January 2012 - Sierra Scoop Column

Happy New Year!!! Wow, here we are already in 2012! My mother always told me “the older one gets, the faster time goes by” and was she right!  And what a year 2011 has been for our County and Country. With continued high unemployment, a faltering housing market, record number of foreclosures, and budgets in decline, one has to wonder what 2012 has in store for all of us.

There has been so much discussion recently regarding the United States debt and deficit. The Super Committee failed (was this a surprise to anyone?) and now automatic cuts kick in. Of course the cuts do not kick in until 2013, just in time for the next President and Congress to vote to undo the automatic cuts and save the day (or will they just be delaying the inevitable?). With a yearly deficit of nearly $1.3 Trillion, trying to cut $1.2 Trillion over the next 10 years and thinking that doing so would make any difference is laughable. Where did our representatives go to school? Did any of them take a simple math class? Cutting $1200 Billion per year may sound like a lot, but that is less than 10% of the yearly deficit. How can we as a Country continue to add so much debt each year and think that things will get better?

One recurring word that we constantly hear is “revenue”. Pretty much anywhere one turns, one can hear the phrase “we need to increase revenue”. When this phrase is used by any level of government, what they really are saying is “we need to increase fees and taxes”. We the people need to be aware of any government official that uses the term “revenue”.

Here locally, as property values continue to free fall and the State threatening to reduce its contributions, the “revenue” received by the County is declining. As we approach the midway into the County’s yearly budget cycle, it will need to reassess its own financial house. And of course, it will look at ways to increase “revenue”. We the people must keep an eye on them as they will look to increase the fees (as they do almost yearly) as a way to stop the decline in “revenue”.  At a time when most people’s income is stagnant or declining, the County needs to be responsible to its citizens and to look good and hard at ways to cut expenses further and not increase fees!

2012 will be quite an interesting year and I urge everyone to keep an eye on the actions of Government. Some very big decisions will need to be made this next year and these decisions will determine the course of our Country for several years.

Happy New Years and may God protect you and your loved ones and this great Country of ours.

To see topics that are being debated in our County, visit www.monocounty.ca.gov and click on “Board of Supervisors Agenda”. Contact your Supervisor, they work for you! District 1, Larry Johnson, ljohnston@mono.ca.gov. District 2, Hap Hazard, hap04@msn.com. District 3, Vikki Bauer, vbauer@mono.ca.gov. District 4, Tim Hansen, thansen@mono.ca.gov. District 5, Bing Hunt, bhunt@mono.ca.gov.