Sunday, May 15, 2011
Sunday, May 8, 2011
There would be no shortage of jail and prison space along with a demonstrable decrease in the costs to keep people behind bars because they are no longer taking up jail bed space. This would require states to redefine their drug laws and prescriptive sentencing parameters of drug offenses. The costs of incarceration for prohibition uses of drugs is out of line with results. Making Prohibition offenses infractions v. felony or misdemeanor issues would have a huge impact on the social costs of drug enforcement.
It is no secret THE GUARDIAN thinks the drug laws in this country are creating all kinds of social issues and crime statistics costing all of us a bundle of cash. Let the punishment fit the crime. Marijuana laws and incarceration are under reform all over the country. It would seem much more practical to stop putting people in jails and prisons for drug use and simply cite them for a "infraction" level issue rather than putting otherwise law abiding people in prison.
Mr. Paul does give us all fodder for the brain to digest and think about. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. We have 1/100 or nearly 3 million people in prison or jail in this country at a huge cost to taxpayers. People who are a clear and present danger to society need to be imprisoned. There are better ways to deal with nonviolent people not conforming to societal norms.
Here's a link to Mr. Paul's debate response on the Herion and drug issues in this country Congressman Ron Paul on Drugs
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 1:01 PM
Thursday, May 5, 2011
May 17th is the day to vote for those of us who hold this a right as well as an obligation to let our voice be heard. The issues this time around are School Board members, Highway District Board members, and if you live in Nampa, the NAD opportunity (Nampa Auditorium District).
We expect there will be some confusion as to where you will vote but to get around this confusion you can vote early during normal business hours clear up to the Friday before the election at the County Elections Office at 11th and Chicago in Caldwell. So far the interest has been underwhelming at the elections office. THE GUARDIAN was number 3 to vote early in all of Canyon County as of this past Tuesday morning.
Voting early at the County Elections Office is quick, easy and not the least bit confusing. The staff at the elections office are always happy to see folks turn out early. Partly patriotic and partly some job security but in any event they will get you in and out in short order.
The IPT has done some good work on getting candidates to put their views out there for all of us to look over. We can't do much about the stuff that goes on at the Federal level here in Idaho but these seemingly insignificant entities like the Highway Districts, School Boards and the NAD guys and girls are going to be in charge of spending millions of tax dollars.
I'd like to think we put the best people in elected office but we all know that just isn't always the case and apathy along with uninformed voters can cost all of us millions. And finally the downside of elections like this is the minority gets to decide these elections. Most of you simply will not bother with this election cycle.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 9:32 PM
Monday, May 2, 2011
Auditorium district would hurt private sector options.
By Wayne Hoffman
This month, voters in Nampa and Idaho Falls will be asked to create new government bureaucracies called auditorium districts. Auditorium districts collect taxes of up to 5 percent from hotel guests to fund local convention centers and to market those facilities in an effort to attract more tourists and other out-of-towners.
Supporters of such tax districts contend it’s a win-win-win-win-win-win scenario, because the people paying the tax are folks who, for the most part, don’t live here. They’re asking voters to approve a tax that you’re very likely to never have to pay.
That’s not always the case, and this is not a victimless crime.
The defenders of auditorium district taxes are opting to create a new taxing district and companion government bureaucracy despite less expensive, less intrusive options.
For example, there’s nothing prohibiting local hoteliers, restaurateurs, chambers of commerce and other businesses from using their own resources, individually or collectively, to market the community or their own industries. If they really wanted to, those businesses could do it tomorrow in a way that does not require the creation of a new taxing district.
They are instead opting to use the power of the government to extract wealth from people because they can and because it’s easiest.
In creating a taxing district, the government will collect money that otherwise would be spent in the private sector. This is money that might have gone into the coffers of local restaurants, coffee shops, movie theaters and other establishments. Instead, the money will be used to fund a government program, a government facility and government employees.
Make no mistake that local businesses will be deprived the money collected through an auditorium district tax. Travelers will make decisions on how to spend a finite amount of money; a 5 percent bed tax will give those travelers less money to spend, and they’ll make decisions accordingly.
Local businesses will do without, but the one that won’t do without — the chief beneficiary — will be the newly-created taxing district, which will grow with the size of the tax collections.
This will affect me, too. When I bring guests to town, I will pay the 5 percent hotel tax. That $5 on a $100 hotel room is money that I would spend in the community at local businesses. Instead, that money will go to the government.
Unlike government, I can’t “create” another $5 to go into my coffers. I’ll just have $5 less to go into the economy, $5 less to spend at local businesses or put into payroll. Or maybe I’ll decide to bring one fewer guest to the state. Remember, a good way to discourage an economic activity is to tax it.
Idahoans are constantly being asked to approve one tax or another, with claims that great, great good will come from either the creation of a tax or increase in an existing tax.
There is nothing philanthropic in a government tax scheme that claims money for a government bureaucracy at the expense of the private sector. Regardless of how it is couched, that is exactly what an auditorium district tax will do for the communities of Nampa and Idaho Falls.
(Editor note: Let's not forget the folly of the Idaho Center and the ongoing costs of this monstrocity to the taxpayer's of Nampa to the tune of around $600K this year.)
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 11:02 AM