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Comments by YACCS

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Thursday, August 28, 2003
My kids are hot! Please raise my taxes!
James Lileks writes a column about a column he didn't write:

The premise concerned the closing of the wading pools in the middle of August. That's right - budget cuts, you see. They couldn't find $13K in a $60 million budget for wading pools, so they shut them on the hottest day of the year. I think, but cannot prove, that this is their way of making us scream to our legislators, to show up outside their offices carrying our limp tots, begging for tax hikes so the wee bairns can be moistened with chlorinated, pee-infused H20 through Labor Day. God forbid they'd ever let some staffers go - no, every Park Department employee is vital and crucial, right down to the guy whose job consists of visiting all the wading pools and putting up CLOSED signs.

If I didn't like Lileks so much, I'd say screw the kids - let parents go to his beloved Target and spend a few bucks on wading pools of their own. But I won't. Instead, I'll point out that he's right on the money about politicians' motivations. A friend of mine who worked for a U.S. Senator confirms that this is *exactly* how budgeting works: fully fund the invisible, unpopular, and/or silly programs, so there is less money left than there should be for the visible, popular, and/or necessary programs; then make grand pronouncements about how this latter group of programs will need to be cut unless something is done.

Politicians don't close public swimming pools in August because they hate children. Politicians close public swimming pools in August so constituents won't complain as much when their taxes go up by a few hundred dollars in January.

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