Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


 By Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D. Traditional Realist

MIT professor, Jonathan Gruber, architect of Obamacare, smugly pronounced American voters were stupid to believe in the distortions and outright lies that were repeatedly used to gain legislative approval of it. However, it is appearing that unrealistic and false promises are getting harder to sell to the public.

Throughout the nation local and state governments are finding unique ways of extracting money from the people. In Hernando County, a small central Florida county, another penny sales tax was vigorously promoted as “Penny for Projects”. They used previously discussed road projects, local airport upgrades, school repairs, electronic tablets for each student, and other assorted absurd “Projects for a Penny” to entice citizens to vote “yes.” The political and connected business leaders raised an incredible $160,000 to put together a glossy campaign to pass this referendum for their interest not the public’s.

The county administrator, a major player in this effort, stated the Penny for Projects proponents “played a pretty good game.” The “stupid citizens” were not fooled by “the game” even though they were inundated with signs, mailings and sophisticated commercials telling them to vote, “yes.” They answered with a shocking, resounding “no!”

This  “No” vote response happened without a counter promotion to expose passed additional tax campaigns where the raised revenues disappeared into thin air without any concrete results. 

The American people have learned that increasing public money to solve problems does not produce the desired results. Nationally we have thrown trillions of dollars at public schools. These large sums of money have created larger school districts with fancier buildings but did not do anything to improve student performance. More money allocated for education has produced more administrators and an impenetrable bureaucratic wall that mutes parent feedback and impedes school accountability.

Locally we see closed private businesses now filled with ever expanding government.  The number of government agencies and workers metastasized while the accessibility to public servants lessens. The local government has introduced a glut of regulations that impede our freedom to live our lives as we see fit.  Meanwhile our roads, building departments, parks and other public services have deteriorated. 

The voters are becoming aware that money is not the crucial issue in our local government.  What is crucial is holding public servants accountable for fulfilling their obligations to the public.  This process will require citizens to point out to government supervisors when a government employee has done an excellent or an atrocious job in assisting them. Citizens have to assert themselves by evaluating government workers to convince the higher-level officials that their own positions are on the line if they do not manage well. 

This grassroots feedback would translate into hardworking public servants moving up the ladder while poor functioning ones are demoted or fired.  The word will circulate that job security and advancement will be based on merit, not politics all the way up the ladder.

This message of merit will become a guiding principle of completing tasks in an efficient manner. This will motivate supervisors to fire incompetent or dysfunctional employees.  City and county commissioners will have to demonstrate to the public through their actions that they will not tolerate any dereliction of duties of any member of the local government regardless of their connections.

Citizens have turned a blind eye to our local, state and federal government officials. This passive approach of going along with approving more revenue to solve problems has been a formula for waste and inefficiency.

At this point in time, Americans are opening up both eyes to gain some control over an out-of-control government. Public servants are supposed to work for We the People. We have to do our jobs of rating them like we do for many products, services and hotels online in the private sector. We need an “Angie’s List” of government servants and politicians to inform others of their effectiveness or ineffectiveness. 

Many communities took the step and voted down increasing taxes. These taxing gimmicks will reappear more deceptively until the local ruling elite realize the government is not entitled to the people’s money.

When the people see cutbacks in local government workers and programs citizens will know these local elites finally get it. We need to be forever vigilant in our civic duty by holding ourselves, family and government servants accountable.  This positive energy will return our nation to better stability and harmony proving to the elites that citizens are not stupid.

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