Friday, October 31, 2008

Wrong On The COSI Bailout?

I seem to have been wrong in my assessment of Issue 37, the levy to reopen COSI, in the column that I wrote for Toledo Free Press three weeks ago; as evidenced by the number of people speaking out in favor of it this week in that same venue. It now appears to be obvious to me that the only thing that was keeping COSI from being a success in Toledo was a lack of sufficient taxpayer funding. After all, we have so many shining examples of success when greater taxpayer support is provided to a previously failing program:

- Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty

- Richard Nixon's War on Drugs

- The Educational System over the last 50 years

- The bailout of the mortgage and banking system

- and here locally, the Erie Street Market

The success of these programs over the years is self-evident ... no wait, actually they weren't (or aren't) entirely successful. OK, but obviously the reason that these endeavors failed in their mission is not that they were failed plans to begin with, wasted the taxpayer money that they were granted, and had no real measure for success other than emotional ones. Neither can their failure be blamed upon the increasing level of funding that they received through the years. No, it must have been a lack of understanding of their mission on the part of the taxpayers. Programs like this cannot be measured on an objective level of success and failure after all, but should instead be judged by high-minded goal that they set or the gratification that we taxpayers feel for the compassion that we show.

So by all means, let's vote for Issue 37 and grant COSI some taxpayer money in the "hope for change" where they are concerned (after all, this is the year for it). If nothing else, we will prove that in 2008 fiscal irresponsibility, poor management, and waste are not negatives; but simply a reason to grant a second chance and a taxpayer funded reward to such projects so that they can go back to business as usual.

(OK, sarcasm off now)


Roland Hansen said...

A supporter of COSI I am but not to the extent that I support a tax levy for COSI. To the best of my knowledge, the Board of COSI has never attempted any other alternative funding mechanisms other than memberships. They get an "F" on the grade card and no taxing support from me.
BTW, the Toledo Zoo, one of the finest there is anywhere, has used up its welcome for tax support also, at least until every day is a free day for those of us that pay into the tax levy. I had previously been a member of the zoo, but got frustrated with that organization's lack of transparency and its apparent lack of less costly admissions for the area residents who help fund it through their taxes.

Antipelagian said...

I think run-down attractions that draw people from other regions is a great way to get the word out about Toledo:

Yes, our city officials love funding run-down crap with tax money. Why is it they think funding failure with tax dollars is the answer? They're just that progressive!

What about the boarded up buildings lining our city streets? Pay no attention!

Tim Higgins said...


I couldn't agree more.

Perhaps we can declare downtown a museum district and turn it into an exhibit for the entire country of what a tax and spend local government can do to an area.

Antipelagian said...

That sounds like an excellent idea, Tim...maybe we could have pictures from the times that Toledo was a booming industrial town...maybe at the entrance to one of our lovely run down industrial complexes...upon entering, visitors will be greeted to the smells of urine and crack. After the aromatic experience they can watch formerly employed UAW workers chase rats around the empty warehouse.

In any event, we could call it the "Eerie Street Market".