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Brad Fallon

"Entitlement is a guarantee of access to benefits because of rights or by agreement through law. It also refers, in a more casual sense, to someone's belief that one is deserving of some particular reward or benefit.

nothstine

Hi, Lance. Paul Krugman has an interesting blog post - especially the last block quote - on semantic/rhetorical problems with [mis]using the
"E word." http://tinyurl.com/4nes3lr

Victoria

Yesterday, we received a letter from our city announcing that the long-ago (2002)-planned streetscape plan for our neighborhood will commence construction in March, to be completed by October. It is four blocks, and we are at the center of them - so all around us there will be all new sidewalks, fresh street-paving, graphic crosswalks, new lights and (downside) a significant loss of street-parking to bulb-outs. Overall, I should be happy: improved surroundings, good for property values, much better for the children who walk to and from school, and a positive end result to all those community planning sessions we dutifully attended over 18 months - and I am... sort of, because I am also wondering how this $800,000 outlay plays in the overall budget catastrophe that is California. I plan to call my council member to get information that will help me understand, but the truth is I am not going to be able to fully sort out the up and down sides of spending money right now on this versus... say... schools or community policing or any of the many other things that are taking a loss right now. Maybe this project keeps the public works department staffed and provides critical private sector jobs while helping this long-neglected neighborhood and therefore is All Good. - This is what bugs me about budget-cutting blowhards who don't stop to know what they are talking about, who can't hold the notion of what a complex ecosystem it all is. I might not have been so graceful with the guy in the store. I can tell you for certain that my eighty-year-old mother would have eaten his head.

Lance Mannion

Victoria, I know what you mean. But something to keep in mind is that local governments don't pay for every project out of the same pot of taxpayers' money. Projects get funded through grants, loans, bonds, and through ballot initiatives as well as straight from local coffers, and that funding may not be available for anything except what it is designated for. Grant money to plant trees or paint lamp posts can't be just transferred to pay for filling pot holes or hiring teachers. If it's not used for its original purpose, it isn't there to be used.

When my father was town supervisor this as something he always had to explain to outraged voters. Cutting a project doesn't automatically translate into a cut in taxes because taxess already appropriated weren't going to pay for it.

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