Thursday, June 01, 2006

Local Republican Agenda REVEALED

by Kyle Michaelis
Most Republican politicians are too smart to come right out and admit their antipathy towards public funding for popular but non-essential government services. But, as evidenced by the following article in the Journal-Star, this isn't a problem shared by Lincoln Republican and first-term City Councilwoman Robin Eschliman:
After a semi-scolding in a memo from [Lincoln Mayor Colleen] Seng about how generalities don’t help with budget-cutting, Eschliman responded with a list of specific budget cuts she supports....

Here are a few areas in which she said she’d support “substantial cuts”:

* Merit pay increases for city employees
* Swimming pools....
* Bus routes
* Expenditures involving water runoff, flood plain issues, etc.
* Libraries....
* Capital improvements to parks
* Funding for the Women’s Commission....

When contacted by the Journal Star about her letter, Eschliman said it was mistakenly released to the public....

Though many Republicans are ideologically opposed to the above sorts of spending, it's rare indeed that one will come right out and tell families that they should go without popular services that government has long had an essential, oftentimes exclusive, role in providing.

When Eschliman talks about substantially cutting funds for public parks, libraries, and swimming pools, she's just being honest about the Republican party's priorities. It just so happens that when Republicans are honest about these things, they reveal themselves as completely out-of-touch with mainstream voters and their values.

Sure, people like to complain about paying taxes, but not to the degree that they're willing to give up those things that so enrich our quality of life and give our communities character. Eschliman and her like may prefer to see that money returned to citizens for investment in real estate and the stock market, but real people accept and embrace these limited trade-offs of their private gain for the public good .... a concept the true Republican ideologue simply can't grasp.

These programs cost money, but they are costs citizens are willing to bear. In fact, the cost of not providing these services - or reserving them only for the economic elite - are often thought to be even greater to a community.

People want their children to have a safe place to play. They want their children to have an opportunity to learn outside the classroom. They want their kids to enjoy being kids - and make a lot of great memories in the process. That's why even your most die-hard, tax-cut-obsessed Republican hesitates before suggesting sacrificing the services that make these things possible.

These services are not only cherished but are, in fact, demanded by citizens, particularly families with young children who benefit most from the opportunities for respite and recreation that they provide. With that in mind, it's almost unfathomable that Republicans such as Eschliman should try and lay claim to family values when they stand in opposition to the very idea of community that is the family's most natural extension.

Of course, Eschliman now claims this letter was mistakenly released to the public. It was a mistake to be up-front and honest about the Republicans' true agenda for the city of Lincoln and for government in general. With her party hungrily eying Lincoln's mayoral race in spring 2007, don't expect them to be so honest again.


Blogger phat said...

I agree wholeheartedly.

As a matter of fact, I decided to blog about this.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know that I've ever seen this point made as well as you've made it. I'm saving a copy just so I can go back and re-read it in the future. Thanks!

Blogger Nick Bravo said...

They have the power to do this, we must remind them that they have neither the liberty or authority to do it. Why do we as Nebraskans give the state so much power? Why aren't more people standing up to those in positions of power?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this gives Democrats a good framework on which to act in the future. Every time tax cuts are advanced, Democrats should demand to know what programs will be cut.


Post a Comment

<< Home