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Fear Used in Springfield, Missouri

August 25, 2009

Springfield Missouri has an underfunding problem with their police and fire pension. They are, of course, discussing a tax increase to fund the pension up to the minimum amount. The minimum, not fully funded.

Read the full article: Council puts sales tax proposal on ballot

I’m linking to this article because the people advocating this tax increase are using fear, which I believe will be used quite often in cities and states around the US in the coming months and years.

First off

Springfield City Council voted 8-1 Monday to advance a 3/4-cent sales tax for the police-fire pension fund to the November ballot.

The thing about local sales tax is that it always sounds so small. I hope my readers keep in mind how regressive this proposal really is.

“We will couple this decision … with reforms,” Councilman Dan Chiles promised. “It’s a package deal.”

I will believe this when I see it. Kicking the can down the road is pretty much the only strategy most government entities have implemented for years.

And here comes the use of fear.

“Will we have fewer police officers on the streets? Will some of our fire stations be closed on a permanent basis …. will our streets degrade and what might the consequences of that be?” he said.

and

“I don’t like to pay taxes either, but I don’t want a city I’m afraid to live in,” Rushefsky said.

and

“I don’t know how much more serious it can be,” added Councilman John Rush. “We’re talking about a life-threatening disorder that’s facing our city.”

Wow. FUD. Fear. Uncertainty. Doubt. Nice job councilmen. So it appears the ONLY way the city can hire police is with the existing defined benefit pension plan. In an age where good paying jobs are hard to come by, I have a very hard time believing this.

Let’s hope the voters don’t agree in November and vote this down.

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