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Let's re-evaluate how government spends our cash
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Those on the left talk a lot demonizing corporations and those who run them. They say they ruin life for the little person. But let's be real: the U.S. and state governments do more harm to more Americans than corporations combined.

The government is replete with bureaucrats and elected officials who believe in widespread government control and soaking the little guys with taxes, spending money like there is no end in sight and caring little about downsizing. Why shouldn't we expect our government to cut back as we are? It's time to re-examine how we're spending money and why we spend the way we do.

What would you think of a restaurant that charges $1.25 for a meal which actually cost $14 to $16 to make? You'd say it was nuts - and it is. You'd ask how long it would take for them to go out of business. So why then would we find it acceptable that government charges a person $1.25 to take a ride on the Dial-A-Ride bus in Ceres but it costs taxpayers anywhere from $14.08 (in January 2010) to a high of $16.78 (June 2009) to cover the rest of the expense? Or that a ride on the Ceres fixed route bus system is subsidized at a rate of $7.77 to $9.34 per ride?

I realize some residents can't drive themselves or even own a car to make it to doctor's appointments, pick up prescriptions, go shopping or get to work. I understand that. But what did people do for rides in the 1950s and 1960s in Ceres? Do you think they called someone they knew who had the means? Neighbors and churches looked out for neighbors and didn't need an inefficient government that is wasting money paying for rides given by strangers.

So every year the city applies to StanCOG for state tax money to run this public transit system. I know city officials will say, "We're only getting our share of the tax revenue pie." I understand that mentality. But what I'm critical of is the fact that all the state expects to capture in the fare box is a mere 10 percent of the cost of running the system! Imagine if we all spent our household dollars with the expectation that we only bring in 10 percent income of what we spend. We'd call that insanity. It is insanity for the government to do the same and it should stop.

Here's another one for you. The city of Ceres has obtained gobs of federal non-motorized project money to build a bicycle path along Hatch Road. So far the grand total of the project is $730,501. That's $233,363 for the first phase, from Mitchell Road with Moffet Road; $220,138 for phase II from Moffet to the TID substation; and $277,000 to finish the path from Moffet to Central Avenue (and putting a section of canal underground in a pipe so bikes don't have to ride through water). So we have three-quarter of a million dollars spent on a 10-foot strip of asphalt for which few people will use. Like one "Sound Off!" caller aptly complained in April, isn't there already a way to ride a bicycle down Hatch Road on the north side of the road? Do we really need to be spending millions on all these non-motorized project funds that probably won't be used by very many people at all? I can see those dollars being put to better use building road infrastructure.

You can't really fault city officials for taking what is offered them, no more than you could blame a kid for crying "gimmee, gimmee" as an adult is holding a Popsicle over his/her head on a hot summer day. The problem is that government offers the treats, in a figurative sense, for which we were forced to pay.

Three quarters of a million wasted in Ceres, another $1 million in Tumbleweed, Arizona, a half million here in Decatur, Illinois, $2 million in Joplin, Mo. It all adds up to a lot of money extracted from our pockets. Ask yourself if your life is greatly enhance by all this kind of wasteful spending?

Times are not good in this country. We no longer have the luxury of turning government loose and doing as they see fit and spending money on things that we really cannot afford. The old ways of spending money like drunken sailors must be stopped and questioned. The American family cannot support the burden of taxes it carries. The truth is that taxing anything curtails that activity. Tax business and stymie business. If you tax people, they are unable to spend their money on things, which would ordinarily sell and employee more people.

I have a better idea: Quit burdening all of us with taxes in the first place. Let us keep more of our money so we can buy those cars and spend less time at work - to pay the tax debt. Our economy will resum and we'll have more free time so that we can offer those rides to people who are less fortunate. Or have more disposable money so we can buy a bag of groceries for our jobless neighbor.

Why can't we decide whom to help and how?

How do you feel? Let Jeff by e-mailing him at