under employed which today are at post- Depression highs. It doesn't help us to understand the severity of inflation when our government deliberately removes food, medical costs, education, energy and taxes from their calculations of the CPI (Consumer Price Index) which are in turn used to figure our Social Security checks from year to year.

* The median income for men in the U.S. has fallen 28 percent since 1970 and is continuing to fall.

* The tax on the productive segment of the middle class is skyrocketing. Earned income between $35,000 and $110,000 for families or individuals is taxed at a rate approaching 75 percent not counting the cruelest tax of all, inflation, running at 10 percent when all goods and services are fairly calculated. How can this be, that we allow our productive working families to suffer outrageous taxation? Well property tax, sales tax, state tax, Social Security and Medicare taxes, Obamacare tax (Some $2.6 trillion over next 15 years or so), excise taxes on roads, energy including gasoline, communications, cell phones, licensing fees, user fees, registration fees for cars and inflation, etc., all add up to that figure. This huge tax burden on productive citizens, many struggling to raise families is tragic and unjust.

* The Fed/Treasury departments have reduced the interest rates in order to cut government expenses, especially entitlement outlays. This sleight of hand lowers the rate banks pay savers on their CDs to less than 1/2 percent from the anticipated 4, 5, or 6 percent rate retirees were expecting to get on their hard earned retirement savings.

This country's citizens are in financial peril.

Our standard of living has been falling for decades due in part to an overreaching Public Sector which somehow feels entitled to control us in all areas of our lives while taking ever more of our own earnings and going into ever deeper debt. Many economists have called this a Ponzi scheme where those at the top of the pyramid, the cultural and political ruling class prosper and the rest of us including our children and grand children lose and suffer.

Unless we wake up and arm ourselves with a true picture of our condition and inform our fellow citizens of the already catastrophic state of our personal and national financial health and freedom, we will continue to be looked upon by our governmental elites as sheep to be shorn.

Please talk to your children, friends and families and come to the future meetings of the boards elected to operate our public agencies and tell them, "Please stop, we've no more to give." These boards include the five taxing entities of Bourbon County: County Commission, City Commission, Community College Board, USD 234 and USD 235 school district boards. While many great citizens have worked tirelessly on our behalf over the generations and are quality board members, human nature being what it is gradually tends to direct their loyalty and attention to the perceived needs of the institutions themselves and overlook their stewardship obligation to the taxpayers who charter and fund their operation. If they don't listen, we should fire the present administrators and managers and elect wise and prudent stewards to represent us.

Gerald Kerr, M.D.

Fort Scott