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We still can avoid a shipwreck

Editor:
      We are in danger of shipwreck.
      We have allowed politicians and unelected bureaucrats (or executives, since that’s such a dirty word these days) to infringe on the rights and liberties of a productive citizenry. People whose only goal is to further their own careers and standing among themselves have placed us in the position of providing pleasure for their gratification. Our livelihoods, properties, and monetary accumulations are taxed, not so much for our benefit, but for the gain of people who lack the motivation and courage to partake of the world of business and private industry. Indeed, many of these politicians and government executives seem intent on subjugating the very enterprises that have enabled our communities, states, and nation to exceed and flourish in ways that we all benefit from.
      If we don’t require the representatives we’ve elected to put aside this foolishness of expanding government encroachment and the attending expense that enslaves our nation and states with insidious debt, we will curse ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren with a burden of taxation that will rob us of the standard of living that we enjoy and that also benefits many nations besides our own. Notice the use of the word “representatives," not “leaders.” The two words are not interchangeable in this context.
      How do we change course so that we don’t wind up on the rocks (or oyster beds and sand bars, if you navigate along the Georgia coast)? 
      First, let your town or county commissioners know that you demand that non-essential government services be eliminated. If we don’t differentiate between essential and non-essential spending, we may very well wind up without adequate police, fire, life-safety, and jail personnel to protect us Our courts may be affected as well, which would be a boon for the criminal element. 
      Start with your local telephone book. A perusal of the listings under local, state, and federal government turns up plenty of agencies that most of us have no idea of their purpose. Nor, I suspect, do our representatives.
      The Board of Education fits perfectly into this scenario. A few years ago a $5 million supplement to the school budget (which was opposed by several people, including me) was passed by the Board authorizing spending for such things as “graduation coaches” and programs to assist pregnant teen-agers in remaining in school, among other mandates. Now we’re hearing from the State that there’s no money or need for those programs. So, where’s the money that was allocated?  
      Second, let your state senators and representatives know of your displeasure with the mess in Atlanta. We have a tendency to overlook, ignore, or forget what transpires in the State Capitol. This allows our representatives to remain “under our radar,” enabling them to establish and expand government programs and agencies out of our line of sight.  Make them accountable to you.
      Third, we must stop elevating our senators and representatives at the national level to celebrity status just because they’ve convinced the majority of voters that they won’t lie, steal, cheat, squander tax dollars, or misuse their position more than their opponent. We must instill in them a respect and reverence for the taxpayers that borders on fear.  We must demand that they be governed by the same laws and bureaucratic contrivances that the rest of us bear.  We must have statesmen, not politicians, to represent us.
      And fourth, we must recognize that if we don’t relieve individuals and businesses of the burden of over taxation and regulatory bondage, then the only people paying taxes will be government employees. And since the taxes paid by those employees are consumed by their own employment (a form of economic cannibalism), where does that leave the rest of us?
      Get off of the couch, pick up your phone, or log onto your email and use your talents to correct the course of our economic ship. Shipwreck can be avoided.
Wayne Collingsworth
Statesboro

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