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    Tuesday, May 21, 2019-6:59:27P.M.






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Editorials 2019-March-15


LISTEN to the daily complaints of some members of the public and you will usually hear them describe how bad politics and/or government is. Ask them for possible solutions, and many will say politics and government, but of the better variety. Like good cholesterol.

Politics and government, however, have to deal with what is popular. And in the realm of public policy, what is popular can often be boneheaded.

Consider, for example, how lawmakers tried to give themselves a pay-raise. Taking a cue from President Obama, they tried to “spread the wealth.” They approved bonuses for retirees and a salary increase for other elected officials and the rank-and-file. But lawmakers did not anticipate that a legal challenge could be successfully mounted against their proposed pay-hike. It seems, moreover, that they did not foresee that such a challenge could result in a pay cut. Which is what happened.

Lawmakers bungled bigtime in their attempt to give themselves a pay-hike. Like many of the laws they pass, lawmakers ended up accomplishing the opposite of what they set out to do. They can’t even take care of their own wallets yet some of us believe that our future should be in their hands.

Some say that in the next elections, we should elect “better” and/or “more educated” politicians. To get elected, however, politicians can only publicly support popular policies. It is one thing, for example, to promise to reduce wasteful government spending (as if there’s another kind). But it is another thing to introduce and pass a bill that specifies what spending items, programs, activities or services should be trimmed or axed — and the names of the government personnel who should lose their jobs.

The reason why “hard decisions” are seldom made by politicians is because they are at the mercy of voters whose definition of “hard decision” is to make “someone else” suffer. But that “someone else” happens to be a voter, too.

Prove us wrong

AS for the government’s current revenue shortfall, the only way to deal with it realistically is already being done: cut costs in areas where it is politically feasible; wait for FEMA reimbursements; try to revive tourism; and work with the feds in stabilizing workforce and immigration issues to ensure the survival of the local economy.

Reduce government size, you say? Abolish this or that agency? Slash personnel costs? Workforce cuts?

Introduce the bills. Let the fun begin.

Let’s do it

BECQ has announced that it has already conducted training for the litter control apprehending officers who will implement the 1989 anti-littering law as amended in 2016.

The training, BECQ said, covered such topics as “filling out/issuing citations, collecting evidence and chain-of-custody, report writing, and court processing. The training also provided hands-on case study discussions to facilitate further understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the apprehending officers and enforcement of the litter regulations.”

There have been similar attempts in the past to implement the anti-littering law, but they eventually fizzled out. That doesn’t mean we should stop trying. To paraphrase a proverb, the best time to implement the anti-littering law was 30 years ago; the second best time is now.