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)