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Spending our tax dollars

Published February 27. 2010 09:00AM

The last time I checked many of us were struggling to keep our financial heads above water and many of us are looking for full-time jobs and praying the economy turns around and we get solid jobs increasing in our country again.

The last thing that I'm sure many of us want to know is how well our bureaucrats and leaders can spend our tax dollars so forgive me in advance for sharing this little tidbit that made the news this week.

For those who may not have heard yet, the United States Department of State is planning to build a new embassy replacing one that is a whole 50 years old. We all know that a 50 year old building is really pushing the boundaries of usability.

Of course they want to make sure this building is attractive and aesthetic so they are going to build it as a glass cube housing 500,000 square feet of space including a moat in Great Britain. The price tag on this planned waste of taxpayer dollars. Try $1,000,000,000 dollars, yes one billion dollars.

That money can feed a great deal of people in this country or provide fuel for them. Now is not the time to be wasting that scale of funds on a luxurious amenity. We have an embassy in Great Britain so why build this one and why now? It was designed by the Philadelphia architectural firm, Kieran Timberlake, and just demonstrates how little the taxpayers are valued by the government to accept such an extravagant design for serious consideration.

To a degree it brings to mind the infamous quotation by Marie Antoinette which although many historians believe was never spoken by her is still attributed to her. "Let them eat cake!" That seems to be the attitude of our leaders as well. Their blatant wastefulness is bitterly disappointing to those who believe the government is out of control.

What makes it worse is this is probably the most optimistic price. In actuality, the price is most likely to be much higher. The last embassy built in Iraq was a $700 million dollar compound fraught with budget overruns and finishing at over $850 million.

From dumb to stupid is this story out of Tampa Florida in which a deputy arrested a man wearing a clown mask and bright wig walking along a street with two other people.

He was charged with wearing a mask and wig in public as a person over 16 years old and resisting arrest without violence. I don't know what is more stupid, a grown man wearing a clown mask or a deputy not having anything better to do than make this nuisance arrest.

These are the kinds of frivolous things that cost taxpayers money and while I'm sure the law has some kind of good intention, it falls into the realm of ridiculous.

Apathy may exist in the American population today but it's refreshing to know there is one class of citizen taking a stand against raising taxes in Michigansnowmen. That's right, you are not seeing things.

Snowmen built by citizens opposing the Michigan legislature's proposed tax increase were armed with signs instead of brooms reading such things as "Cut Your Spending!" and "No New Taxes" and decorated with large frowns and angry brows lined the Capitol lawn. In all three dozen of the winter visitors protested outside the state capitol on Tuesday.

There is no word as to whether the snowmen are going to get their wish, but if I was a lawmaker voting against their wishes I would probably carry my briefcase at head level to avoid being pelted by protest snowballs.

Speaking of bizarre, I still wonder why people rush to buy eggs, milk, toilet paper and bread every time there is a snowstorm. Even in the worst blizzard we usually dig out in three or four days.

Sometimes I wonder if people buy those because they cannot digest French toast well, but who am I to judge? Of course maybe now would be a good time to buy futures in diapers and disposable wipes. If events follow true to form, there could be a burst of young ones next fall.

To end on a positive note on this snowy weekend, one Cleveland resident took advantage of the snow over Parma, Ohio to make a romantic overture to his fiancee last Sunday. According to Associated Press, Ryan Knotek decided to propose in a unique way so he crafted a one-story castle from snow and ice blocks complete with a roof and spires.

Inside, he set the room up with a portable heater, candles, rose petals and wine. When Christi Lombardo arrived the romantic Knotek proposed to her giving her a moment to remember forever.

Til next time…

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