Legislatures spending raises cash questions

Parker Willis - International Editor

Parker Willis – International Editor

Parker Willis

Now that I am nearing the end of my semester spent in Jefferson City, I am realizing something that hadn’t yet occurred to me.

Legislators aren’t just lawmakers, they are money spenders. But my question is where is all of this money going?

I watch bill after bill come up about subjects that don’t really matter to me and I wonder why would anyone want to pass this. Who really cares what the official state reptile is? Why do I care if we use B.C. and A.D. over C.E. and B.C.E? Does Missouri really need an official state grass?

None of these things seem to have a fiscal note (they don’t cost anything). So why would I care one way or another? Then I heard that any bill that goes through the legislative process, whether it is passed or voted down in the end, will cost the state $60,000.

And the number wasn’t significant to me. In fact, that number could very well be wrong.

We know how people tend to exaggerate. I was just surprised that this cost is passed on to Missouri taxpayers.

How about spending money on the things that would matter to me, your good, old-fashioned taxpayer. How about a little healthcare? Or some tax breaks. Or maybe we could spend our money on our kid’s educations, so they don’t have to end up like most citizens in Missouri and can’t afford a hospital visit let alone a routine doctor checkup.

Jobs aren’t just being outsourced because labor is cheaper. They are being outsourced because our children don’t grow up learning the skills they need for the workforce.

And yet we keep ignoring these problems, thinking our state government will step in and magically fix all of our problems. But the problem is they aren’t going to do anything about anything until we start paying attention to what they are doing.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this semester ‘I would have read your page, but I don’t know anything about politics or anything.’ Well you should. Everyone should. These elected officials have the ability to better our everyday lives. But they continue to spend their time passing ‘primary seat belt laws’ and ‘hand fishing season laws.’

I know these things interest some people. But they, like any government body, are supplied with a budget at the beginning of the year. And if they splurge all of our money on naming highways and buildings then what will get cut. Will it be those in need of healthcare, will it be the poor, the young, the old, the sick, the weak? Who will sacrifice their piece of the pie to pass legislation that will likely never affect their lives in the least bit?

If you’ve stopped to think about the answer, let me make it real easy for you IT’S YOU. Welcome to the club. Wave goodbye to your tax dollars. And enjoy the ever-amazing three toed box turtle, he is worth $60,000.