I think this is the only way.

Balgar disagrees with my assessment of the Giambra implosion / EC Budget fiasco. Here's my catch-all reply: First off, I am not happy that 3,000 families' lives are about to be thrown into great turmoil. It's arbitrary and unfair. It sucks. But in this particular case, the good of the many outweighs the personal interests of the few. It just does. Because we're talking about public employees being paid public money. It's my money. It's everyones' money. Because I know Balgar is socialist, I'll couch my argument in a way bound to be sympathetic to a socialist: There is no more regressive tax around than a sales tax. The people who are hurt the most by a sales tax are the poor. Why? The rich can afford an extra penny. Others will feel the sting of the extra penny, but it will have a negligible to nonexistent affect on their spending habits. The poor will feel it hard. On a daily basis. On basic items that provide day to day comfort and sustenance. And I'm not talking about the poor who benefit from Medicaid and are, basically, paying for their own health care via sales taxes. I'm talking about the working poor - the people making shit money for no benefits. The ones who make too much to qualify for Medicaid and other assistance programs. They get hit the hardest. Now, to look at it more conservatively: Erie County government cannot keep treating its citizens like a piggy bank. If not now, when is it too much? We are the most highly taxed citizens of the US. Isn't that enough? What are they doing with all those billions of our dollars?
"And if a leaner, more efficient government is the result, then costs will be contained, and our tax burden may lessen. Then those 3,000 will find jobs in the dreaded private sector, which will flourish." What private sector is that? Where are those jobs? What companies are hiring, hiring right now, are hiring 3000 people right now, are hiring that many people soon enough that these county workers will not go bankrupt, will not be forced to leave the area, will not suffer unecessarily because Joel Giambra and Al DeBenedetti wanted to win their pissing contest?
Well, companies sure weren't going to bust down EC's doors to locate here with the second-highest sales tax in the country in the most highly-taxed state in the country. I'm not focused on those 3,000 people because, quite frankly, I don't see why county government can't function perfectly well with 6,000 employees. (Monroe County has 4600 employees servicing 750,000 people. If the layoffs go through, Erie will have 6000 employees servicing 940,000 people. Why can't that be done?)
BP says another strange thing: "Joel has proven himself to not be the guy we thought he was. We thought he had vision. We thought he had brains. We thought he would help to make this place better." We did? No, we did not. We, we over here, knew he was a dirty bastard the first time we heard him talking about tax cuts like they were a central moral principle. That is always one of the first signs. We knew when we first heard him talking about "consolidation" as a self-evident good, as if anyone who believed in municipal government was a fool. When you hear someone talk about something that will reduce the power of the people while increasing the power of that individual, it's another sign.
Sure, some didn't, but others did. Giambra was never perfect, but at least he made mouth noises that seemed to indicate that he thought we could do better. A lot of people were devastated these past few months to realize that they were sold a bill of goods. That he was a fraud. Many people weren't aware of that. Now they are. Consolidation? I don't know. I don't see why the City shouldn't just annex the inner ring suburbs at this point. Albany could make it so. You already know that, if it was up to me, there wouldn't be a single Erie County employee at all. The ones who still needed to do work would become State employees. We don't need county government for anything. Not one thing. No one's yet convinced me otherwise. Balgar - at the end of your post you basically acknowledge that my thesis is true - that this past week was a huge, revolutionary wakeup call for the citizens of Erie County.

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