Mudness

When I see stuff in the paper like this:

A 23.45 percent tax increase was originally proposed, Bowerman said. With the $4 million being used, the tax increase would be 15.7 percent, he said.

And I think back to statements like this (from here) :

Our tax rate is already sky high. Taking the cap off will make it easy to fix the budget, but any hopes for the city’s future will be gone – existing home owners will leave in droves.

I have to conclude that the demise of the city is imminent. But if I think about it — which is a dangerous concept: that we subject statements and policies to critical analysis — I see the typical pattern of muddy thinking coupled with the classical madness of believing that doing the same thing over and over will lead to different outcomes:

— We can nitpick city expenses, the smallest slice of a city tax payers tax burden, while ignoring substantial increases in county and school taxes
— We can demagogue marginal expenses in city budgets and shrug off multiples of that in school and county budgets
— We can weep at the fate of our seniors in the city should any expense cause services to go to non-seniors, but if the county or school district impose higher tax burdens on the very same seniors then we can brush the seniors aside. After all, ‘protecting our seniors’ shall forever be the meme regardless of the underlying reality.
— We in the city should share services with the county even though it clearly costs us more and clearly cedes control over sustainability or quality of service. How sharing services with an entity on a double digit rate of tax increase saves us money as a city tax payer remains unexplainable but like shiny jingling keys to a baby, we still want to reach out and grab it each and every time.
— We in the city can share services by paying for town services like roads and patrols; that’s a great deal for city tax payers to share in the cost of a service for which they do not get to partake. More shared services magic.
— And just between you and me, no one is to blame other than “those people”

Muddy thinking and madness at its very best.

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