Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

Did you notice in the recent Beltway kerfuffle that only one thing is certain: before the week is out Washington will borrow trillions of dollars. Sure, they claim they'll cut their overspending by a similar amount. Over TEN YEARS. Seriously, does anyone of voting age really believe even this pathetic charade will actually play out and these politicians will make any meaningful attempt to curtail spending?

Looking closer to home, voters in Dunwoody will be asked in 2 separate referenda to raise their taxes. Why? So our local politicians can spend between 33 and 66 million dollars. Again, we know one thing: they will incur the debt immediately, get the money now, and spend it quickly. On well identified needs? Not really, just a "vision".

And isn't it interesting how the numbers are manipulated. Yes, we know the bond amount, and yes we know the millage increase and based on current valuation can guess at today's tax revenue for the city. And, if we knew the bond rate, we could calculate the true cost of this loan, but a conservative estimate puts it at around $175 million so our "leaders" can get their hands on $66 million today. But that's not what we hear from proponents. Instead we hear how this is "only" a few extra dollars a month for the "average homeowner". This is the same kind of snake-oil salesmanship that caused our recent financial meltdowns.

But what about that tax revenue? Do you really think the digest is now at its highest point or do you suppose that property in Dunwoody might appreciate over the next 30 years? As properties appreciate, will the City adjust the millage rates down so the tax covers the "mortgage on our parks" and nothing else? Do you think they would use the surplus to "pay down the principal" or otherwise retire the debt early? Are either of these fiscally prudent actions written into the referenda? If you believe politicians, any politicians, will do either of their own accord, then you haven't been paying attention.

At the end of the day these bonds are supported by the notion that we need more parks because Minneapolis has more than we. This is clearly a waste of our money and a perfect example that even when created with the best of intentions more government simply does more harm.