Thursday, December 29, 2005

Stinky Wilmont rides again

Several years ago, the poker club I belonged to needed a substitute player for the evening. Although I had a few reservations about it, we invited my old nemesis, Stinky Wilmont, to sit in for the evening. Years before, Stinky had a knack for swindling me out of my lunch money back at Millville Grade School, but I was little older and feeling a little smarter by this time, so I figured it was time to forgive and forget, and maybe get some of my lunch money back.

We played ‘dealers choice’, which meant that the dealer chose the game for that hand. That worked out pretty well most of the time, since the dealer normally chose 5 or 7 card stud, or a simple variation of one of those games. On this particular evening, however, when the deal came around to Stinky, he called out "Oklahoma 7 card no peek, high card up and low card down wild".

He then dealt the cards as he explained the rules, as the rest of us anted and bet and hoped for the best. When the dealing and the betting ended, I was grinning like a possum as I showed my four aces and prepared to rake in the pot. That’s when Stinky informed us that red fours were also wild, and since he had two of them, he had a straight flush and that I had finished second. We voted not to invite Stinky to our game again.

But that’s not what I wanted to write about today. In 1987, the Indiana General Assembly created the County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT), which county councils could adopt, if they so desired. The rules for the use of the money collected by this tax were spelled out in the Indiana Code. In simple terms, CEDIT funds could be used for "economic development projects or for capitol construction of most publicly owned facilities."

Whether or not tax money should be used on privately owned projects is still a point of contention even among many non-libertarians, but until we get the law changed, those are the rules.
But sometimes, our government doesn’t play by the rules. In Wayne County, the Economic Development Commission used $75,000.00 of CEDIT funds just to find someone to serve as their president, and pay for his move to Richmond. And another $8000.00 to buy him a desk. In Union County, the county commissioners are using CEDIT funds, $125,000.00 worth, to pay for housing prisoners in other counties. Now, I’m sure a president needs a desk, and I know prisoners need a place to stay, but you can’t pay for it with CEDIT funds. Not unless you change the rules.

We run into the same dilemma when the politicians collect our road use taxes, then change the rules and spend them on the Erie Canal Museum.

Or when they set the federal debt limit at $7 trillion, and when the debt reaches that limit, then raising the debt limit to $8 trillion.

Or when they swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States when they are elected, but then decide that the first ten amendments of that Constitution might be a little to restrictive to suit their needs, and might need to be more loosely interpreted.

A lot people would have a hard time keeping their taxes paid and believing politicians even if the government played fair. It gets even harder when they keep changing the rules.
I haven’t seen Stinky Wilmont for a long time, and I’m not sure what he’s doing now. But I suspect he might be working for the government.



Blogger LP Mike Sylvester said...

I think Stinky most likely had a lot of children and they all have been elected to various offices...

4:39 PM  

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