Wednesday, February 03, 2010

This is the red-state dystopia in store for us

Colorado Springs is experiencing the contraction in store for Nashville with budget cuts, resistance to revenues, and the artificial wedges driven between "macroeconomy" (for example, primary focus on "regionwide development") and "microeconomy" (balance between local infrastructure and top-down growth):
Residents constantly complained about how high their taxes were yet seemed unable to comprehend the very high level of service the city provided. Aren't the nice sidewalks, big parks, and good schools the reasons they moved to the suburbs? I was reminded of that when I read that Colorado Springs and its tax-averse citizens are about to see what taxes actually pay for:
More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops — dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled.
The parks department removed trash cans last week, replacing them with signs urging users to pack out their own litter.

Neighbors are encouraged to bring their own lawn mowers to local green spaces, because parks workers will mow them only once every two weeks. If that.

Water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead, brown turf by July; the flower and fertilizer budget is zero.
Colorado requires a referendum to raise taxes, and the voters of Colorado Springs recently rejected a proposed property tax increase that would have helped cover a budget gap, after the recession lowered sales tax revenue by $22 million since 2007. So now, voters will see how good individuals are at protecting the common good.
With declining public revenues, higher service costs, and the suction of growth & development money out of communities with little trickling back down, we're going to see the same erosion in Nashville. The Mayor is already ordering Metro departments to cut budgets 7.5% in the next year even as he assumes a new post focused more on the Middle Tennessee region and less on Nashville's neighborhoods.


  1. Amazing that conservatives are always surprised that shit needs to be PAID FOR. Seems we're seeing the fruits of 20 years of Reagan talking point: "government is not the solution it's the problem," yada yada. Then again, these are also the folks who say the free market fairies will come in and save us. So perhaps our crumbling infratstructure is a feature, not a bug. All part of the privatization jones conservatives have been trying to lay on us for decades. Now as stuff falls to pieces it reinforces the right-wing talking point that government can't function, so they privatize the hell out of everything which means we all pay more.

  2. Southern,

    Privitization occurred in Metro .gov under Bredesen, Purcell, & Dean. None of these dudes were Reagan conservatives. Your theory is full of holes or beans, your choice.

  3. Mike,

    Nashville already has the same problems as CS. And we are NOT conservative. I would hazard a guess that Nashville is the second most liberal city in TN.

    Our infrastructure is crumbling, our taxes are high, our roads and sidewalks are terrible, and our schools (on average) are almost as bad as Memphis.

    Why has liberalism failed Nashville?