I like taxes. I like paying taxes. I like the good things our collective resources bring, and I shudder at the thought of having to pay for running water, sewage processing, policing, roads and education directly out of my pocket specifically for the needs of my family. I couldn't afford it, but together with the entire community's pooled resources I like my standard of living.
I like politicians. Once I wanted to be one. Once I was one, except for the winning an election part.
I don't like it when politicians play on our most foolish sentiments by trumpeting "no new taxes" or promise no tax increases in a time when the only purpose for babbling such nonsense is for election, or re-election to public office. This selfish drivel only serves to harm the community in the long run.
Now I'm not saying I'm in favour of wasteful boondoggles. When I ran for municipal office (and was soundly trounced by the incumbents and the other guy on the ballot, too) I campaigned on a platform of "are you getting your money's worth?" in regard to taxation. Suffice it to say that didn't have the cache of "I will go through the budget line by line and guarantee a 0% increase", which is exactly the kind of myopic governance that passes for leadership that we have been stuck with for 7 years in the city.
In this year when we really do need to hold the line at 0% because of a dismal economy, high unemployment, lower property values and a decimated manufacturing and tourism base, there's nothing left to cut. We have sacrificed our collective good to satisfy the well-off at the expense of the poor primarily as a public relations exercise that, frankly, worked for the politicians. Incumbents were reelected and legacy projects built.
In 2010 the poorest of Windsorites will be asked to sup from a thin gruel that is already long past nutritious and satisfying, both figuratively and literally.