Archive for March, 2015

Postscript To Fear And Politics

March 31, 2015

In the previous blog post Analysis found the Balanced Budget Amendment championed by Ohio’s governor to be rather disingenuous. Analysis showed that, given the constituted institution of American Government, with the power of sovereignty including the minting of money so that the government could meet its obligations, the Balanced Budget Amendment would abdicate that sovereignty in favor of the priority and precedence of accumulated wealth. A recent New York Times article on the Trans Pacific Partnership confirms the interest in rule by amassed capital over that of individual government (Trans-Pacific Partnership Seen as Door for Foreign Suits Against U.S. by Jonathan Weismanmarch, March 25, 2015). Little is know about the TPP as exemplified by the leaked portion obtained by the NY Times “The chapter in the draft of the trade deal, dated Jan. 20, 2015, and obtained by The New York Times in collaboration with the group WikiLeaks, is certain to kindle opposition from both the political left and the right. The sensitivity of the issue is reflected in the fact that the cover mandates that the chapter not be declassified until four years after the Trans-Pacific Partnership comes into force or trade negotiations end, should the agreement fail.” “Under the terms of the Pacific trade chapter, foreign investors could demand cash compensation if member nations “expropriate or nationalize a covered investment either directly or indirectly.” Opponents fear “indirect expropriation” will be interpreted broadly, especially by deep-pocketed multinational companies opposing regulatory or legal changes that diminish the value of their investments. Included in the definition of “indirect expropriation” is government action that “interferes with distinct, reasonable investment-backed expectations,” according to the leaked document.” President Obama and those promoting TPP want the treaty “fast tracked” through the US legislature. That is, essentially, voted up or down with no discussion (how could they since the treaty terms themselves, defined within and by the treaty, cannot be revealed until 4 years after passage?). “Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a member nation would be forbidden from favoring “goods produced in its territory.” Critics say the text’s definition of an investment is so broad that it could open enormous avenues of legal challenge. An investment includes “every asset that an investor owns or controls, directly or indirectly, that has the characteristic of an investment,” including “regulatory permits; intellectual property rights; financial instruments such as stocks and derivatives”; construction, management, production, concession, revenue-sharing and other similar contracts; and “licenses, authorizations, permits and similar rights conferred pursuant to domestic law.”” In accord with Kasich’s desires for the US government to be beholden to amassed capital, the TPP would allow for corporate interests to sue the US when the corporation’s investment expectations may be threatened by any US government action or policy (federal, state, or local). According to the terms of the TPP, should the suit prevail, payout would be in the national currency of the foreign litigant, not in that which the US Constitution specifies the US Government use to meet its obligations (international corporations have nationality?). As Analysis has shown, the Balanced Budget Amendment is an equally disguised attempt to replace the sovereignty of the rule of government by the American citizenry with that of amassed wealth.


Fear And Politics

March 26, 2015

Reporting on the 2015 Fairfield County State of the County Address Carl Burnett of the Lancaster Eagle Gazette gives a glimpse of reaction to the recent Buckeye Lake Damn issue (Commissioner: Fear fuels Buckeye Lake discussion, 3-25-15). The caption under the online lead off photo (by Burnett) reads “Fear is driving political discourse locally and leadership is needed to drive decision-making from the fear-mongers, Fairfield County Commissioner Steve Davis said.” In the body of the report Burnett writes “”Fear is in control today,” Davis said.” A little further on “”What would be nice is if leaders would lead now and begin to take control of the situation instead of allowing fear to control the conduct of the residents and business owners of the region,” Davis said. “If leaders are going to regain control of this situation, they have to educate people on what is real, imagined and what people should be concerned about and what you should not be concerned about.”” Do tell.

There has been a run on armor piercing bullets recently, ostensibly precipitated by rumor that an executive directive would restrict their sale. Hoarding is a mandatory prerequisite of gun ownership. Or perhaps gun owners are justifiably worried that some Ram pick up truck might stage a home invasion and rape their refrigerator. Then again, maybe their refrigerator might turn on them.

“”If leaders are going to regain control of this situation, they have to educate people on what is real, imagined and what people should be concerned about and what you should not be concerned about.””

“Davis made reference to warnings about an “8-foot wall of water from a 6-foot lake,” and noted Gov. John Kasich mentioned a 10-foot wall of water.” The undeclared presidential aspirant has himself been making the rounds of early primary states touting the benefits of a balanced budget amendment. Analysis will leave this to the reader’s discernment as to whether this is about money or branding and marketing (or maybe both!). An online exposé of John the governator by Andrew Romano for Yahoo News opens a window on a possible answer (Could John Kasich be the GOP’s secret weapon in 2016? At least John Kasich thinks so, 3-23-15). “By the time he left Congress, he’d already lined up a pair of prominent gigs: one at Lehman Brothers and another at Fox News.” A little further on “I [John Kasich] said, ‘I really want to learn the business, and I want to be a banker.’” Currently, under the US Constitution, the US Government IS the bank. That is, it is constitutionally authorized to create the money to meet its obligations, unlike many of the countries within the EU who have opted for a common currency (the Euro), thus pledging allegiance to a central bank and its terms. Some countries, like Poland or England, belong to the EU but have retained their own currency. That is, like the US they can create their own money to meet their obligations. Yes, it is true that their money , like our own, can become more or less valuable within the world currency exchange. With the countries on the Euro, their internal economies are bound by the common currency (the Euro). This is likewise true internally for countries having their own currency (like Russia, Poland, England, Israel or Iran).Countries on the Euro must abide by the Central bank’s terms with regard their budgets. Countries with their own currencies, created to meet their government’s obligations, don’t and chug along just fine. With global capitalism this can present certain un-pleasantries and inconveniences, such as with the marketing of a brand like Mercedes which wants its product to sell at the exact same price anywhere on the planet. The balanced budget amendment creates an allegiance to something other than the citizens which comprise the “democracy” part of our representative democracy form of government. Essentially it creates a monarchy of sorts (in this case, the sovereignty of capital accumulation). That is, it pledges allegiance to something other than what currently is the US Constitution’s authority to mint money (to meet the government’s obligation). With the Buckeye Lake Damn repair, it is a matter of the state government issuing bonds (which is what the governator proposes). The federal government does the same, promising to meet its obligations (and buy back mature savings bonds, treasury notes, etc.). With a balanced budget amendment, it is only if the king (the accumulation of wealth) agrees the money is there, that the damn will get fixed. Austerity is a fear that there will not be enough when the future arrives. The creators of the US Constitution addressed this fear by rejecting monarchy and instituting the government of the people (democracy) as the autonomous bank (with the citizens as the banker), something not lost on anyone desiring to be the banker.

“”If leaders are going to regain control of this situation, they have to educate people on what is real, imagined and what people should be concerned about and what you should not be concerned about.””

Take A Peek At The Right To Look Today

March 21, 2015

This week, Analysis would like to revisit the right to look, something not guaranteed by the US Constitution or Bill of Rights. Looking is the most natural and spontaneous activity of the human body (a vestigial defense response still genetically imprinted for human survival?). It is not considered a right within the US representative democracy. Please, check your spontaneity at the door! The online Newark Advocate shows an “Editorial; Better late than never for Buckeye Lake (3-21-15). After the Governor’s press conference re; that damn issue, the Advocate cites the projected cost of repair – $125-$150 million (given the Corps’ track record, probably significantly more). The editorial board then does something quite extraordinary and out of character, it actually looks. “But his own Ohio Department of Natural Resources director was quoted three years ago saying the problem had grown critical and something must be done.” But (for the sake of modesty?) the board doesn’t linger in its looking. Speaking on the 3-20-15 Columbus On The Record, WOSU’s Ann Fisher unabashedly stated that three years ago the ODNR’s figures for that tier 1 critical damn repair were half of what is given today (same ODNR that issues permits for fracking). Ann exercises her unconstitutional right to look. John the governator is quick to lobby nationwide for a balanced budget amendment. Given a contingency, he is just as prone to forsake the balancing act and borrow money to keep that damn issue from bursting his presidential aspirations (the state issuing bonds is a “politically correct” way of saying “borrowing money”, as someone waaaay in the future will be paying it off). But the right to look slips into the “legislated” right to look ever so perniciously. Practically innocuous is what Michael McAuliff reports via the Huffington Post (3-19-15, “Republicans Vote To Hide Costs Of Repealing Obamacare In Budget”). In a trying bit of reporting, McAuliff reports on the convoluted effort by the Senate Budget Committee to hide the added deficit to eliminate the Affordable Care Act while including its projected revenues within the GOP’s proposed deficit busting budget (“repealing Obamcare would add $210 billion to the deficit.”). “”We have a point of order in the budget for anything that adds to the deficit, but we have a section that specifically excludes the Affordable Care Act from that,” [Senator Debbie] Stabenow said. “So think about it. This budget is conceding the fact that the Affordable Care Act has reduced the deficit, and repealing the law would increase the deficit.” Stabenow also alluded a related problem the GOP budget ignores: At the same time that it instructs Congress to come up with a repeal, it continues to count all the revenue that the Affordable Care Act is expected to raise — and which the government wouldn’t collect if the law is dismantled.” But wait, there’s so much more. After having prostituted the US congress, and pulling a George Bush “So what?” in regards to his pre election negation of a two state solution re; Palestine and Israel, Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu virtually won reelection in the recent Parliamentary campaign. As an aside re: the right to look, Harry Shearer (on le Show) ran a recording of the Bibi sitter’s address to congress back in January of 2002 when Netanyahu spelled out how much better off the mid east would be if Saddam Hussein were toppled by US military invasion. The day after his recent electoral triumph, some online pundit headlined that the US is following the lead of Israel, reflects what is happening there. How can this be, you say? The AP’s Ryan J. Foley headlines “Bills would limit access to officer body camera videos” (3-20-15). “IOWA CITY, Iowa – State legislators are pushing to make it much harder to release police officer body camera videos, undermining their promise as a tool people can use to hold law enforcement accountable. Lawmakers in at least 15 states have introduced bills to exempt video recordings of police encounters with citizens from state public records laws, or to limit what can be made public.” “Absent public-records protections, these police decisions can be unilateral and final in many cases.” “The Kansas Senate voted 40-0 last month to exempt the recordings from the state’s open-records act. Police would only have to release them to people who are the subject of the recordings and their representatives, and could charge them a viewing fee. Kansas police also would be able to release videos at their own discretion.” The elderly may (or may not) remember what it was like in the days prior to cameras on phones and the disruptive technology of hand held video recorders. For even a minor traffic violation, the state’s only witness needed to be the arresting officer. On the stand, whatever came out of his mouth was considered irreproachable fact. Currently several US states also have legislation pending that outlaws bystanders recording officers engaged in police activity.

“Move along now. Nothing more to see here.”

Ya Basta!

March 15, 2015

An inaudible gasp assaults those traversing Newark. It is the unvoiced silent scream of “Ya Basta!” (Enough already). The cry is inaudible because it is unexpressed. It is unexpressed because it is covered over, bandaged up by all the store signs, commercial ads, billboards, digital signage offering, promising, promoting something better. The “enough already” is not voiced by the people of these residential neighborhoods experienced mainly through a windshield. It is an anguished cry, almost a plea, unspoken but experienced everyday. “Why must what is here always be considered inadequate? What happened to good enough? Why must there always be a priority with something better, something else?” This cry, this plea, paraphrasing Star Trek’s Spock, is “completely logical,” making perfect sense. It will never see the light of day because it is also quite subversive. Other than for some kind of academic study or tome, it has no value, no commercial credibility, no market appeal.

A recent essay, not specifically addressing this “good enough” discontent except obliquely, appeared in the online Salon (3-14-15). It opens a window on this silent scream. “How the Supreme Court is about to explode America’s racial wealth gap” by Catherine Ruetschlin (a Senior Policy Analyst at Demos) concerns itself primarily with the upcoming SCOTUS case,Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project (“a landmark case challenging the disparate impact test, which allows a practice to be considered discriminatory if it disproportionately and negatively impacts communities of color, even if a discriminatory intent can’t be proven.”). The article expresses grave concern over the expansion of income inequality and racial segregation as a result of the court’s previously voiced attitude (“When discussing race, the conservative argument is best expressed by the famous words of Chief Justice John Roberts: “The best way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” Translation: America has done bad things in its history, but those bad things are gone now, so we should move past those horrors and look forward.”). That attitude is reflected in various rulings denying or negating affirmative action policies based on the disparate impact statute precedent (“A federal judge decided that regardless of racial intent, the result had a “disparate impact” and increased neighborhood segregation.”). The basis of many of the policies and programs meant to boost the ability of minority races to access better education, jobs, housing, etc. hinges on the means to pay for (purchase) these and sustain their value, hence the concern of a widening gap of income disparity and racial polarization. Assumed throughout the cited statistics is that the more expensive spread is the better buy, the preferred means to a better society, a more diverse community, an equitable and participatory democracy. Of course, this only follows the implication that “if something is better, there must be something which is worse.” That implication is the very heart and soul, bread and butter of all marketing and sales, integral to capitalism itself. The SCOTUS Citizens United ruling legitimized the instituted intimacy of corporations and Democracy (as governance), money and power. Full participation in community governance, of its present and future, is only to those who possess the best source of funding (the same appeal underlying the cited essay’s statistics). With its “5 goals critical to city’s future”, the Gannett’s Newark Advocate confirmed this shift in the nature and character of democracy by listing the top movers and shakers in Newark’s future as being corporate entities. Political power in the world today is identified with the accumulation of wealth.

How can you change the world without taking political power? Actually, the title of a book (Change The World Without Taking Power by John Holloway, 2002). An ironic curiosity since this book is a Marxist critique. Historic Marxism, to date, has relied totally on seizing power to change the world, while failing to change much after having done so. But then there’s the scream of “Enough already!” There is no need for the all pervasive capitalist sales pitch of selling up, worse to better, to which racism continuously contributes (covertly as well as overtly). It is no coincidence that the business districts, new developments, and “future” projected growth areas receive priority public financing rather than the majority of the community, the residential areas from which the silent scream emanates. For these are the “high traffic” areas, the places people “want” to be, decided, of course, by the movers and shakers that the Advocate editorial board recognizes as the leaders of the community. Without taking power, the inaudible gasp can make itself felt in the same manner as those wanting changes in Newark’s pet laws participated in addressing that policy. Hundreds of Newark residents insisting on access to chambers on a council meeting night would get priorities realigned, and their streets paved. “Enough already! Stop subsidizing the “Better” at the expense and neglect of what is more than good enough.” Selling is not governing.


March 12, 2015

The news about Buckeye Lake damn seems to be sweeping across central Ohio. In the week prior to the news, one all a gush political leader advocated changing Buckeye Lake, Ohio to Ohio’s Buckeye Lake. Now most folks living there, or having businesses there are pretty spooked, to say the least. Analysis is surprised no one has bothered to check the credibility of the bearer of this bad news, nor asked for an independent assessment to be made (a second opinion). Given the Corps’ track record, that might not be a bad idea. Not only was the Corps to blame for the ineptitude that caused the massive flooding along the Missouri River some years back, but they also are playing it fast and loose with keeping the Asian carp out of the great lakes (“Trust us.” they say as more and more evidence mounts). Not only have they totally failed in maintaining/restoring the Everglades (as they were charged to do long ago) but they are also the culprits for the flooding of an entire city, New Orleans (a US District Court ruled that it was a man made disaster, with the Corps being the “man making” part). It is common knowledge that for electric utility companies the perfectly serviced city is one without any trees. For the Corps, the perfectly engineered flood control is for an area without any water!

And Newark, Etna Township, Heath, etc. when have we heard this one before (as well as where have we heard this one before)? From the state up north (akin to our state of residence in so many more ways than just football), we read AP’s David Eggert headlining “Michigan paying the price now for tax plan to save business” (3-11-15). “The state would provide $2.9 billion in tax credits to help upgrade Michigan auto plants for the future; the carmakers would agree to add and keep factory jobs on their home turf.” “Four years later, few are saying the deals were a bad idea but any sense of celebration is long gone. The bill for the job rescue — and similar ones in other states that used tax credits aggressively — is now coming due and providing a lesson in the downside of such measures. The auto companies and many others are cashing in hundreds of millions of dollars in credits a year, cutting deeply into state revenues at a time when the budget should be flush with a rising economy. A projected $410 million budget shortfall is triggering cuts in funding for hospitals and diverting K-12 money to other purposes.” “Though its economy is improving and unemployment rate is at a 12-year low, Michigan is going to voters in May to approve a sales tax increase for road improvements it cannot afford.” “The tax credit backlash is increasing sentiment among some legislators for business to accept a larger burden. Snyder and the GOP-controlled Legislature also slashed business tax rates after he took office in 2011. “We’ve got major investments we’ve got to make in public education and infrastructure,” said Rep. Jim Townsend, the top-ranking Democrat on the House Tax Policy Committee, noting that Michigan companies paid the country’s third-lowest share of total state and local taxes in 2013.”

Analysis proffers this twofer in order to help define “infrastructure” as roads, bridges or damns, with “existing infrastructure” as roads, bridges and damns already in place, being used.

The Power Of Positive Thinking

March 8, 2015

This Sunday’s Newark Advocate (3-8-15) brought to mind an unsourced quote “the state considers as living only that which it can kill.” Quite a paradox! One can’t kill concrete so it must not be alive. Once, being alive implicated agency (intent, choice, etc.). The last horse to be sentenced to death by hanging came at the turn of the 18th to 19th century. At one time the very real war time existence of the enemy as a threat was verified by body count. Today, too many wars to count. It also brings to mind the last wolf killed in the great Granville (Pataskala?) swamp hunt of the early 1800’s. The obvious irony of all this is that if it is killed, how can it be recognized as living? Part of this may have to do with negative logic or thinking (thought process). Since the “positive” of creating or maintaining life or living can not be accomplished (tradition leaves that in the hands of the Almighty) then knowledge of this dynamic wonder can only be achieved on the basis of the trace and residue of its absence; hence, negative thinking. On a more mundane level, expert job creators (not to be mistaken for the Great Creator) continuously stress being positive on resume’s and in job interviews. Just the same, relying on the criteria of the destruction of something as valorizing its inimitable and irreplaceable life sustainability is, well, rather Orwellian. Kinda like blowing up a suitcase to say it was a bomb. In the end one is left with nothing more than the satisfaction of having destroyed something. Worth mentioning during a job interview? Newark’s Director of Public Safety seems to thinks so (at least for his boss’s sake). In an op ed column he expands on the wonderfulness of using Moving Ohio Forward funds (originally Homeowner’s Mortgage Settlement money?) for the demolition of 50 structures (one of which was the historic Children’s Home). Analysis found this to be incredibly negative, both in narrative as well as thinking. The column obviously could not go positive. That would require stating that 50 new residences were created for people to inhabit safely and securely. Rather, Mr. Spurgeon chose to state that 50 cases of blight were destroyed (which once were inhabited. Like the last horse hung, what determined the final occupancy?). It is no coincidence that this same paper headlined 5 aspirations (“goals”) for community building in Newark, er, “in order to thrive long term.” One deals with the absence of job skills coupled with the absence of adequate education, another with the absence of getting through the day without mother’s little helper. The last three are a kind of interlocking composite consisting of the absence of new commercial development in Newark itself as well as residential property ownership within Newark (The old real estate saw of “Location, location, location!”). Analysis finds these to be rather negative statements, something a job creator would not accept (though the Great Creator might). Would it have been so unacceptable (or impossible) to state these positively? Insisting that workers educate themselves, on their own dime, without the historic assistance of union apprentice training, may have left some jobs on the table unfilled. But hey, profits are up. It is a good and successful business strategy. Today education itself is big business. This success helps skill facilitating centers as well as lending institutions thrive. What could be more positive? Much as highland laborers in the Andes chew coca leaves, sweatshop workers chain smoke cigarettes, etc., central Ohioans rely on Aleve, Bayer Back and Body, Nyquil, and prescription pharmaceuticals (“That same year [2013], Licking County physicians prescribed opiates at a rate of 61.3 doses per resident, up from 59.4 doses in 2010.”). That’s positive. Saying that the denigration and submissiveness of precarious employment should be endured stoically, without pleasure, is a real downer (negative). The real estate location, ownership and development trio likewise could be stated positively. The creation of private business “campuses”, with their tax credits, abatements, incentives, etc. and their reliance on publicly funded infrastructure has contributed to profits being up for the landlords, developers, as well as the corporate tenants of these previously backward rural areas (the stock market is at all time record highs). Not being located in Newark itself is a blessing by freeing up areas for more residential rentals, facilitating a bedroom community for the precarious employment that these corporate “campuses” provide. Profits are up for residential landlords, developers, auto dealers, and financial lending institutions. Win Win! (“Rentals account for 44 percent of the city’s total occupied housing units, compared to 32 percent statewide, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Add in all the vacancies, and homeowners occupy just 51 percent of housing in the city.”) Every cloud has a silver lining. Analysis finds positive implications in Mr. Spurgeon’s negative thinking. The director’s enthusiastic presentation embraces these bedroom community entrepreneurs. Seeing through the negative logic, the message becomes clear: build it, profit from it, exhaust it, and we will clean up the mess.

Dull Old Saw

March 6, 2015

The old saw is that it is very easy to start a war, but not so easy to end one. ‘Nuff said given the longest war America has ever been engaged in still is not over. And children wonder how the “Hundred Years War” could have gone on, for 100 years! Analysis finds that underlying the old saw is the propensity to continue with an institution well after the best if used by date. How many “antiquated” laws are still on the books, which folks chuckle over when some media author bothers to point out their inanity in today’s times? How many political policies are pursued for the same reasons of habit, custom or just plain old conformist sloth (It’s always been done that way)? In addition to the inertia, there’s also obsession. “Texas Cities Are Worried Republicans Pushed Tax Cuts Too Far” by Lauren Etter, for the online Bloomberg Business (March 3, 2015) critically exemplifies this “life of it’s own” obsession that ignores the whys and wherefores of the original intentions. “Energized by an expanded majority in the Texas legislature, Republicans want to slash billions from homeowners’ taxes. That may squeeze funding for local governments that have borrowed $205 billion for roads, schools and infrastructure as Texas added more residents than any other state.” “Localities have borrowed to fill the gap. Of the 10 most-populous states, only New York has more local debt per resident, according to figures from the Texas Bond Review Board. The debt of Texas local governments swelled by 75 percent over the past decade, according to the state’s figures, as officials poured more money into public works.” “While Williamson County’s property-tax increases last year wouldn’t have exceeded the 4 percent limit lawmakers may impose, its officials are wary of how the proposal would tie their hands in the future. “It’s extremely difficult to keep up with the growth in the demand for services when we have a capped rollback rate,” said Larry Gaddes, the county’s chief deputy tax assessor. The property taxes of about one-third of 1,000 Texas cities would have exceeded that limit in 2013, according to the Texas Municipal League in Austin, which lobbies on behalf of local governments. If the cap were in place, it would cost McKinney, a Dallas suburb, $1.4 million, enough to pay salaries and benefits for 11 police officers and firefighters, according to the league. Midland, in the western oil fields, would lose $300,000. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said the tax-cut plans circulating in Austin would limit cities’ growth. About 61 percent of the city’s budget is for public safety, so efforts to limit revenue growth would “be on the backs of our police and firefighters,” he said. “But it would also affect quality-of-life issues like parks and libraries.”” The state of Texas has no individual income tax. Dialectic infers that for every tax cut there is a tax increase somewhere. Writing for Pew’s Stateline, Elaine S. Povich provides exactly that in a piece entitled “GOP Governor’s Tax Plan Drawing Attention Of Cash-Strapped States And Cities” (3-5-15). “An exemption from paying local property taxes, which applies to all Maine nonprofits, helps Freeport Community Services serve more people. But that exemption would end under Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s new budget proposal. The governor’s plan, which would hit groups ranging from nature preserves and summer camps to charity hospitals and private colleges, is drawing the attention of other cash-strapped states and cities where the idea of taxing nonprofits is no longer off limits. LePage wants to lower the income tax from 7.95 percent to 5.75 percent and increase the sales tax from 5 percent to 6.5 percent while extending it to new goods and services. The state would no longer share about $60 million in revenue with local governments, but it would make up for at least some of that lost revenue by requiring cities and towns to levy property taxes on 50 percent of the value of nonprofit-owned real estate valued at more than $500,000.” In a breakdown of states and their number of nonprofits/assets provided by Pew, Ohio is no slouch. It is shown to have 63,178 nonprofits with assets valued at 185.7 billion (that’s with a “B”, Mr. Hottinger) This puts it way ahead of all of its neighboring states save Pa. Both of these articles speak directly to the situation the City of Newark finds itself in. The Republican mayor champions his ability to utilize federal funding to hire new fire fighters while his party cuts federal spending and continues to diminish state support for city infrastructure/safety forces. The streets go unpaved, the bridges unrepaired, the water/sewer lines wait while the west side expands (which will only be accelerated by the Cherry Valley interchange), as also the north side with the new Newton township annexation near the Trout Club. City services must be provided for the new while taxes must be cut for the sake of a party’s national election strategy. Analysis finds that this old saw is a bit dull. “Cutting taxes”, with the obsession it has become, is costing us way too much in the everyday.