Sequestration – I’ve Seen This Before   Leave a comment

Back in 1990 (I think), the voters of Fairbanks, Alaska, decided to hold our city government to fiscal conservativism. We voted in a citizen’s initiative that capped taxes at a certain mill level. The City wailed that it was going to devastate the budget. Drunks wouldn’t just be sleeping in snowbanks, but climbing into our beds and dogs would start mating with cats. Oh, my!

That winter, 12 feet of snow (about three times normal) fell. It felt like it snowed every day for six months. We shoveled twice a day and ran out of room to put it all (snow doesn’t melt here in Interior Alaska, so that was 12 feet ON THE GROUND). The City responded by saying “well, the tax cap means budget constraints. So sorry, but we can’t plow the streets.”

We marshaled through. Our initiatives have to be renewed every two years, so the next winter was a big snow year too (Mt. Penatuba blew up) and they said the same thing. In the run up to the renewal election, they told us that they were desperate for funds and we’d just have to live with the current road budget if we voted to renew the tax cap.

The tax cap is still in place and our roads get plowed every winter. The public works director got tired for explaining why they weren’t plowing and an audit showed there was plenty of money and ….

Yeah, sequestration … it’s not scary at all. Sure, they’ll shut down the Washington Monument and if you go to Yellowstone you may need to pee in the woods (preferably to the bathrooms in my opinion), but after the initial freakout, they’ll come to the realization that people aren’t buying it and they’ll have to find a new way to manipulate us.

Remember that as you’re peeing in the woods. The pendulum always swings. Just when you think things are set in stone, it starts going back the other way. A wise woman by the name of Kathleen “Mike” Dalton said that. And, she was right.

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