Loan advice on borrowing | Marion County Record

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Give advice on borrowing

Psst. Do I have a deal for you! You know that old television you have? Yeah, the one with the picture that doesn’t look so good even when the cable doesn’t cut out during the last few minutes of a big game?

I can have a brand new one. Sure, I’ll make money on it, but don’t worry about that. I’m just doing you a favor, knowing that you’ve already run out of credit cards. I’m not a great guy?

I can offer you a brand new loan, which is well over your credit limit. And you don’t even have to ask permission from the old cannonball to get it. Just hide a little note on the fridge door giving him a few days to nag you about it. If she doesn’t, it’s all up to you. And you don’t have to worry a bit about having to save up or cut back on all the other really important stuff you buy, like beers to drown your sorrows while some guy named Mahomes breaks your heart.

Wacky? Not really. It’s essentially the line county commissioners swallowed hook, line and sinker on Monday around the same time they were talking about the county’s lake heated fishing dock.

In this case, it’s not a television set but paved road repairs that the county wants. It is not a piece of paper on the fridge that will trigger the process but rather a legal notice that will be published in this newspaper. And it’s not the better halves of the commissioners who will have the right to harass, if they choose to do so, it’s the voters and ratepayers of the county.

Otherwise it’s pretty much the same pitch you’d get from a loan shark, although in this case the shark might be clad in sharkskin leather and someone’s unlikely to come looking to break in few bones if the loan isn’t paid.

Exceeding credit limits is a bad idea, whether by a household, a business, or a government unit. Removing non-essentials — and every taxpayer knows there are plenty of those in the county budget — is a much better option. Save first, only borrow for emergencies, and you’ll never have to worry about Guido coming for you or getting so overwhelmed with debt that when a real emergency hits you’ll drown. .

Even a small child playing Monopoly knows it’s the beginning of the end when you have to mortgage all your possessions. Perhaps commissioners need to go back to their children to learn this simple lesson.

The county tends to have two or three sheriff’s deputies on patrol at all times. Having three or four vehicles on patrol would provide room for error. Why do we have more? Then the deputies will take care of their cars. It seems there is a better answer. Tell them to take care of their vehicle and fire anyone who doesn’t.

Our roads and bridges department seems to have more different vehicles and pieces of equipment than it has people to operate them, and yet we constantly seem to be in the market to buy more.

Each office has its own Ma Bell landline telephones. The county could save a bundle by moving to broadcasting voice over IP phones. But this would require several offices to cooperate with each other.

And then there are the employee pay raises and things like half-million-dollar ambulance garages and even more expensive bus stations for garbage. If we really wanted to make roads our #1 priority, how come all these other things came online first and left nowhere near the amount of money needed to pave our arteries more used and even less put stone on our secondary roads?

Choosing to ignore state-imposed debt limits may be something the county can legally do, but just because it can doesn’t mean it should. And it would put a lot of people at ease if the idea to do it didn’t come from a company that would make a lot of money by allowing the county to take on more debt.

When that little fridge note of a legal opinion pops up on our classified pages, take a minute to consider the implications. For decades, if not centuries, governments were only allowed to go into debt if citizens voted for it and the debt was not excessive. Now the county is seeking the power to take on debt without voter support and beyond what the state considers fiscally prudent.

All of this effort to get things done quickly and burden future generations with ever-increasing financial burdens seems confusing — until you realize that the majority of committee seats will be elected this year.

“Progress is our middle name, the incumbents will say. And it will be true – as long as you understand that ‘progress’ is just another word for ‘debt’.

— ERIC MEYER


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