As the dust begins to settle following last week’s election fallout, some of our leaders are beginning to figure out what it meant. Many members of Congress, particularly the new ones, understand that there is a strong national mood for putting away the national credit card and cut spending. And although there are still many who believe this is not the case, there are not enough of them to take us all on the next round of the shopping frenzy.
All of this will have a powerful trickledown effect. Our local politicians will be getting less pork from Washington, and they will squeal more and more about unfunded mandates, and they will be looking for more ways to tax you directly for government services. In other words, we will no longer get away with believing that someone else, somewhere, will be paying for our services with someone else’s money.
This is why we need local leaders who will make the tough decision to tighten the city’s belt. The days of getting extra money from Washington or the State of Florida are numbered. State and Federal subsidies have helped city hall disguise its careless growth of government services in the past, but not much longer. We, as Gainesville residents, will soon have to come to terms with what we can really afford to do here.
When I see our city busses trundling around town empty, or with only 2 passengers, I want to find a creative solution to this problem. We have these large, air-conditioned, diesel-belching vehicles doing the work of a single taxicab, and I wonder how we can replace some of these wasteful behemoths with 15-passenger vans. Our bus system burns over 2,500 gallons of diesel fuel per day. I am sure we can do better than this. But we won’t as long as we believe there is someone, somewhere else, that can be taxed to pay for it. Before long, it will be YOU who will shoulder the burden of all of it.