Milwaukee aldermen could vote Tuesday on a no-bid $24,000 contract for a lobbyist to help speed action on a modern streetcar line downtown.
Just so we’re clear: $24,000 is an annual salary for a low-level full time staffer downtown answering citizen calls. Or an annual salary’s worth of tax money stripped from businesses and citizens in Milwaukee. The municipal government is spending this money in an attempt to get Federal money for its next money sinkhole–a streetcar line in Milwaukee will undoubtedly require annual subsidies to run.
I read in an editorial that the Christian County library spent $50,000 on its recent ballot initiative for a tax increase. That’s a couple librarians or a couple dozen computers it threw away.
I don’t think governments should spend money on the following, ever:
- Advertising for tax increases. I mean, they’re showing profligacy and poor money management with the existing tax revenue they have if they throw it into four color mailers and neat signage. I notice that Greene County has started putting up signs along roads it would improve if the quarter cent sales tax wasn’t sunsetting. Please. Spend the existing money better.
- Lobbying for more share of revenue from higher governments. The whole game of getting “free” money from the state or Federal government is unseemly as it is. Spending money to get that money is a bit like gambling.
- Suing other governments or taxing districts for a bigger share of money. I hate it when the taxpayer is on the hook for all three sides of this story (two sets of attorneys plus the actual judiciary). Win or lose, taxpayers lose.
- Advertising their services. I listen to radio on the Internet, so I get a steady diet of PSAs advertising the services of various agencies, but I also hear them on the regular radio, too. If you have to advertise for your service, it’s probably superfluous. And the regional drinking-and-driving ads drive me crazy. The state gets money from the Federal government to spend on the ads, so instead of a single PSA, you get your state highway patrol cutting its own ads. Which takes a cop out of a car or from behind a desk for a day in addition to inefficiently spending money to let citizens know that the government will enforce a law.
The fact that the impoverished (ask them about how they don’t have enough money to do what Must Be Done) governments can spend money on these things proves that there’s too much tax money slush sloshing around in their buckets as it is.