Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Where do our tax dollars go?

I'll tell you where I think it all goes. I think it all goes to our local, state and federal governments so they can tell us how we're supposed to be living. We spend as much money on people working in government than we do on programs that are supposed to be helping people.
When are we going to let them know we've had enough?
We work now until, what, April before we're actually finished paying our tax load?
Our state and federal governments are huge.
And locally, our school districts tell us how much money they're taking from us each year to give our children a quality education. How about we start telling them how much we're going to let them spend to give our children a quality education?
When did we let our governments get so big?
It wasn't just yesterday so you can't blame Bush, which a lot of people try to do for just about everything.
I think it's about time for some accountability.
Just where do our tax dollars go?
You tell me where you think they're going and then I'll come back with another blog with some absolutely frightening numbers.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just for Starters...I have some concerns that I feel need to be addressed: Non-PA Gov. Business & Gov. Rendell's Car/Driver & actual time spent on the job (especially this year 2008, Sen./Reps. cars/Perks,Airport Ground Maintenance by PennDot and PennDot's cry "I'M Broke" when perpetual maintenance has not been their main concern - because the money will be there?? Really! That of course is another PPP on PennDot's part. As I think on this a little longer - you will hear the balance of our families concerns.

Happy to live in America said...

If you think our tax drag is bad, let's compare it to Canada or Great Britian for starters. I'm glad I don't have to pay their tax load or the price of petrol in their countries.

Anonymous said...

When people start looking at prevention instead of knee-jerk reactions, which are railroading kids into jails, then maybe the money will be well spent. There have been studies regarding children of different races being punished more than Caucasian children in school. I wasn't caught up in that, but I experienced the prejudice that I shouldn’t have when my parents' taxes were paying for my education. One teacher was reported and some action was taken, but not enough. He should have been fired for the racism he displayed in class.

And the "officials" aren't any better. Risa was finally told that she couldn't have another clerk that was described as a copier. If she would do her job instead of being a "spokesperson" for everything that happens in the county, and get the other "clerks" cross-trained, that would cut out the pork. Additionally, cross-training adds value to the job position.

Just like the GOP wants to sanction the Montco Commissioner, when Obama and others want to try to work together, those GOP people are wasting time again, and they are showing that they haven't learned their lesson. I hope more of them get voted out in the next election. And, I am waiting for Corbett to finish his "job" and root out the corrupt GOP, too. Otherwise, I am not convinced that he wasn't being biased.

111908 3:16 p.m. 0001 ssdd in Montco

Anonymous said...

How far back would you like to go to see how our Gov. became as big as it is now... The first time you/your parents/grandparents took money from the Gov. when you did not work for it is exactly when it started. The imbalance of work/production vs need will always make some people wealth and the others very poor. Think about how many cars, furniture stores and clothing/shoe stores we have.
Where where they produced? Do we really need them - the need is not there - a good saying is "enough is sufficient" - Thanks Grandmom!.

Priscilla said...

I'll tell you where all our taxes go in Pennsylvania, to our non deserving legislators. Our Senators and State Reps. get paid the second highest salary in the country. Are they worth it, hell no, how could they be. They get paid extra for every day they spend in Harrisburg and get extra pay for committee posts. They get a car lease and charge card for gas and maintenance. Now you know why they spend so much money on getting re-elected. Plus all the perks provided under the table from all these rich lobbyists. Lavish dinners, ball game tickets, theatre tickets, you name it, they got it. You won't see a lot of this on their ethics form either. Now if you have only been paying attention to Fumo's trial and how he ran the show, how powerful he was, and had everyone doing his bidding. The only ones who can change all these perks and lavish salaries are the legislators themselves. Do you see that happening? All these people who get elected are going up to Harrisburg to reform the system. After they are there a few terms they are feeding at the trough with the others. What a shame!!! Take a guess at how much of your PA taxes are wasted on all these people doing nothing for their constituents but wasting their money.

Anonymous said...

Well, you CAN blame Bush; the vast majority of our national debt was run up under three presidents: Reagan, Bush I and Bush II. But hey, let's lower taxes for everyone because that's fiscally responsible.

You know what? I hope someone decides to balance the budget, whether through budget cuts, tax increases or, most likely, both. Let's get back to true fiscal responsibility.

Anonymous said...

I am beginning to think that lisa mossie reads the same things that palin does. Her column today about having states regulate a woman's body is a waste of time and would be a waste of tax money if she thinks people are going to vote along with the radical far right religious people who want to outlaw abortion. And, she is very mistaken to throw in the comment about non-religious people. There are a lot of religious people who I know that believe it is a Woman's choice. It is my right to choose, too! Even some of the Woman's Rights foes are abandoning efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade and instead pursuing plans to assist pregnant women.

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/world_us/34728869.html

She should put her money where her mouth is and adopt a bunch of unwanted older children. And make sure to send them to college, too.

112008 11:24 a.m. 0001 ssdd in Montco

Anonymous said...

PA is a wealthy state? Well, it would seem so, because all State Senators/Reps. get a car/gas allowance ++++. It would probably help the Auto Industry if a medium price car were purchased, by the state, every four years for our Harrisburg elected officials for use on State official business (not personal). The matter of various offices that are needed to cover their districts (is/should not be)is another $$ - Try using the fax/"E" & local newspaper's -they would love to have a column on a weekly/semi monthly basis,- this would cut the use of a car and time which is $$ also.

Trooper Mary said...

Cut the number of State Senators & House Reps.in half. Would that save money, you bet your little bippie it would. Everyone sits back and gripes, how do you change the picture? Wait until you see all the Boro's and Townships contracts come up,and see what theyn are asking. All I can see is layoffs and more layoffs. People can not afford to buy food,pay their rent, how can they afford more taxes?

Someone PLEASE answer my question.

What will we do?

Anonymous said...

Where oh Where do we spend all that tax money? When a budget can not be balanced, the first thing our Govmnt. Officials in Harrisburg will say - Start layoff of clerks,maintenance, etc.(Stick it to our Taxpayers). Why not start at the top??? If our Gov. & our Representatives, that are supposed to know how to manage our state, - have a weekly cut of salary and pension until the budget is balanced this would make more sense. If, there is to be a layoff, explain how this will effect the balance of the state's budget and services. If, it is cloudy...deduct a certain % of all elected personnels salary and place it into a slush fun for those that have been working very hard for all of us, but because of the down economy & poor prior planning by our states government officials, they will no longer be needed by the State of Pennsylvania. Top to Bottom - makes sense!

Anonymous said...

Stan, after looking at a few articles in the TH and various other papers in the Tri-County Area, it appears our jails are full and there is a need to upgrade these prisons (long-/short term type). Exactly, how much is spent on each prisoner including food,housing,medical & rec. The number of people needed per prisoner to make this all happen? What type of crimes are classed #1 etc. Our District Attorney asked for a Replacement Clerk to help in her quest to get these wacos off the street and into treatment/prison asap. Now our Commissioners on the local level feel she should learn to do without while they are not willing to do the same when it comes down to their office personnel. The need to prioritize is what is needed by our State and Counties here in PA

Anonymous said...

Stan, you wrote "How about we start telling them how much we're going to let them spend to give our children a quality education?" and all I have to say is Amen. The day the voters must approve any tax increase is the day the school boards and other local governments suddenly remember how to balance a budget.

joe the nerd said...

Ok Stan,

Nice setup for the “let’s rip apart the government” rant.

How about this in Lower Providence...

No Tax Increase (ok, I’m good with that on the face of it).


However, over the last year the following occurred:

Cost of energy, at points, doubled from last year.

A long, costly legal battle was waged against its own citizens over the ARC. (It seems only the lawyers got rich).

Now, between $150,000 and $300,000 for the traffic feasibility study for the ARC (some might argue that this should have been studied long before the approval of the project). It appears this money is coming from the basic township maintenance budgets.

Add national financial crash that dropped investments through the floor.

Layoffs that should put a crimp in earned tax revenues.


All of these events taken together do not compute.

If LP was operating at optimal levels prior to this year how is it possible to absorb all of this?

Is LP getting monies from other outside sources?


Please show me the numbers…

Anonymous said...

Wondering why this comment hasn't appeared yet. I posted it on 11/24/08, but I guess you want to keep opposing views about risa out of your blog. Well, I'll just post it elsewhere, since your paper is obviously a supporter of the "dog and pony" show.

112608 3:47 a.m. to timesrisaherald.com

--------------------------------

"Our District Attorney"? No, she's not my DA. I don't agree with her or crybaby castor's way of doing business. Throwing money away is their business and the people that want to go "lock step" with the "scare tactics" are the same as president-select shrub who has taken the US economy down in the toilet with his oil war. This so-called DA needs to prioritize and have those 40 other clerks crossed-trained! Just like the Philadelphia Police Commissioner changed the so-called "elite" police forces, putting them out on regular patrols, which has resulted in a cut in the murder rate, so should this DA learn to prioritize! I know as I worked in the government and saw the "dog and pony" shows with the "scare tactics". Well, it won't play in Peoria, and it doesn't play in my book either. Tell crybaby castor to give back the $70,000 to pay for the clerk if they really need it. And, they have some savings right now as risa was able to fire a Black detective only two days after it was reported that he filed a discrimination suit.
112408 9:40 p.m. ssdd in Montco

Anonymous said...

Auto Industry/Wall Street - Can't have it both ways... High Salaries & Great Benefits for the Management Crew and the same for the Union Leaders and those working the line. We are part of the NOW Generation, meaning instant gratification - The Jones no longer exist next door, we all have more than is needed to survive and live comfortably. This is true, we just do not know how to budget what we have and maintain everything that has accumulated in our little world. Our next door neighbors "The Other Jones family" (Other Countries)does all the work for us and we sit here and complain about the cost. What a wasteful way to live and teach our children to live. We need a change!

Anonymous said...

Joe the nerd

If any one can distort the truth, it is you. The Township has a balanced budget, no tax increase, a study paid for developer, not by our twsp monies for 2009. I guess you are to busy ranting rather than watching the meetings on TV. Wake up and smell the roses. I suggest that you go visit our neigboring townships where they have have risen their taxes by 50% or more just to cover their inadequacies. Some ranting on Lower Providence- it just makes you look an a**.

Collegeville Mole said...

Thank you, Mr. Joe the Nerd: While viewing the L.P. commmunity channel on T.V. the Chairman (finally got a suit and tie)advised the public that there will be no tax increase this year. The manager suggested that the Township has not had an increase in the past five years. But, then in his second breath suggested that contracts will be reviewed for next years budget. What will the police be asking for in today's economy? Why are we hiring more policeman? Is L.P. really as bad as Philadelphia? Thank you Mr. Nerd for your update on the cost of the ARC project. Is the Chairman really buddy, buddy with the former CEO of the ARC? Please keep us advised. Thank you Mr. Huskey for your blog.

Anonymous said...

Joe the Nerd knows absolutely nothing about anything...from who the chairman's friends are to what a balanced budget looks like. Heck 'ol Joe' can't even be bothered to attend the VC committee meetings, and he's actually ON that committee.

As a Democrat he can't possibly conceive of fiscal responsibility and conservatism, of being creative in finding ways to do more with less, so he takes a sideswipe at the Township by alleging that it must be getting cash under the table? That's the only answer a D knows...the only solution they can ever come up with is that cash must be thrown at the problem. Thankfully that's not the case in LP. And he should know, the ARC litigation was waged against LP citizens, BY its 'NIMBY citizens'. It's not a fight the township picked. And by the way I don't care what our board members wear to meetings as long as they're not jacking up my taxes like the school board does. If Dininny ever wants to run for school board he's got my vote. Attire is not a political issue, don't make it one.

joe the nerd said...

To Anonymous November 27, 2008 5:12 AM

I am not distorting the truth, but asking for the truth.

I'd love to smell roses with the LP Supervisor crew, but with every 3-2 vote it smells like something else.

At least I have the ba**s to put my name to what I say.




To Anonymous November 27, 2008 10:05 PM

I haven't been on the VC committee since the beginning of the summer. I notified the Chairman of the VC Committee in person prior to one of the meetings that I was stepping down.


My point isn't about doing more with less or less with more, but it is about the fact that over the years there have been no tax increases, and recently there have been some fairly large ticket items.


It doesn't add up. Were they operating close to the bone before the ARC fight and the latest round of energy cost increases and the international financial meltdown? If they weren't then where did the money come from to give the Onerato Law firm? As energy and operating costs have gone through the roof, where's the tracking on the cash? If they were that close to the bone before, then what was sacrificed to allow all these monies to be disbursed?


You can't have it both ways. Events have conspired to allow this line of questioning. Either they were operating close to the bone before (more closely aligned with your conservative viewpoint), in which case, there should be documentation as to what was cut to make it possible to hold the line on taxes.


Or they have not been operating close to the bone in the past, allowing for the free spending on legal fees and traffic assessments. Therefore the current financial crisis would not exist gecuse the township is not that close to the bone yet. That would mean they weren't operating within YOUR conservative principles.


The money has to come from somewhere. Can you, Mr/Mrs Anonymous from November 27, 2008 10:05 PM shed light on this?


Please tell me on the township web site where the numbers are located as to the bills being paid by the township. Where on the site are the budgets over the last five years?


I am not taking sideswipes, but direct shots.


This outfit approves everything to do with the ARC, THEN decides to do the traffic study for big bucks. Are these conservative views or viewpoints? I think it is irresponsible.


Are the monies being used to fund this study being taken from basic maintenance of township resources? If so, it is irresponsible.


I think it's legit to ask.


As for your other comments:

Joe the Nerd knows absolutely nothing about anything...from who the chairman's friends are to what a balanced budget looks like.

I assume stupidity in myself and others - so I admit I don't know much.

I didn't know the chairman had friends.

You are right, I haven't seen a balanced budget - the Republicans are in control.


As a Democrat, I can conceive of financial responsibility. As a Republican, you can't. Our current financial mess was generated by the lax governmental controls applied by the current administration. When Bush II took over the financial house wasn't perfect, but it was pretty well in order compared to today. If you can't admit that, then you should be on some meds.


The NIMBY citizens you deride have some very good points. I like the ones about increased traffic (hey maybe they should study that). This is a safety issue, but that's right - you're a Republican, money first - safety later.


BTW, the 2 votes opposing the ARC all the way through are coming from supervisors who live on the other side of the township. So much for the NIMBY concept.


I agree with you that the board members should be able to wear whatever they want.


But you just feel free to take all the ad hominem shots from the shadows you like - hope you feel better...

The Fly on the wall said...

Joe the Nerd and Dininny running for the School Board, great idea.
Where do I sign on to work for that
duo. Batman and Robin are coming to Methacton. Can't wait for the primaries. The previous writer knows a lot about the Nerd, and how he sits on a committee in the Township? Instead of cutting him a new one,answer his questions. If he is wrong,advise us where. I don't care what someone wears in front of the public,it only shows what he or she thinks of themselves. If you read today's Times Herald your taxes may be stable this year, hold onto your shorts next year. 4.5% pay increases, in today's world, think about it.

joe the nerd said...

Hey Fly,
Nice Idea, but I don't do tights.

Anonymous said...

The budget process is open to the public and I believe at least one if not two public sessions were held. Did you attend? If so did you raise your questions then? If not, I don't see how you can complain now. Absent that, you can always request copies of docs from the twp. if you want to view them. You should do your homework before you go throwing allegations around and connecting dots that aren't there. Or are you channeling Hillary by claiming there is a 'vast right wing conspiracy'...?

As to traffic studies, you know the process provides for traffic studies. However nobody will, or should have to, do them before they start the formal land development process. That's putting the cart before the horse. Why would anyone spend $ for that before knowing if their plan was acceptable or compliant in other ways? Besides traffic studies are usually required anyway as part of the process, so you might end up doing it twice. And all approvals are, as you must surely know by now, conditional upon a number of things, traffic solutions often being one of them. As for ARC it's been well publicized in the TH that they gave an additional $3M beyond what they are required to pay in impact fees. When's the last time you ever heard of a developer doing that? The ARC folks are at least putting their money where their mouth is when they say they want to be good neighbors.

Just like with the CVS/Commerce developments 3 or 4 yrs ago, where some people alleged traffic would be made worse (and I believe you were one of them) the few people opposed to the ARC project think traffic will be horrible because of ARC. The twp just won a design award from the county for the CVS project. I suspect the ARC project will turn out the same way - much better than some people think it will.

Last, if I use my real name, half of you wouldn't believe I am who I say I am anyway. You'll have to trust me on that one.

Anonymous said...

You can't and will not use your REAL name because you don't know what in the He-- your talking about. Apparently you do not sit at the intersection of CVS and Commerce Bank in the morning and evening rush hours. The ARC issue is another JOKE,nobody gives something for nothing. And the only one I trust, is the one on the back of my paper money. I will sign my name the same as you. You figure it out. You do sound like a Township Official.

Anonymous said...

12/1/08 Blogger:


There is not doubt you are a township official, either elected or appointed, because of your biased bragging about the township award for the CVS project. If you recall correctly it was the actiond of the Friends Of Lower Providence(FLP) that enabled the township to receive that award. If FLP din't get involved you would have had the Audubon Inn torn down and a monstrosity of a CVS building erected in it's place. You should thank the good folks at FLP for making you look good as a township official.
A Friend of FLP
Audubon,Pa

Stan said...

Joe,

Please re-read the origiinal post. I am not in any way anti-government. I am, however, anti-big-government. Why in the world can you not stay on topic? I didn't start the post with Joe the Nerd has no idea what he is talking about and he's against the government and he's a flaming liberal and ... so why do you want to turn the post into a personal attack? If you don't think the government is too big just say so and state your reasons why. You can leave the snide comments at the door.

Anonymous said...

Big Government worry goes back to Eisenhower's days - We all need to stop asking for the gold spoon and settle for flatware and work until we are capable of using wisely the gold spoon.

Anonymous said...

So by your reckoning, only 'township officials' would brag about this community? It's a great place to live. I read my newspaper and newsletters like anyone else & recall that FLP did nothing but sue the developer and get a dumpster moved. And watched them take credit when the dust settled and all their gloom and doom predictions didn't come true. By your reasoning only sore losers with an axe to grind would be complaining ABOUT the township, but I'm sure that's not the case, is it?

Anonymous said...

Blogger 12/12/08:
How can one person be so wrong about an organization. If you would care to do a little research(assuming you are capable), you would discover that the Friends of Lower Providence(FLP) did much more than sue the developer and have a dumpster moved. This group managed to save an historic structure doomed for destruction and forced the developer to reduce the size of the CVS building by many thousand square feet to prevent an eyesore in Audubon among other things. Out of curosity in which capacity do you serve politically, the BOS or ZHB? Your blog was not one from a normal township resident.
Celtic Slayer

Anonymous said...

TAKE A TRIP TO HARRISBURG....SEE
IF YOU ARE ABLE TO PICK AN EMPLOYEE
All the people walking around are mostly....employees. It just blew my mind. "America at WORK"

Fed up- But who cares? said...

Stan, After Sunday's article on Methacton's 7.3% tax hike how about a question on that subject.

These people are looney tunes, with the economy in the shape it's in where do these loonies think the money is coming from.

The seniors get a 5% increase in social security, medicare takes 4% in an increase, our cost of living goes up 6%, I guess the school district will take our house next.

When in God's name will it end?

How about the superintendent taking a cut.

How about the teachers paying their own health care.

Discontiue all sports programs. When was the last time a student got a scholarship in Baseball, Football etc.

And the new school being built at Arcola what a joke, I guess someone will get there name on the front of the building, ego,ego.

Jim said...

I feel the stimulus package offered by the president is the wrong thing to do. Let the companies survive on their own. Do you want to help the auto and banking industries? Make interest on auto loans be a tax deduction. That will help kick start the econony.

UNBELIVABLE said...

Hey Stan. How about $177,000 to teach someone in a liquor store to smile and say thank you. Move the booze to a grocery store,drug store, or even your local shoe repair store, how about the barber shop, my barber always says THANK YOU. Hey 700 hundred applications for a janitors job, have someone from the State visit these State Stores and if the cleck is not polite fire his butt. WAIT, their union, they don't have to smile.