Pocketing the Members’ Dues

Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne had a Nov. 9 column attributing the failure of Taxpayer Bill of Rights measures in Washington state and Maine to opponents’ ability to convince enough voters that many of the things government does are necessary and good – i.e. that they’re getting their tax money’s worth.

Contrast that with an article just a week earlier in the Los Angeles Times by William Voegeli, who eloquently lays out what’s wrong these days with the high-tax model in California. Its tax revenue is no longer buying the quality of government services that the taxpayers deserve. Government services there are generally no better than those of much lower-tax states like Texas.

Why? Because the members’ dues are increasingly being funneled to the staff, and away from member programs. Members = taxpayers, and staff = government workers’ salaries, benefits and pensions.

That’s certainly not necessary, and not good. The only people it’s good for are the staff, not the members.