15 November 2011

Follow The Money...
I know I'm "appropriating" the name of a FOX BUSINESS CHANNEL show, and although today's post doesn't tie "directly" into the show, the premise of the whole MONEY gig will become self-evident.
I like money...there I said it, okay?
I'm sure YOU do as well.
We kinda NEED it to some degree, lest we wind up living under some overpass along some highway.
And the more we have, the easier it becomes to pay thing off...things we NEED like food, clothing, utilities, vehicles, home repairs, child-rearing, and so on. The list never seems to get smaller, does it?
(in my case this includes ammo budgets and potential weapon purchases...lol)
So we can easily see that some form of currency is always desired, if we are to continue.
Many of us run our households much like a business would...a SUCCESSFUL business, that is.
Only a fool CHOOSES to operate ever farther IN THE RED on a consistent basis. But, we all have those times when we wind up with more WEEK at the end of our money...sh*t DOES happen, friends.
And sometimes, we feel stretched SO thin, we'll rip at the seams...but we hang in there, make the necessary adjustments to our lives, and soldier on.
But what about CITIES?
Or the FEDS?
On what criteria do THEY base THEIR "income"?
And why do THEY never seem to get enough money these days?
Well, the national and even state issues are best left to financial and economic "experts" with a lot more letters AFTER their names than I have, so let's get down to some specifics in smaller cities and local governments.
*** In Fort Wayne, we're now hearing that ANOTHER (additional ) $80K will be "needed" for this "Costaplenty Square" (Harrison Square) deal downtown...on top of all the money that's ALREADY been sunk into this white elephant.
Sure, we have a new stadium (we really didn't need), and promises for high-price condos (we also didn't need), so why isn't the DEVELOPER fronting the money THEY promised?
Here's the link to the article:
Personally, I was AGAINST this from the jump, because I saw similar things happen in Philly, with predictable results.
Look at how DEEP Philly is in hock these days...it will boggle your mind...our own Cradle of Liberty..broke!
The city of Fort Wayne will blow ANOTHER $80,000 bucks to "prep" the land with NO guarantee of construction BY the developer...
Now, if THIS isn't a "WTF"? moment, I don't know what is.
It's like the saying: "In for a penny, in for a pound"...and Fort Wayne is stuck (right now) with a beautiful EYESORE, which, could become a great soccer field for an impromptu game, should the need ever arise when the bars close...lol.
Is ANY media source doing ANY investigative work regarding the misuse of city funds and the LACK of developer motivation?
Apparently, NOT.
I would behoove a developer to get the damn job DONE, so they can get paid, right?
There is a LOT more here than meets the eye, and a good bloodhound in our media could wind up with one helluva story.
But wait...we're far from done yet.
*** I really like airports...actually, I love airplanes (thanks to my late Father)...always have...always will.
And I spent my share of time at different airports over the decades, coming and going from damn near too many places for not enough reasons, so I have an affinity for such venues. I've been the HUGE airports as well as small private airstrips...and lots in-between.
And I was always aware of one thing...airports are self-sustaining.
They are their OWN private "entity", much like a "city-within-a-city".
Hell, some airports are so damn big, they should have their OWN zip code...lol!
Basically, these airports are designed not only to move people efficiently, and in greater numbers, but to ADD to the city's coffers.
They exist to MAKE MONEY...first for THEMSELVES, and then for the CITY in which they reside...simple stuff, right?
Airports that do not make money, close...period.
These days, in the land of government grants, we find airports receiving money from numerous sources, not the least of which is the good old common, run-of-the-mill TAXPAYER.
(yep, get ready for ANOTHER "WTF?" moment, 'cause it's coming)
I know I just said these facilities were SELF-sustaining, so why bust on the taxpayers of this nation?
(short answer - because they CAN)
Whenever any airport CANNOT readily sustain ITSELF by marketing, promotion, cargo, and passenger services, they turn to YOU...and ME...and everyone else that pays their share of taxes (locally, mind you).
Fortunately in Indiana, they CAP the property tax at 3% (yearly), which is where airports USUALLY acquire their (read our) money.
Case in point, this article from today's paper:
Here, we see the FWIA "board" (we have too many of these numbnuts) being asked by the airport directors to APPROPRIATE $3.4 MILLION dollars to cover a "shortfall"...
(( *rolls eyes* ))
I thought airports were SELF-SUSTAINING????
Like in THIS report from the FAA:
It's rather lengthy, but it maintains that airports should be self-sufficient and self-sustaining.
Then, there's this:
They are supposed to receives subsidies from their OWNERS, but if the CITY "owns" them, how can they truly become SELF-sufficient?
See the catch-22 here?
At least the PHILLY AIRPORT is doing better than the CITY ITSELF, according to THIS:
Airports are supposed to be a lot more PRIVATELY-OWNED...at least they all used to be.
Many cities are wanting to privatize them. Isn't that like going back to square-one (when they USED to be privately-owned)?
And who told cities it was OK to "buy" an airport anyway?
This isn't a game of monopoly, people...it's REALITY-101.
Cities have plenty to fret about with their OWN infrastructure, public safety, public health, waste management, and so on...
And yet, the FWIA wishes to appropriate millions of dollars...of OUR money.
I'm sorry, but if I wanted my tax money to go somewhere, it would be for public safety, 'cause we ain't got enough to cover the bases in my part of the ghettohood (thanks to housing authorities that ALSO appropriate OUR money for the human vermin they place all around us).
If all this clusterf$ck results in a property tax INCREASE, I could get on board with that in a heartbeat, thanks to the devaluing of our property (at the hands of this same city). we pay LESS than $100 a YEAR in property taxes, so yeah, go ahead and raise them...in fact you can DOUBLE the amount, and we're still good with that down here. Paying $200 a year in property taxes works for US.
But wait, it won't work well for all those people living in NICE neighborhoods with houses costing OVER $100,000 bucks...will it?
Oh well, some sh*t's gotta some the fan somewhere, right?
Now we've gone from a catch-22 to a vicious circle...
I said a LONG time ago (here) that property taxes were garnered from OVER THIRTY ENTITIES throughout Ft. Wayne, and one of them WAS the Fort Wayne International Airport (it's actually not an "international" airport like Philly is...they just like the title here...lol). It's really a regional airport that FEEDS to an airports that DOES have international flights...just so we're clear on that account.
I find it arrogant on behalf of the FWIA board to "appropriate" ANY money from "us", because the word appropriate sounds like something a gangster would do back in the heyday, when they ran slipshod over everyone to achieve their ends.
It sounds like a "legal" form of theft (to me).
And I suppose it could really be that, if someone would figure out WHY the money was needed and what purpose it serves to all those that DO NOT USE the airport on any given year.
Would our money better be utilized on something that benefits a greater number of citizens?
I'm sure it would.
But, in the meantime, it'll be more "business -as-usual" in Fort Wayne.
Some "entity" wants money, and the city craps more out for them.
(To be more specific, the city will be reaching further into YOUR pockets, copping a "financial-feel" in the process.)
All the while, the taxpaying public is left with the bill when the fellow "diners" scurry out the backdoor.
Helluva way to make friends and influence people, isn't it?
And to think this trickles UP to state and federal levels.
It's small wonder we find such problems in government today...on very level.
We have a voice...we just need to exercise it on a more regular basis..that way we can "keep in shape".
(and keep the politcos on THEIR toes...NOT ours)
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.


Slamdunk said...

That is a head-scratcher with the airport monies. We have a small regional airport about an hour away and I have never been there.

Why do I want to pay for a flight from a small airport to a large one, when I can drive the extra hours directly to the big airport?

Bob G. said...

That's been the big ticket item with me as well for years.

Many folks (in and around Ft. Wayne) ALREADY drive to INDY to grab a flight, because it's CHEAPER.

And, what I'm finding is that the FEDS "own" the airports. and that can't be right.
(they will pretty much deny it also)
The FFA can REGULATE their operations (and for safety's sake, that's a damn good thing), but OWN OUTRIGHT?

Something's not kosher here.

I have found that MANY cities do want to privatize their airports, so that tells me that someone ELSE currently owns them...whether it's the FEDS or state & lcoal goverments.
I know the TAXPAYERS don't own them...we just PAY for them.

Bet'cha we'd find a LOT of wrongdoings if someone dug deep, long and hard enough.
Where's the Pulitzer prize wannabe winners when 'ya need 'em?

Thanks much for swinging on by today and commenting.

You roll safe out there.

John D said...

I've given up on trying to understand the "logic" behind how government (i.e., politicians) spend OUR money. I just keep the following quote in mind:

"The government who robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."
-George Bernard Shaw

BTW, love the picture of the official House of Representatives roll of TP. From what I hear, the Senate uses C-notes.

Bob G. said...

John D.:
God, I LOVE that SHAW quote...!

And yes I too have trouble following their (political) logic And that alone is a contradiction of terms...like FEMALE logic...or MILITARY logic.
(Oh, I'm gonna catch hell for THAT one from the Missus...LMAO!)

But I do know where OUR money goes (under our roof)...don't think ANY of us are asking THAT much to want to know likewise from THOSE WE PAY to make the laws of the land...right?

C-Notes, you say?
Must be softer on the ass than those dirty old GRANTS...!

Hey, thanks a lot for spending some time here today and commenting.

You roll safe out there.