David Rauschenberger MUG

I won’t be voting on the half-cent sales surtax. I decided that I don’t trust the current and future politicians to spend the money wisely, but I did recommend voting for the tax in a previous column. I’m in a predicament, wouldn’t you say?

Honestly, I don’t have any idea how this will play out. I’ve told you that higher taxes closer to home have a better chance for my support. I’m less conservative as the common good actually benefits me. Big federal-government spending programs don’t really benefit me directly. That’s why I’m a conservative and advocate for smaller “big” government.

I am conflicted, however. I support local tax increases that satisfy local goals. I’m just not convinced that we’ll see much bang for our buck this time. I don’t like the fact that I can’t know who will represent the spending side of the equation in the future. So, I just deep-sixed the ballot. My recyclables just went out to the curb. The ballot is in there. I’m not responsible for what happens next (the Russians).

And isn’t that the damnable fact of higher tax levies? How that additional revenue is spent isn’t really in stone. A half cent loads the coffers for local politicians and those waiting in the wings. The anti-tax folks on my side of the fence have done a dismal job. If they are successful in defeating this sales-tax referendum, I’ll be surprised.

For the remainder of this column, I want to talk about local fake news reporting. Specifically, I’m talking about the Orlando Slantinel and The Daytona Beach News Urinal. Amendment 4 is the subject matter. And I’m calling foul.

I’ve been reading about how the Florida Legislature has stacked the deck against the disenfranchised voters. I’m tired of hearing about how angry convicted felons are. I remember what the attorneys advocating the amendment’s existence on the ballot stated.

Attorneys and advocates (including local editorial boards) admitted that satisfying all the terms of a criminal’s sentence was required for reinstatement. They specifically agreed that paying restitution and fees due after release was a requirement. And you Democrats know it. But that’s not reported anymore, is it?

The victims of crimes due legal monetary restitution are watching you Democrats trying to circumvent part of the pressure exerted on the thieves and criminals who wronged them (wage garnishment being the most significant). Attorneys supporting the amendment argued restitution and all fees would be paid. What happened between then and now? Not enough felons registering Democrat, I’d bet. Think.

— Rauschenberger, an accountant, lives in Orange City. Send email to drausch@bellsouth.net or info@beacononlinenews.com.