County must separate its wants from its needs

newsroom@islandpacket.comMarch 21, 2014 

Most of us as children learned from our parents the difference between want and need. While we wanted the latest toy, most of our parents gave us what we really needed -- what would better prepare us for our futures.

Government at every level also needs to learn that lesson. Our Founding Fathers said that the principal purpose of government was to provide for our safety, both within and beyond our borders and also to provide for the common good. The safety part we can all agree. The common good part is where we get into trouble.

President Reagan once said the definition of eternity is a government program. At the moment, we are experiencing that phenomenon.

Currently, our county government has a lot of wants and in some cases, serious actual needs. Unfortunately, they are not willing to separate the two. All are needs regardless of the fact that we just simply do not have the money to do them all without raising taxes to the point where we lose the benefit of living in one of the best counties in America.

There is talk about referenda to raise sales taxes by yet another 1 percent to fund their wants and, I will admit, some serious needs. (i.e. the swing bridge in Beaufort). Yet, as far as we know, few County Council members are willing to give up their wants for whatever special project they support.

Please let them know your opinions. More taxes or fewer wants?

Tom Hatfield

Hilton Head Island

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