Dear Editor,

John Pickerill's recent article titled, "Taxation not the same as investment," once again tries to distill a multifaceted issue into a good/bad ideological judgment call. Pickerill's premise is that tax money should not be used for programs and projects that have the potential to grow the community, as this type of government spending is outside the scope of what he perceives as legitimate purposes. He also feels that elected officials in our representative system cannot be held accountable for their actions regarding spending. These arguments, like many Mr. Pickerill has espoused in this paper are once again false and misleading.

Government projects and programs like the interstate highway system; public universities and the space program are all examples of appropriate and successful governmental uses of taxpayer monies. While I may agree that the AccelPlus investment did not work out as well as, for example, the establishment of Purdue University, neither program was an inappropriate use of tax dollars directed by legitimately elected officials. If elected officials make bad mistakes with our tax dollars than we should vote for someone else in the next election cycle. Saying that elected officials who spend tax dollars on useful programs for the community is inappropriate or illegitimate is just false.

Even using Pickerill's own example of AccelPlus, he points out that this investment was made two mayors ago. One should notice that the fairly elected mayor that made this decision is no longer in power and to my knowledge has not held public office since making this bad decision. There clearly are consequences for bad decision-making.

It is unfortunate that the present Mayor is often criticized for trying to fix certain problems initiated by previous administrations as if he created the problem initially. All elected officials inherit projects and programs initiated by previous administrations. The mark of a good official is to take what you have and make it better. That is why it is a good and appropriate use of taxpayer's dollars to repave torn up parts of the interstate highway system rather than complain that the initiation and maintenance of the system is an illegitimate and unconstitutional use of taxes.


Michael P. Fons