Utopia, trains and Mohave County taxes

If you regularly get a check from the government, are you worried that it won't be in the mail on Wednesday, Aug. 3, the supposed Day After the Day of Reckoning?

More to the point, is Barack Obama worried? There's a reason I ask.

Obama raised the issue of Social Security checks not being mailed in an attempt to goose the House into going along to get along, to vote to raise the debt ceiling, no questions asked. Since that time there's been a whole lot of talk and teeth gnashing, but no deal as of this writing.

If grandma getting her Social Security check is important to the president, when did it dawn on him that maybe he should be cautious with tax money? Has it ever dawned on him?

Those first crazy days in office when that giant waste o' cash (the stimulus) breezed through, creating "shovel ready" payoffs to his buddies in the unions, were just a warmup act. About the same time, Congress, which blew off passing a budget in Bush's final year, threw together a massive spending package that Obama signed.

(By the way, Congress hasn't bothered to pass a budget since then. The Republican House passed one earlier this year, which the Senate ignored. Obama's proposed budget was shot down, 97-0.)

I'm no whiz in economics, but I think spending bills like that without the revenues to back them up caused the U.S. to get closer to the debt limit. And if that's the case, then certainly spending trillions more since then should have set off some sort of alarm.

But it apparently never dawned on the president that there was a connection between spending, debt limits and sending out Social Security checks.

Fact is, before he figured out some members of Congress weren't going to go along to get along, Obama fancied the idea of raising the debt limit as yet another opportunity to spend money - billions on Pell Grants. Then reality set in.

That's when Obama started talking about plans for trillions in reduced spending and more taxes for the rich. You may recall a couple of weeks ago almost every national news organization was reporting this without ever bothering to ask what those spending cuts in the Obama "plan" were. In fact, Obama never had a "plan" - with or without the quotation marks - though he does want to raise taxes and take even more money out of the sluggish economy.

Conservatives, and I'm one of them, are wary of House Speaker John Boehner. But Boehner seems to be holding his own, emboldened, perhaps, by freshmen in his own party who are not of a mind to back down, who were elected because they wouldn't back down in the fight against an ever expanding government.

If it wasn't for the tea party the last two years, and especially in last year's election, we wouldn't even be having this discussion. Instead it would be, "Increase the debt limit, tax the rich, let's move on because Utopia is right around the corner."

If not Utopia, perhaps a train wreck.

Either way, I don't think Obama gives a damn about grandma's Social Security check. And his track record proves it.

• • •

Supervisor Gary Watson called to put in his two cents on county property taxes.

Watson did some checking and found my property taxes are going down - at least as far as what the county will collect. In fact, despite the increase in the county property tax rate, Watson said tax bills will go down on about 90 percent of the residential property in the county.

Commercial property taxes, though, are headed up - from 2 percent all the way to 10 percent.

As Watson pointed out in the recent hearing, there's more to the tax bill that just what the county tries to collect. Other entities that might show up on your tax bill include school districts, the community college, fire districts and vocational education. The county has no control over the tax rates those entities impose.

To find out if you should be upset about your property taxes, perhaps the quickest way is to go to the Mohave County website, visit the Assessor's Office site and click on "real property information" about halfway down the left half of the page.

What you find out might convince you that there are better things to do on a Monday morning than picket in front of the County Administration Building.

For more information on your tax bill, call the Mohave County Treasurer's Office at (928) 753-0737. For more information on the assessed value of your property, call the Mohave County Assessor's Office at (928) 753-0703.

And tell 'em Gary sent you.