It has been a few days since the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners gave away $6.5 million to Bass Pros Shops so they could create a bunch of low-paying uninsured jobs and take commerce away from smaller, locally owned and operated companies. Aside from a single letter to the editor in the local paper and a couple of half-hearted news stories there has been very little public outrage on this subject. I was rather hoping that at least the local TEA Party would chime in on this, but perhaps they are salivating over the thought of cheap guns and fishing tackle at the mega box store that quite literally brings the outdoors in doors.
Six-and-a-half-million tax-payer dollars are being handed over to a company that doesn’t need the money in order to “improve” a section of roadway that does not need improving and to build a strip mall that does not need to be built. Just think for a moment and I a certain you, dear reader, can name a half-dozen local projects that could use that money. Locally these include widening Lithia Pinecrest and Bell Shoals Roads, multiple intersections in need of drainage improvements, school facility improvements, and raises for bus drivers, teachers, and other public employees.
It is a little disappointing that the very people who claim to be all up in arms over the misuse of taxpayer dollars have not weighed in on this obvious money grab. You know, the flag-waving, gun-toting, health-care-denying, birth certificate-craving halfwits who claim that the American people are Taxed Enough Already (in case you didn’t know what their acronym stands for). But I gather that their interest only extends to frothing at the mouth and spitting into the wind at events over which they have no control or are too ill informed to understand. It is one thing to slap an anti-government bumper sticker on your car and call yourself a patriot, but quite another to actually learn about an issue and peacefully protest on behalf of the local citizenry (a.k.a. your neighbors). The inability of the TEA Party to speak up about fiscal issues on the local level underlines their continued ineffectual nature and again demonstrates why no one takes them seriously.