BY: HOOD RICHARDSON
We had the roaring 20’s during the twentieth century. We are back to the roaring 20’s in the twenty first century. Does history repeat itself? They say if you are dumb enough not to learn from past mistakes you are sure to repeat them.
At the moment there is plenty of money everywhere. People are spending it. That is a major cause of our present inflation. The Federal Government has pumped prosperity to all of us.
The County budget for the coming physical year, which begins on July 1 of 2022, was approved by a 5 to 2 vote on June 6. Commissioners Frankie Waters, Jerry Langley, Randy Walker, Ed Booth and John Rebholz not only accepted the proposed Manager’s budget but increased it! Happy Days are sure to follow…for some, but not the taxpayers.
Someone who follows political things asked me why there was so little controversy and why no one showed up at the public hearing to complain,. As long as everyone is getting all the money they think they need, no one will show up to complain. One person did speak publicly at the public hearing on the budget. That was candidate Tandy Dunn who requested that spending be reduced along with taxes.
This was an unusual budget. I have now been through 25 of them. The Board of Commissioners spent less than ten hours going over the budget. That is a record-breaking short time to spend 67 million dollars in the general fund plus money for the water department and several additional things. The majority could find almost nothing to shave back.
You, the taxpayer, purchased a new farm tractor at a cost of $60,000 so you can plant test seed plots for seed companies, not only in Beaufort County but other counties. This, with contractors who do this work living in Beaufort County. Government is competing with the private sector. I believe this is called socialism or maybe even corruption.
Two deputies were added to the sheriff’s department. The new sheriff is not here yet and no one requested additional deputies. The gang of five thought this was a good idea to have two additional deputies who could rush to a school shooting if we were to have one. It is hard to believe what I just wrote but it is true. The cost about $160,000. Although the current Sheriff has provided little or no hard data upon which to base a decision that two more deputies are needed, it is my understanding that they are having a hard time filling the positions they have already been allocated.
We hired a communications director, actually a Minister of Propaganda. He/she is going to keep you informed about what you should know and think about what some moronic commissioner really meant when they made that stupid statement. The cost, $95,000.
Then there is the 5 percent increase in salary for everyone who works for the county. Those who voted for this said this is because inflation is running high and we need to look after our employees. The average inflation during the past year is less than 5 percent. Did you get your 5 percent increase? In case no one has looked lately, government employees are paid more than private employees for the same kind of work. Government employees have much more job security than those who earn the money to pay taxes. The cost: one million dollars.
One million dollars in scholarships was given to the Beaufort County Community College. At the present time illegal aliens will be able to use these scholarships. The commissioners put no conditions on who is eligible to use this money.
We increased the school budget by about $600,000. The school enrollment is estimated to drop by another hundred students this year. We are now less than 6,000. Our peak enrollment about 6 years ago was more than 7,000. Spending has gone up each year, not down. During the past two years the school system received more than 20 million dollars in covid money. No reason was given for the increased spending.
Bear in mind that all government employees, during the past two years have received bonuses. The small[est I can remember is $1,000. How long can this money last? It all looks like free government money. Someday all of us will pay, it is not free.
We are spending 5.6 million dollars more during the coming year than we spent last year.
One of the things that made this increased spending attractive to these five liberals is that a way was found to spend more money and not raise taxes. Here is how they did it. About two million is coming from increased sales taxes, about one half million is coming from increased tax values and new construction during the past year, and the rest is coming from the fund balance or our savings. Another way to look at “fund balance” is that they actually taxed the People more than was needed last year. Read that again and let it sink in.
This kind of reasoning about funding is heavily flawed but is loved by liberals. The flaw is we have limited fund balance. What if sales taxes decline and what if we go into a recession? In a recession, people will not be able to pay their taxes, or construct new buildings. We will have to seriously deplete our savings. Most financial advisors are now recommending that everyone prepare for a recession by cutting spending and reducing debt or building liquid savings.
Like all liberal Democrats, these guys are betting the Federal Reserve will continue to print money and place it in the “right” hands to keep us prosperous. No one has yet figured out how to keep these financial Ponzi schemes going. This one will crash and burn like all the others thorough out history.
Until the 1970’s, our money was backed up with gold. President Nixon took us off the Gold Standard because we had printed more money than we had gold. Americans, by law, could not own gold, but foreigners could trade their dollars for gold . Fort Know was being emptied.
What is the value of dollar? Have we now printed so many, the dollar has no real value? The world is slowly realizing our currency has no value. Both China and Russia are plotting to topple the dollar. Toppling the dollar will lead to either super inflation or deflation depending on how our “wise” Federal Reserve Board handles it.
Beaufort County, in 1929, went bankrupt as did about 60 percent of the towns and counties in North Carolina. Because of the State Treasurer and the Local Government Commission keeping controls on borrowing, Beaufort County is not at serious risk of defaulting on loans. We do not owe a lot of money. We may not fail because of our debt but wild inflation or deflation can still destroy us. Commissioners should protect the public’s wealth by spending less money.
I have mixed national fiscal policy issues with local, and many people do not recognize the difference. But one thing is for sure: Inflation is a hidden tax. Government, at the local level is not exempt. The additional spending this budget represents has an impact on the local economy. We would see it much more if it were not for Nutrien paying a huge portion of the tax bill in Beaufort County. But not one commissioner asked how this spending would impact Nutrien and other large taxpayers, many of whom are agribusiness entities. The issue is whether the People would be better off by allowing these businesses to invest more money or prevent some from going under. I believe the private sector makes better decisions than government does. Thus, when you pull 67 million dollars out of the local economy, everyone stands to lose. None of this fiscal impact was discussed by these commissioners. It was just: “we’ve got the money, let’s spend it.”
Fake Frankie Waters was the leader of the pack in installing the present budgeting system called “continuation budgeting.” After all he was a banker!!! Actually, continuation budgeting is not a budgeting system at all. It works by taking the last budget and adding the new wants, desires, and expansions. This is the laziest and most ineffective form of budgeting possible. Corrections and adjustments are not made for past mistakes and things that are no longer needed. It guarantees increased spending every year. It promotes and perpetuates the incompetence of all employees and commissioners. Proof of this is that the Board of Commissioners never discussed a single item of reduced spending in this budget. For the taxpayer, continuation budgeting means that once spending is increased you pay for not only the latest increase, but you pay for all of the cumulative increases in the past. The alternative is some sort of “base budgeting” that sets a base from previous years and then prioritizes the new or expansion items. In Beaufort County’s method of budgeting the base is always the highest it can be. Department heads are not incentivized to operate efficiently. In fact, the opposite is true. Department head know they must spend more each year in order to get more the next year. It is a system that is built on greed (more, more, more spending) rather than efficiency or needs.
We increased spending 14 percent this year. Think about that. Did your income go up 14%? As long as Fake Frankie Waters and his liberal buddy, John Rebholz, are in office, and they continue to partner with the Democrats, Jerry Langley and Ed Booth, all spending and county taxes will continue to rise rapidly.
Fake Frankie Waters is running for Commissioner this year. He cannot afford to vote to increase taxes. But, he did vote to not lower taxes two times during the past four months. His “caring heart” is in your pocket book.
Isn’t it about time we select a conservative County Commission and give them a chance to see what they can do, other than just spending more and more of other people’s money?
Vote conservative in November!
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