To the Editor,

After reading Commissioner Simsí column, I must respond.

I was baffled when I heard Sims voted in favor of the tax increase, wondering where the Sims I was familiar with had gone. Of course, many Americans feel the same way about many of their elected officials, as more and more are revealing that less government and lower taxes arenít too much more than a campaign phrase.

Sims spoke about the spending decisions† made by Ellis County residents. It is true they must be paid for. Maybe itís time we spent more money on what the citizens want rather than programs benefiting the county government. But that would just be more spending cuts, which, as Washington politicians have repeatedly said, cannot solely fix our economic woes.

I couldnít help but laugh at the repetitive reference to the analogy of kicking the proverbial can down the road. Sims speaks about addressing the spending decisions, and justifies the tax hike with those examples. The simple fact is, heís comparing apples to oranges.

The way to avoid kicking the can down the road to future generations is not putting a band-aid on the spending gash, but by healing the wound by stopping the infection. When you give a mouse a cookie, heís going to want a glass of milk. More cookies bring more requests for milk.

Alright, Iíll stop with the metaphors.

My point is that we need to oppose tax increases that allow higher spending to continue. Tax increases might take the edge off spending surges, but they donít do a thing about the real problem. The remedy for ending spending is by cutting off the resource, which is higher revenue. When you stop tax hikes, higher spending becomes a lot more difficult.

This isnít the first time Sims has surprised me with a vote, for I recently found out he voted in favor -- with all the others on the court Ė for a FEMA-based emergency plan, that gives the authority to cut off the sale of guns, gas, food and medicine, as well as enforce curfews, etc., etc. A tax hike did take me by surprise though, because I thought he could at least pass up the temptation for that.

Iím starting to wonder if we need a new commissionerís court. We need a breath of fresh air, because our county is being smothered with spending hikes backed up by tax hikes. Letís start looking in a new direction.

And yes, Commissioner Sims, I believe this rural county is STILL full of citizens of rural backgrounds.

Our towns are growing, but will never overtake the agricultural base of our local economy. Maybe this is another example of how being out-of-touch leads to embarrassing votes like this one.

Kevin Crouch,