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GUEST COLUMN: Legislature needs to stop spending our money

Posted: Friday, Jan 11th, 2013

As I read Representative Allen Jaggi’s letter in the paper the other day, I was glad to see someone who hit the nail on the head. I am amazed that our legislature would even consider raising taxes in any form. Wyoming has been referred to as the most conservative state, but our legislature and governor seem to follow Washington’s playbook, spending money like there is no end to it.

Several items come to mind when we talk about our “conservative” Republican legislature. Wyoming is the number one state in government employees per capita. We also are the number one state in receiving federal money per capita. While we have some number one positions we can be proud of, I don’t think these qualify.

When we address the subject of increasing the fuel tax, there are many reasons used to try to justify it. They say 58 percent of the money raised would be from out-of-state users. While that sounds good, what it glosses over is the fact that all Wyoming citizens will be paying tax on every gallon we buy. With the rural nature of Wyoming, we drive more miles on average than people in other states. With the economy the way it is heading, the last thing we need is more taxes on everyone.

We spend way too much money on the University of Wyoming, raiding the highway funds and other departments just to give them more. Now, the governor is asking for $70 million more, in addition to what they were given in the budget passed last year. I have a problem with the amount of my tax money going to a university that indoctrinates our kids with liberal thoughts that do not reflect the beliefs of most people in Wyoming.

From having a terrorist speak at the school to a display that is against the coal industry — which, by the way pays a lot of the money going to the school — this school does not reflect the mindset of Wyoming. Another problem is that we pay way too much for payroll at the school. We have some professors making over $200,000 a year in a state where the median salary is just $56,000. They say we have to pay that much to get the teachers they want, but I say pay less and get teachers that can teach real world values instead of liberal dogma.

And for all this we raid the highway funds and then say we don’t have enough money to pay for our roads. When it comes to the highways in Wyoming, they want to raise taxes because they cannot fix the roads that need work. If that is true, then why are we doing projects that, while nice, are not required?

Outside of Evanston, on both sides of the sisters, they recently put in some real nice parking areas for trucks to chain up. They are very nice but, gee, we made it all these years without them, I think we could have gone a few years more until we had the money. Why do we do these kinds of projects and then say we have to raise taxes? This is irresponsible and dishonest to the people of Wyoming.

I remember last year, after the end of the budget session the state Republican Party had a dinner for the members of the legislature. At that dinner, a senator on the appropriations committee was talking and telling us how hard they worked to pass the budget. He made a statement that just about floored me and several others. He said he wished they could have come in and given us better news, that they were able to spend more money. And this is a guy that runs supposedly as a conservative?

The bottom line is: DO NOT RAISE TAXES. Instead quit acting like Washington and learn to QUIT SPENDING OUR MONEY.

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