“Popularity should be no scale for the election of politicians. If it would depend on popularity, Donald Duck and The Muppets would take seats in the Senate.”
Orson Welles, American actor and film maker
Almost every day I walk to the back side of my lawn to fill up the bird feeder, check the suet and throw some seeds and corn on the ground for whatever wants to chow down. I get the usual bunch of squirrels that most seem to detest, but the seeds on the ground seem to keep them off the bird feeder. Almost every day I have several wild turkeys, but when their season of love starts I have had almost 80 show up. Three to five deer usually show their faces. And suddenly, a couple of years ago, I had the most unusual animals coming in to feed – a flock of mallard ducks, sometimes three or four flocks.
Watching the mallards attempting to land in the confines of my backyard instantly reminded me of politicians, especially in our nation’s capital. There are obstacles that the ducks must navigate, including my house, in order to land smoothly instead of face-first into the ground. To me it seems that the previous and present presidential administrations are hoping that the other falls on the their face with some added help from those in Congress. Some people have stated that a group of baboons is called a congress, but most definitions state that it is called a troop of baboons. Another urban myth is that Congress actually gets things done, which just might be even harder to prove.
What I see happening in Washington is an ever-growing gap between the Democrats and Republicans and even more between the top leaders of each party. They appear to hold on to grudges forever and if one party stalls another party’s legislation, then there’s hell to pay when the tables of power are turned. We have already seen this with President Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court because the Republicans blocked President Obama’s nominee before President Trump was elected. Such is the divisiveness that our national political parties have stooped to. They are much more interested in getting what they want, especially their own way, and to hell with what good they could possibly do for the people of this nation. At this point in my life I feel every elected official in Washington, as well as in many state houses, should be paying us for letting them supposedly represent us.
As a taxpayer I have heard of the many excuses of past legislation that claimed to be lowering the burden of taxes, especially property taxes. Even President Trump’s first budget proposal appears to wreak havoc at the state level, which undoubtedly trickles down to empty our wallets of even more money. I still haven’t forgotten the infamous LD-1 passed by Maine legislators that promised the state would fund local education to the tune of 55 percent, and I presume we wait for hell to freeze over before that ever happens. Governor LePage’s newest budget will reduce the amount of aid to “rich cities” like Portland, although I have this sneaky feeling some of it might just be political in nature (just my personal thought).
Then there’s a thing called revenue sharing where municipalities used to get a sizable chunk of change back from state government, but it looks like that spigot is being shut off as well. If I remember correctly the Town of Windham decided to not include revenue sharing in the municipal budget so if some money trickles in I have to wonder where it goes. We will more than likely hear it will be used against the next fiscal year’s budget, but I don’t see that happening either.
All of that might not matter because after Windham’s next school and municipal budgets, with a possibility of one bond for renovating Windham Public Works, many of us property owners will be broke and too busy surviving to care.
Lane Hiltunen of Windham will be out of the loop for a few weeks.