Blue Louisa: A blog Covering Central Virginia & national politics from a progressive perspective
In recent years, we’ve been hearing the term “fiscal conservative” without taking the time to understand what it really means. On the surface, the impression is that claims for this label represent some lofty ideal that benefit the financial status of the public and that the individual wearing this title is actually interested in the financial well-being of all constituents – whether they understand any financial mechanisms, or not.
It is unfortunate that not enough people are curious or concerned enough to ask the relevant questions of anyone who frivolously throws out those words without any understanding themselves. On a national level, we see that the national debt ($22 trillion) and the national deficit ($1 trillion) are outrageously high in spite of protestations to balance the budget under the banner of “fiscal conservatism.”
The measures that produced that mountainous debt can be attributed to the so-called “trickle down” theory of economics. (If only at the time Reaganomics was being foisted, someone would’ve said, “It’s only a theory,” we might have been much better off with wealth distribution.)
I only mention “trickle down” because it isn’t financial benefits that flow downhill; instead, it’s the abuse of fiduciary responsibility that’s passed on to plague the citizens of this country, state by state, until it reaches the levels of remote rural places like Louisa County.
There’s a long enough list of members of the board of supervisors who claim to be fiscally conservative – but we have to wonder what it is that they are talking about.
Consider what the board has been doing with high-dollar projects that rely on the James River water supply and ask how fiduciary responsibility is preserved. If being fiscally conservative in Louisa County means having a balanced budget, then there are some questions to be asked – and answered.
• What is the real commitment, in dollars for the James River water supply?
• Why is the board making decisions without having a clear understanding and resolution with the Monacan Indian Nation?
• Why is the board speculating with public tax dollars on high-risk projects that rely on the James River water supply?
• What is the real financial deficit to the Louisa County budget when all the financial commitments have been factored in?
• When can the citizens of Louisa County expect to start paying for the board’s decisions to be “fiscally conservative” not only in projects related to the James River, but for all other county projects as well?
I would prefer that the supervisors be fiscally responsible, if that’s possible. Just by itself, this new term implies a sense of fiduciary accountability that is missing from the misnomer currently propagandized.
Instead of favoring developers and the “benefits” they provide, the board should be striving to enhance government for the rest of us.
Editor’s Note: this letter originally appeared in the December 5th edition of the Central Virginian, and has been re-posted here with the author’s permission
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