A refresher on role of government

Published 10:00 am Saturday, December 11, 2010

As politicians have debated the elimination or extension of the Bush era tax cuts, proponents of eliminating those cuts, which essentially mean a tax increase, claim that the government can’t afford to live off of the tax levels currently imposed on Americans.

Those in favor of higher taxes remind us how much it would cost the government to continue with the current tax rates, and that an increase in the government’s allowance is essential to our survival.

A brief refresher on the role of government appears to be in order. Our government does not exist to live off the hard work and accrued wealth of the people they are elected to serve. American government exists to provide basic and essential services, such as national defense, transportation infrastructure, public education and care for those who are unable to support themselves.

If my spending exceeded my income, I would be too embarrassed to approach my employer and demand a wage increase. It is not my employer’s responsibility to financially support a reckless financial lifestyle, but to fairly compensate me for the value of the service I provide to the organization.

In reality I would have two choices — continue spending at my current level and go broke, or curtail my spending and remain solvent.

It’s long past time for politicians to remember that the government does not have an income problem; it has a spending problem, and must get it under control today.

Rebirth of Boykins

The rebirth in Boykins is being celebrated, as well it should. Investments are being made. Money is being spent. Civic pride, while never gone, is high and on full display. And they are doing it the right way, too, by redeveloping and revitalizing the downtown business district.

I hope those responsible for the economic rebirth of Franklin are taking notes while dishing out well-deserved pats on the back. Every major economic reawakening in this country has taken root when the respective downtown areas have been invested in and redeveloped.

The charm and endless possibility of a revitalized downtown Franklin is undeniable, and we need to find not just the resources, but the courage to invest in it.


With fewer than two weeks to go until Christmas, think how much easier it would be to finish your shopping without having to leave town. When you think about what’s left on your list, can’t you get most of it, if not all of it, right here at home?


Having received some feedback on last week’s column regarding the Navy’s planned use the Franklin Municipal Airport, I’d like to clarify a point.

Yes, Franklin did indeed initiate the competitive bid process with the Navy for use of the airport. And that bid process allowed city and county leaders to enter into good-faith negotiations with the Navy on terms of use and the fee for use of the Franklin airport, which is located in Isle of Wight County.

It would have allowed those charged with making a decision, based on the merits of the deal and the input of those residents most directly impacted, to either proceed with a deal or pull out of the process.

But the Navy pulled the plug on the competitive bid process and announced it already had the right to use the Franklin airport, like it or not. That means good-faith negotiations ended and Franklin and Isle of Wight officials lost the ability to represent their constituents’ best interest.

As far as whether we should embrace the situation because it is the right and patriotic thing to do, I will say this. If the Navy wanted to come here because it was unable to adequately train its pilots because it currently lacked adequate facilities, I would welcome them with open arms regardless of any financial consideration.

But given that this situation has been created simply to improve the quality of life for residents of Virginia Beach without regard for ours, I will not.

TONY CLARK is a marketing consultant and director of special projects at The Tidewater News. He can be reached at tony.clark@tidewaternews.com.