1. #1
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    Thumbs up A Resolution worth sharing

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    National Association of Counties Resolution - March 2001

    This is something I should have shared with you fellow firefighters in March of 2001. I was the Vice Chair of Emergency Management of the Justice and Public Safety Committee and happened to be in Washington DC a few days after the Presidents budget was released.

    While attending the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference, I drew up this resolution and took it to the full committee of 110 people. Bringing in a resolution so late in the process, I had to have a 2/3rds majority vote in favor of this resolution.

    To let you all know County Government IS behind you - it past at 100 % in favor of the resolution. (March 2001)

    I just felt you should know that County Government does care - If the issue Is brought to their attention. I only wish the National Fire Associations would consider us a partner in the future.

    We can do So Much More, if we only work together.

    I will let you go on and read the resolution.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    American County Platform
    2001 - 2002 Resolutions
    Justice and Public Safety

    RESOLUTION SUPPORTING FULL FUNDING FOR THE FIRE FIGHTERS ASSISTANCE GRANT

    Issue: Congress has the opportunity in the coming months to fund the FEMA Firefighter Assistance Grant program signed into law last fall.

    Adopted policy: NACo urges Congress and the Bush Administration to fully fund this FEMA grant program at $300 million in FY2002.

    These grants will be of enormous benefit to local fire departments, and the communities they serve.

    NACo also encourages state, county, and municipal officials to contact their representatives in Congress to express their strong support for the grant program.

    Background: On October 30, the FY2001 Defense authorization bill was signed into law. Attached to that legislation was an unprecedented firefighter assistance package.

    Headlining the package was a grant program to be
    administered by FEMA that would provide need-based grants directly to local fire departments. Never before in the nation’s history has the federal
    government made such a commitment to local fire departments, which by all accounts are starved for funds.

    The legislation authorized $100 million for the grant program in FY2001, and $300 million for FY2002. The full $100 million for FY2001 was
    appropriated in last year’s final budget deal, and the application process for that money is expected to begin around May of this year.

    President Bush’s preliminary FY2002 budget, released February 28, contains no funding for the grant program. Additionally, it states that such
    funding is “unneeded” and “does not represent an appropriate responsibility of the Federal Government.” This same budget includes massive increases in federal spending for education.

    America’s firefighters many of them volunteers, respond to terrorist events, and are increasingly involved in planning to respond to potential attacks by weapons of mass destruction. These terrorist events are traditionally considered to be situations of federal responsibility, yet the fire service is expected to engage in the response to their occurrence. At the same time, denied any federal assistance, firefighters are required to host pot-luck dinners and to stand on city streets asking for donations to pay for their equipment. The incongruity of this state of affairs is obvious.

    Fiscal/Urban/Rural Impact: This program would benefit urban and rural counties with funding of $100 million the first year and up to $300 million in FY2002.

    Adopted July 17, 2001

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I am now entering my sixth year in public office. Being an elected official is a lot like being a firefighter. (you don't know a whole lot when you join or are elected - then you train, learn and continue - so if you and I as citizens are not helping our electeds learn about the fire service - then who is)?

    Just something to ponder.

    For the past 18 months I joined one of our counties vfd's and saw first hand all that one goes through to serve as a firefighter.

    I only recently resigned, as I feel that I could do a whole lot more for my 16 volunteer fire departments in the county I serve and also to all the other volly and career departments around our wonderful Country.

    (so much for those wonderful adreanalin rushes and running code through town will be terribly missed.

    I have been very fortunate to do ride alongs with other cities when traveling out of state - such as Fairfax County, Virginia, Savannagh, Georgia, Phoenix, Arizona, Washington, DC.

    I learn something new from every department. Anyhow, with all that rambling - I will close. You all are wonderful people and if there is anything I can do to help eductate your local government - don't be afraid to ask. One never knows until they ask!

    Your Friend,
    Karolin J. Loendorf
    Lewis & Clark County Commissioner

    National Association of Counties
    Resolution - March 2001
    Last edited by karolin; 02-18-2002 at 08:16 PM.

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    Hi Karolin!

    Great post, I'm glad the NAoC is 100% behind us!

    I have some questions for you...

    How much of the Lewis & Clark County tax base (that as a commissioner you have the responsibility to spend wisely) should be sent to my county here in Texas?

    OK then, how much of my county tax base should be sent to Lewis & Clark County?

    Wouldn't your tax money be better sprent there at home on needed improvements in fire protection?

    Wouldn't mine be better spent here? (hint - the answer is YES)

    Why do you county commissioners want the federal government to take care of a problem that you are not willing to take care of yourself?

    How much more oversite of your county do you want the federal government to have?

    Is your county getting the level of fire protection they want?

    If yes, why do you want more money from the feds?

    If no, why don't you fund it more at the local level, after all it is a local issue?

    Where in the US Constitution is the provision that allows for the feds to confiscate money on a federal level for fire protection at the local level?

    Where in the US Constitution in the provision for the feds to confiscate money from you and/or your constituents (at gunpoint if necessary) and give it to me and the community I serve?

    Looking forward to your reply!

    Mongo
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

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    3 cheers... About time we go some support.

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    Thumbs up Thank you Karolin

    Thank You for bringing this up Karolin. I, for one, appreciate your support. I do understand what Mongo was saying in his post, but it did seem a little heavy-handed. In a perfect world, the money which goes to Washington would stay in the local area, and the need for federal money would not be there. I don't know what area Mongo lives in, but I am sure he must not live in an area with a small population base, but with industrial areas given tax abatement. Just because an industry is in a given town does not mean that the workers live in that town. Given the proper (or improper) tax abatement, I could build a multi-million dollar industrial complex in a small town, and the local FD would need to be able to protect it from fire, etc, without additional funding. That is a nice tightrope to walk. So chin up, Karolin, and keep up the good fight.
    "Illigitimi Non Carborundum"

    "The views expressed by me are solely my own, and in no way reflect the views of any organization which I belong to."

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    OK, I said I appreciate the support and I'm glad the counties are behind us 100%.

    The VFD I serve on has a measly budget. Rest assurd we do not get anywhere near the money we need...

    So, latigo, maybe you'll answer at least one of these two questions...

    How much of your tax base should be taken from your department by force by the federal government and given to mine?

    Or,

    How much of my tax base should be taken from us by force by the federal government and given to yours?

    Two easy questions to answer.

    And allow me to retort to some of your other assumptions...

    I don't know what area Mongo lives in, but I am sure he must not live in an area with a small population base, but with industrial areas given tax abatement.

    Really...?

    How sure are you?

    And anyway, what does it matter?

    Just because I believe my tax money is better spent for fire protection here instead of being grabbed up by the feds, then skimming their "share" from the top and filtered back down to BFE means I don't live in an area with a small population base but instead an area with industry that is givin tax abatement?

    Man you couldn't be further from the truth...

    Small town Texas is where I live.

    Given the proper (or improper) tax abatement, I could build a multi-million dollar industrial complex in a small town, and the local FD would need to be able to protect it from fire, etc, without additional funding.

    If the local FD allowed this to happen without saying "hey, we can't protect your business without this kind of stuff" they are being willfully negligent.

    Putting it in writing puts it back on the business and city managers back when it goes to the ground "hey, we warned you three years ago..."

    That is a nice tightrope to walk.

    Tightrope?
    Last edited by mongofire_99; 01-28-2002 at 01:43 PM.
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

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    Mongo, as you requested, I will answer again. In a perfect situation the money which goes to Washington, from your district and mine, would stay in the local area to support the services needed in that area. This does not happen. I do support the FIRE Act because the money is not here. The tax money has gone to Washington. I see no problem with getting back what we send in, to protect our communities. I don't think you and I are that far apart in thinking, but I feel an antagonistic attitude from you. It seems you are looking to cause an arguement. If you had read my previous thread fully, you would have seen that I do not agree with the tax money going to D.C. Please remember we are all on the same side, wanting to protect our communities without adequate resources (time, training, personnel, equipment, etc.) I come from a small volunteer department as you do. A key point of Karolin's post was that the National Association of Counties is aware of the situation with the fire service. If we keep up the pressure, we can get the states and counties to give us the support we need. Yes, I did use sarcasm back at you in regards to the small town, in response to your antagonism towards Karolin. We all need to stand together and look at the bigger picture here. I felt, and feel, I was/am defending her post. Happy trails, Mongo, I do wish you the best and hope you understand what my points were.
    "Illigitimi Non Carborundum"

    "The views expressed by me are solely my own, and in no way reflect the views of any organization which I belong to."

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    If you have industries wanting to put factories in your district that will tax your abilities to protect them, you make them (the owners of the proposed plants) aware of this. They'll go elsewhere in an instant.

    My old district did exactly that. When we switched from a "subscription" service to a tax-base funded FPD, we got a big boost in operating budget. But the businesses didn't come.

    When the county proposed a "tax break" for new industries, we informed them (through public forums) of our concerns for their businesses safety, they saw their tax savings about to be eaten up in increased insurance costs, and they still didn't come.

    When the county put in an "across the board" tax reduction, increased high income residential development caused our budget to explode, and we upgraded our equipment to better serve our "customers".

    And when the businesses saw the combination of a top-notch FD and a moderate tax break, they picked us over areas that had given full "tax abatements" but hadn't upgraded their fire protection.

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    Times are tough and getting worse. I live in rural Texas and we are expercing growth. Our county grew 44% in 10 years. But, this growth is mostly of retirees from the large metro areas. They move here to escape the high taxes in the metro areas. They get established here and find out that we can not provide the services and amaneties that they had in their former places of residence. The main thing is they want these services but they do not want higher taxes to pay for them. We have established a RFPD and am working to get an ESD. Yet, we can not provide all that they want. Ranch land only brings 3 cents an acre for the RFPD and 7 cents an acre for the ESD. This amounts to $64.00 a square mile for both districts. Some areas are getting more due to higher property values in others areas of the county. We provide what services that we can and hope that it is enough. We have tried for some very modest grants and have not received any. Our average age is 64 and these folks pay lower taxes than any other people. So, again we are working with less money for budgets and equipment. So, i hope that this resolution will make cities and counties realize that we do need some help. But, we are not going to count on it.
    Mongo, how small is your town?

    Thanks for letting me spout off. Larry

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    latigo

    I see no problem with getting back what we send in, to protect our communities.

    OK, good.

    Whew...

    For a minute there I was under the impression that if your tax base didn't overpay their taxes and mine did by say $1 million or so (just for a round number), you'd want your share of the million overpaid by the tax payers of my community.

    My humblest apologies for my confusion. It is refreshing to know know you believe my tax bases over paid million dollars in taxes should be sent back here instead of distributed at the whims of the feds on welfare for fire departments.

    You're right, we are on the same page!
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

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    Originally posted by mongofire_99
    Hi Karolin!

    Great post, I'm glad the NAoC is 100% behind us!

    I have some questions for you...

    How much of the Lewis & Clark County tax base (that as a commissioner you have the responsibility to spend wisely) should be sent to my county here in Texas?

    OK then, how much of my county tax base should be sent to Lewis & Clark County?

    Wouldn't your tax money be better sprent there at home on needed improvements in fire protection?

    Wouldn't mine be better spent here? (hint - the answer is YES)

    Mongo:

    I am sorry you feel the way you do. Maybe you should know the rest of the story before you go off and acuse and point fingers.

    The County in which I served on the VFD has 3500 sq miles. The Capitol of Montana is in Lewis and Clark County also which the city of Helena does have a paid department.

    The folks who reside outside the city limits do pay for fire protection. HOWEVER, the department I served on covers all lands that are not currently in a fire service district or fire service fee area. To let you know exactly how many square miles that is - it is 2,378 sqare miles and of that - 2,111 square miles is non other than FEDERAL LANDS...... (by the way - they do not pay for fire protection)

    I have spent the past 5 years Mongo - taking more heat while working the issues of fire than any other issue I have ever worked.

    The reason I did NOT give up - is that I saw something that was not acceptable. Every year we ask more and more of our volunteer departments as well as the career departments. (hazmat, meth labs, weapons of mass destruction, etc.)

    When I believe in something so dearly, I work at it. I am Not a Quitter and I hope that you can take this as constructive critisism as if we don't get on the same page and begin to work together - we will never help anyone.

    The State of Montana is the 4th largest state. 30% of our State is FEDERAL Lands. I have 4 National Forests in my County. I can tell you that when a fire begins in the forest, they sure in the hell don't call the forest supervisor - they call us. (the fire department in which I served).


    Why do you county commissioners want the federal government to take care of a problem that you are not willing to take care of yourself?

    We are not asking the feds to cover our butts, but to give us the tools we need to do our jobs. It's pretty pathetic when the BLM/BOR gets a 1.6 Billion dollar increase in their funding this past year - to buy more toys- yet they ARE NOT the first responders.

    How much more oversite of your county do you want the federal government to have?

    I wish the Federal Government would take care of their darn land - there are MORE fuels today in our State than there was in 1910 - when we lost many firefighters.

    Is your county getting the level of fire protection they want?

    Actually NO - my department has gone many a miles due to the fact we have 4 different National Forests in my County - and I will tell you this - My Hat GOES OFF to every one of my fellow firefighters who end up taking time off work (usually vacation days) time away from their families, meetings, trainings, simulations, etc., and are not compensated for there work.


    If yes, why do you want more money from the feds?

    They need to do their part - to keep our firefighters alive and well. The equipment my fire department operated from was all hand me downs from the State. I couldn't even start one of our two brush trucks as it was THAT OLD. ANd it died going to a State fire.

    Now our wonderful USFS agencies are once again - upgrading their communications - which will ONce Again - not be compatible with the locals. That is when deaths occur - and that my friend is not acceptable to me.



    If no, why don't you fund it more at the local level, after all it is a local issue?

    Tell me what we at the local level get from heavily fueled forests - in my opinion - we are afraid as we have seen the fires of 2000 get so out of control and sometimes the Federal Lands choose to let the fires burn until they hit Private lands and let me tell you - that's not quite acceptable in my book.

    Where in the US Constitution is the provision that allows for the feds to confiscate money on a federal level for fire protection at the local level?

    Where in the US Constitution in the provision for the feds to confiscate money from you and/or your constituents (at gunpoint if necessary) and give it to me and the community I serve?

    And for the following paragraphs, I challenge you my friend to become involved in your local politics. I am not writing to criticize you that is not my desire. We all need to do our part.

    This past March 2001 I did meet one of your Many Congressmen - his name was Pete Sessions and he was a wonderful man and a wonderful Congressman. If you look at Montana, we have ONE Congressman and I hardly ever go to his office to accomplish what needs to be done in respects to the fire service - as one man can only do so much.

    I do have a very busy schedule Mongo - so I don't have a whole lot of time to play on the net. I hope we can work together to make this Country a much better place.

    We are all Americans, and we all live in the same Country - Now, we need to act like it. Let's look at what we can achieve together instead of the past. I totally understand your frustration Mongo - but let's teach our kids that together, we Can work together, and WE CAN BE UNITED!

    God Bless you Mongo - I hope we can continue and work together for the betterment of America.

    Karolin

    Looking forward to your reply!

    Mongo
    [B][COLOR=royalblue][FONT=times new roman]
    Last edited by karolin; 01-30-2002 at 02:20 AM.

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    Karolin

    Thank You for your support!!!

    Belonging to property tax supported district and Town FD I've always have told the wife's family they need to pay their dues to the local fd in York Mt on the creek property. The saying "We all have done so much with so little we are now qualified to do anything with nothing" comes to mind. All support is welcomed.

    Terry

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    Karolin -

    You didn't answer any of mongo's questions. You talked about the problems you face in your local area with fire protection. I'm sure we can all tell 'horror stories' about how our equipment isn't the latest 2002 model, or about how our turnouts are over three years old...yada yada yada. We all got problems, you know? But mongo asked some good, pointed questions, and you avoided them all.

    The point is, why should you take money from my family, from my community, my department, and shovel it into yours? Do I get penalized because my community and department are fiscally responsible and on top of issues of fire protection? It sure seems like it, when you're virtually asking me to buy your new brush truck.

    It seems as if from your last post that the only people concerned with fire protection in your area are the vollie firefighters. And bravo to them for that! But if there is no political or community will to support the service, then painful as it may be, it has to go away before people will realize that they need it, put pressure on legislators, and establish a fiscally reasonable and realistic way to solve fire protection problems on a LOCAL level.

    I fail to see how it benefits me and my family, who will never visit your area, or need the services of your department, to pay for your new brush truck through money confiscated from my paycheck.
    "Let's roll." - Todd Beamer, one of a group of American soldiers who handed the terrorists their first defeat.

    Joe Black

    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone (but you can borrow them )and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated (but then again, they just may not be thinking clearly).

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    Hey Karolin

    I told you my reply would be brief - and here it is;

    Congratulations - for so elegantly stating a position.

    It is about time that ALL fire departments in all towns, cities and villages, regardless of their size or type of department get on board and at least be able to have the opportunity to get a piece of the federal budget pie.

    For the first time in 9 years I watched a State of the Union address in it's entirety - now let's see if the politicians follow through on what has been suggested by President Bush.
    Brian K. Savage
    Fire Commissioner
    Swanton, VT

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    Bucks,
    You make a point of saying that fire protection is a local issue. You may be right to a point. You say Landowners and citizens are the people who should pay for fire protection in their areas. Well, it seems to me that you and I as owners of the public lands are not doing our fair share of paying for fire protection. Please put your department in Karolin's place and see how much it cost to respond to the fires in his district that are on federal land. We have state land in our district and we respond to fires out there and it cost us some money to do this. The citizens of Texas own this land. We have fundraisers to pay for our expenses every year and the state does not contribute. A little help would be appreciated.
    This is just my opinions and thanks for letting me spout off.
    Larry

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    Originally posted by larry cook
    Bucks,
    You make a point of saying that fire protection is a local issue. You may be right to a point. You say Landowners and citizens are the people who should pay for fire protection in their areas. Well, it seems to me that you and I as owners of the public lands are not doing our fair share of paying for fire protection. Please put your department in Karolin's place and see how much it cost to respond to the fires in his district that are on federal land. We have state land in our district and we respond to fires out there and it cost us some money to do this. The citizens of Texas own this land. We have fundraisers to pay for our expenses every year and the state does not contribute. A little help would be appreciated.
    This is just my opinions and thanks for letting me spout off.
    Larry
    If funding at the local level is inadequate to fund fire protection services, then the experts (read - the fire department) need to bring this to the attention of those that benefit from the protection. The fact that you have federal or state lands in your response district is no justification to remove money from my paycheck here in Pennsylvania in order to transfer it to you. We have federal (DOD) housing in our first due. We don't have a problem affording the appropriate level of fire protection, because the political will at the local level (the expression of the desires of the voters) is that fire service funding is important. If that's not the case where you live, that's not my problem or challenge. It's yours. Not trying to sound harsh, but that's the only fair way to do it.

    No one has yet made a case that it is constitutional, right, or even moral to take money from me and my family and give it to a department in some area that I and my family will never visit or even drive through. What benefit do I get for my tax dollar by its going thousands of miles away to buy a brush truck?

    Fire service funding should be local so that there is better control of and accountability for the monies. Local funding also ensures that spending priorities are set properly, reflecting the unique challenges faced by the fire service in that locality (such as large areas of forest). Do you really want a federal bureaucrat who can't even spell the name of your town let alone locate it on a map determining your funding and spending priorities?

    And just so there's no misunderstanding, I strongly disagree with federal funding for local law enforcement. That, too, should be funded locally.
    "Let's roll." - Todd Beamer, one of a group of American soldiers who handed the terrorists their first defeat.

    Joe Black

    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone (but you can borrow them )and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated (but then again, they just may not be thinking clearly).

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    karolin

    I am sorry you feel the way you do.

    You're sorry I feel the federal government should operate within the bounds of the US Constitution?

    You're sorry that fire protection for Lewis & Clark County is the responsibility of Lewis & Clark County and not of Tarrant County Texas?

    I am Not a Quitter and I hope that you can take this as constructive critisism as if we don't get on the same page and begin to work together - we will never help anyone.

    If we continue to rob Peter to pay Paul we won't help anyone including Peter (as hard as that is for some leftwingers to believe)and pretty soon Paul will lose all initiative to succeed simply because he is increasingly penalized for that success as well.

    We are not asking the feds to cover our butts, but to give us the tools we need to do our jobs.

    You're asking the federal government to use powers that you yourself do not have to take something from someone else and give it to you. And you are asking them to do it by force if someone else doesn't want to pony up what some buearcrat thinks is their fair share.

    It's pretty pathetic when the BLM/BOR gets a 1.6 Billion dollar increase in their funding this past year - to buy more toys- yet they ARE NOT the first responders.

    Sure is.

    I wish the Federal Government would take care of their darn land

    Ask yourself, why do the feds even own that land?

    That land, unless it has strategic military value should be state or privately owned.

    Is your county getting the level of fire protection they want?

    Actually NO...


    My hat is off to the firefighters as well, but the citizens of your community ARE in fact getting the level of protection they want. If they weren't they pony up more cash or vote in local politicians who have their heads on straight.

    If yes, why do you want more money from the feds?

    They need to do their part - to keep our firefighters alive and well.


    How much federal money will it take to save a life? (How much federal money would it take to make anything better?)

    Now our wonderful USFS agencies are once again - upgrading their communications - which will ONce Again - not be compatible with the locals.

    So go tell them to shove it. If it's unsafe, why would you continue to operate that way?

    that's not quite acceptable in my book.

    So do something about it instead of taking mnoney away from other needy districts, which is just what your doing.

    There was $100,000,000 to go around last time. There was something like three or four billion in requests. These requests all came from needy departments (just ask them).

    So what do our imperial federal government decide to do?

    "Screw those guys. Take the extra money we confiscated from their citizens and give it to these guys over here."

    Where in the US Constitution is the provision that allows for the feds to confiscate money on a federal level for fire protection at the local level?

    Where in the US Constitution in the provision for the feds to confiscate money from you and/or your constituents (at gunpoint if necessary) and give it to me and the community I serve?


    We all need to do our part.

    I agree. It's just that some of us want some of us to do more than our part.

    we have ONE Congressman and I hardly ever go to his office to accomplish what needs to be done in respects to the fire service - as one man can only do so much.

    Good. He's your US Representative, not your state rep. Your fire department is a local issue, not a federal one.

    And tell Dennis mongo says "hey" next time you see him.

    Your fire department is a local issue, not a Texas, Virginia, or Oklahoma one.

    Like I said, I'm glad the NAoC supports us 100%. And I applaud your efforts on behalf of the firefighters in your community. We need more politicians like you.

    Now show it by coughing up some local cash. Any number of people could go through just about any county budget and find all the money the local fire department needs.

    (You can email me a copy at mongofire_99@yahoo.com but you should know the first place I'd start is art and/or welfare programs.)

    BucksEng91

    You didn't answer any of mongo's questions.

    Ahhh, but we got the "you don't understand, these poor people..." type non-answers!

    Which we knew we would get...

    Do I get penalized because my community and department are fiscally responsible and on top of issues of fire protection?

    Of course you do! (you knew that )

    BigBoss

    It is about time that ALL fire departments in all towns, cities and villages, regardless of their size or type of department get on board and at least be able to have the opportunity to get a piece of the federal budget pie.

    Where does federal money come from?

    It's time we vote with our wallets and get our federal tax burden lowered (or better yet, FLATTENED) and raise taxes locally to support fire departments.

    larry cook

    you and I as owners of the public lands are not doing our fair share of paying for fire protection.

    Didn't she say the BLM got 1.6 billion increase?

    How much is our fair share?

    Please put your department in Karolin's place and see how much it cost to respond to the fires in his district that are on federal land.

    Or anywhere where people don't pay for protection, like say a city running MA into a county area to cover those folks for free?

    Is that Lewis & Clark Countys problem when it happens in my town in Texas? No. So why should she be forced to pay for it?

    We have fundraisers to pay for our expenses every year and the state does not contribute.

    Do you apply for the state grants?

    Ever try to send the state a bill?
    Last edited by mongofire_99; 01-31-2002 at 12:48 AM.
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

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    Mongo,

    I see what you are saying...and agree with you for the most part. I am of the line of think that the most important level of government there is is the one right down the street. Fire protection is a local matter and should be funded at a local level, however I do see a need for federal funding when federal laws (2 in/2 out, Hazmat, etc) start to cause problems at a local level. If it is indeed a local issue...then there should be no such thing as a "National Standard" or Federal regulation. If it is indeed a local matter, then each political subdivision, be it Village, Town, City, County, RFD, etc should determine of their own accord what constitutes an "Appropriate Level of Protection" right?

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    Originally posted by firecat1524
    Mongo,

    I see what you are saying...and agree with you for the most part. I am of the line of think that the most important level of government there is is the one right down the street. Fire protection is a local matter and should be funded at a local level, however I do see a need for federal funding when federal laws (2 in/2 out, Hazmat, etc) start to cause problems at a local level. If it is indeed a local issue...then there should be no such thing as a "National Standard" or Federal regulation. If it is indeed a local matter, then each political subdivision, be it Village, Town, City, County, RFD, etc should determine of their own accord what constitutes an "Appropriate Level of Protection" right?

    Is 2 in / 2 out a federal law? Or is it a recommended standard?

    Also - hazmat responses around my way are coordinated at the county level. Is there a federal haz mat team in your town that I don't know about? I suspect not.

    In any case, the point is still this - is it right to take money from me and send it to some town in Oregon to pay for their new decon equipment? And if so, why? No one has answered this yet. Why, if there is a need for hazmat response in that town, is it not paid for by the people protected by that piece of equipment? Perhaps it's not really necessary? I don't know - you tell me.

    Mongo made a great point when he asked the politician who started this self-congratulatory thread why she hasn't ponied up local money or lobbied for extra local money to provide the fire protection where she lives. It sounds like she'd rather have my well-run district pay for it. That makes a hell of a lot of sense, doesn't it?
    "Let's roll." - Todd Beamer, one of a group of American soldiers who handed the terrorists their first defeat.

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  19. #19
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    firecat1524

    however I do see a need for federal funding when federal laws (2 in/2 out, Hazmat, etc) start to cause problems at a local level.

    Why was 1910.134 revised to include 2in/2out? In a nutshell, people in general industry were getting hurt or killed by not using good judgement in the face of danger.

    Same as the confined space standard (1910.146). 80% of the fatalities in confined space were rescuers, most of those were cops and bystanders. They look in the hole and say "hey, Joe ain't movin' I better go get him" and fall prey to their own lack of common sense. 1910.146 has been out a few years now and I don't think anything has changed in industry except fines are being levied. As far as from a fire service end, 1910.146 didn't help us a lick. Training and awareness is what stopped us from trying to kill ourselves.

    So what am I saying?

    2in/2out is not a problem, it's common sense and sound decision making. The fire service has (with some exception) for the most part been doing it for years. It was never even intended to apply to the municipal fire service. It was lobbied to have us included, but in most cases actually carries little or no weight.

    It doesn't apply to rescue situations when there is a reasonable potential to save a human life and, if you read further on into my reply to Bucks, you'll see that these federal regs do not cover government employees like firefighters (state or local) in 25 states.

    We can hardly expect the feds to take money from you and pass to someone else all because of a lack of common sense.

    And regarding hazmat, there is no requirement anywhere for the fire department to do hazmat. It's a local choice that we as a fire department or our community makes and that is how is should be paid for.

    If it is indeed a local issue...then there should be no such thing as a "National Standard" or Federal regulation.

    I agree whole heartedly and support voluntary compliance with a national standard.

    If it is indeed a local matter, then each political subdivision, be it Village, Town, City, County, RFD, etc should determine of their own accord what constitutes an "Appropriate Level of Protection" right?

    RIGHT!!!!

    But where we're starting to slide down a real slippery slope by begging the feds to give us some of the welfare pie, which is exactly what the FireAct, COPS, farm subsides, the earned income tax credit, NEA and others of that ilk are, welfare.

    BucksEng91

    Is 2 in / 2 out a federal law? Or is it a recommended standard?

    Depends on where you live.

    Yes, 2in/2out is part of a Federal Regulation - 29CFR1910.134, the respiratory protection standard.

    But!

    In a letter of interpretation to a gentlman from Rhode Island, OSHA says:

    "Most firefighters are employed by local governments, however, and their operations are not governed by Federal OSHA, which does not cover state and local government employees. In contrast, states that operate their own OSHA-approved occupational safety and health plans must cover these public employees. Therefore the provisions of the respirator standard relating to firefighters will be enforced primarily by the twenty-five state-plan states. As you know, Rhode Island does not have its own OSHA-approved state plan so no OSHA program will enforce the two-in/two-out requirement in its public fire departments. OSHA does, however, encourage compliance by these employers."

    Here's the link to the whole letter - http://www.osha-slc.gov/OshDoc/Inter...I19980429.html
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

  20. #20
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    I was going to walk away from this topic, but I have to bring up a few points. We have strayed a little off topic with discussing Federal lands in coverage areas, but it is a valid point. That land is owned by every citizen in the United States. Period. I am proud to have this land, and know that there is still some land left undeveloped for my children and future grandchildren to enjoy. If you don't like having National Forest, National Parks, etc, tough. Move to Mexico.
    I do not like having all of the tax money go to Washington. It should be a local issue. The fact of the matter is, the tax money does go to Washington. Do any of you here feel you do not pay enough in total tax dollars?? We can sit here until doomsday pontificating on how it should be, and not get anywhere. That is where we are now with this thread. I prefer to live in the real world. We do have an imperfect system, but by bringing the issue of fire service funding in front of the NAoC, even in the form of discussing a federal funding grant, is good. It brings us in front of the LOCAL politicians many of you are gnashing your teeth about more funding from. They may remember this when budget time comes around and allow more funding locally. The key is that we have an imperfect system.
    Bucks, I do agree with you that local law enforcement should also be a local issue. However, federal funding and grants have been going on for years for that. And with that said, the only one I have heard talking about a new brush truck is you. Karolin said one of their trucks broke down when responding to a fire. That is all she said. But I want to ask you what the population and square mileage your department covers. What is your tax base? The point I am making is that if your "fiscally responsible" department has an annual budget of say, $250,000.00, you will have a lot more leeway than a station with an operating budget of $5,000.00 More local funding you say, fundraisers you say, what if the population of your county is say 2500? I am just pulling numbers out of the air, but I hope you see my point. Yes, we do all have our problems. I would assume you would see more structure fires than Karolin based on the area you live in. But do you honestly propose that Karolin, and her VFD, not respond to a brush fire on federal grounds? Or do you think that the people who live in that area should pay say, 90% or more of their annual income in taxes to pay for local fire protection, while you pay probably in the 20% range. Or do you think that they should take up a fire line on the nearest private landowner's (taxpayer's) land and try to keep it within the federal grounds? Oh, by the way, they cannot have any extra tools than they can afford locally, maybe one pumper, one tanker, and hopefully a brush truck. Yeah, there are easier ways to commit suicide. You make the statement " take money from me and my family and give it to a department in some area that I and my family will never visit or even drive through." I am sorry you will NEVER go west, and you will personally gaurantee that no one whom you are blood related to will EVER visit a National Park. Ever is a long time. Many people from all over the US visit National Parks and Forests during vacations. But NONE of those people should pay for fire protection so they can (hopefully) visit it again. What a concept!! Is my fire service not supposed to respond if you are in an MVA in my territory because you don't live here??? If someone from your area is out here, or EVER uses Federal Parks in Karolin's territory are you going to respond from PA to protect it??? The fire will be in NE before you can respond. It is our ground, and that is that.
    Mongo, you stated that if a piece of ground did not hold a military value, it should be privately or state owned. I guess I cannot agree with you there. I am not a "tree hugger," but I do think that we need to preserve some natural resources. The costs of owning this land is minimal in comparison to the benefit it provides to all of us. We are all able to use these lands if we decide to.
    As for the "self-congratulatory" public official, the only ones I see in this thread acting smug and full of themselves are Mongo and Buck.
    Now, lets do a little de-bunking here. The "small town Texas" where Mongo lives has a county population of 1,170,103. The "DFW" area of Texas, which happens to be in the vicinity of Dallas-Fort Worth. I understand you probably do live in a smaller town out north, but the tax rolls there are fairly large. Bucks lives in Warminster, PA according to his profile. This is a suburb of Philly, with a population of 35,543 and a county population of 541,174. The county Karolin lives in has a population of 47,495. And I have nothing to hide as the county I live in has a population of 21,522. According to the US Census Bureau, the per capita income per county ranking of the counties involved are as follows, with #1 being the top. Bucks Co, PA #78, Tarrant Co, TX #246. Lewis and Clark Co, MT #734, and Mahaska Co, IA #1497. The reason I bring up the population bases regards the "local" funding of the fire service. It is easy to pontificate about using county money when you have 500,000 to over 1 million in population to draw from. Where do I sign up?!! Are the people I protect less valuable than the ones you protect because there are more of them, and make more money? I will admit both of you had some good points. I agree with some in principle. If you had left well enough alone, I would have walked away. But you both had to be inflammatory in your rhetoric. This led me to do some research, and has quite frankly angered me. You lost all of your credibility when we look at your population bases. You can AFFORD to have the county totally pay for your services. But, it sounds to me like you are both just disgruntled FF whose services did not get a FIRE grant this last year. Mine didn't either. If that is the case, get over it. Oh, and by the way, make sure neither of your departments puts in for a grant this year since you are both so opposed to getting federal money. Personally, I don't care where the money comes from if it will allow me to protect my citizen base better or safer. I think most of us who have written in this thread feel the same way. Where do you two, from large, rich counties get off telling those of us who are less fortunate that we must be doing something wrong if we cannot afford the level of protection our people deserve without hardship. We, too, hold fundraisers. We spend our own money for equipment. I would say it would be safe to assume that with the income rankings being what they are, you have a larger property tax base to chooose from, as not many rich people live in 100 year old, original houses or trailer houses. So what we have are two people from large counties, with fairly large per capita incomes telling those of us in smaller, poorer counties that we should have an abundance of money for fire protection, local police, county police, EMS, and secondary roads. And Mongo, I am very disappointed with you, trying to pass yourself off as coming from a poor county in TX with your "small town Texas." I will admit you did not say poor, but the impression was put out there with the way you worded your statements. At least Buck didn't try to hide what he is and where he comes from. But if you start down the road to showing "I am Joe Everybody, I feel your pain," at least be smart enough to edit your profile so it isn't so easy to reveal you for what, and who, you are. You came very close to an outright lie with rebutting me when I said you must not come from an area with a small population base. Can you say "that depends on what you mean by sexual relations?" Given the facts at hand, it does appear you deceived. If your VFD has a measly budget, I would say it is you who has a mis-managed department.
    I will probably continue to read this thread, but will not respond further to Buck or Mongo. Both have lost all credibility with me. I can proudly say I would much rather stand next to Karolin on a fire line. At least she lives in the real world and works to make what is, better, instead of spouting on the net to people who live hundreds of miles away. We are all on the same team, and let's remember that. There is no need to attack someone who is actively doing something that will potentially benefit us all.
    Last edited by latigo; 01-31-2002 at 03:46 PM.
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  21. #21
    RJE
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    Here's an interesting note for the FFs in and around Helena, MT.

    The company I work for just completed a $500,000 contract to do an environment impact statement for the possibility of allowing coal-bed methane production in MT on BLM lands.

    If they've got that kind of money in their budget, can't BLM pay for their OWN fire protection (under contract from the Helena FD and the vollies in surrounds?)

  22. #22
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    Latigo

    Do any of you here feel you do not pay enough in total tax dollars??

    I pay way too much, but then again, I'm part of the evil rich daschle, gebhardt and gore warned you about.

    Did you know my income group and above earns 66.5% of the total US Income, but pays 84.5% of the total taxes?

    I saw geraldine ferraro on TV the other night, she said I should feel priviledged to carry the financial burden or some crap like that.

    It brings us in front of the LOCAL politicians many of you are gnashing your teeth about more funding from.

    If a fire department is not already in front of their local politicians letting them know, that fire department is being negligent.

    The key is that we have an imperfect system.

    An imperfect punative system.

    Now, lets do a little de-bunking here. The "small town Texas" where Mongo lives has a county population of 1,170,103.

    Sorry man, I don't live in Tarrant County, I was just using it for an example...

    Didn't mean to confuse you.

    Would it be too much trouble to retype your reply in regards to me with teh info I supply you in this reply?

    the tax rolls there are fairly large.

    Yep, in Dallas, Tarrant, Rockwall and Collin County they are, but I don't live in one of those counties.

    Bucks lives in Warminster, PA according to his profile.....The reason I bring up the population bases regards the "local" funding of the fire service.

    But my population base is only around 40,000 county wide, very little industry (we got a Walmart!) and only about 20,000 homes. Average home value is around $60,000 (maybe a little more or less). About half are mobile homes.

    And the crap about per capita income is meaningless without cost of living data too.

    It is easy to pontificate about using county money when you have 500,000 to over 1 million in population to draw from.

    But I don't have that fortune.

    To the contrary, it is easy to see when you open your eyes that the US taxpayer is getting screwed and punished for his or her successes.

    Are the people I protect less valuable than the ones you protect because there are more of them, and make more money?

    Not at all.

    Should we pity you and send donations your way or do you prefere the feds just take it at gunpoint and then decide if you are worthy AFTER they take their cut?

    If you had left well enough alone, I would have walked away.

    It's not like your position is based on any Constitutional principles and your arguements aren't too strong for a private or home school educated freshman to rebutt.

    You want your share of my money, so you ask the feds to get it for you.

    Admit it.

    You lost all of your credibility when we look at your population bases.

    You missed my population base by a whopping 1.13 million people based on assumption you made and now you want to call into question my credibility?

    You can AFFORD to have the county totally pay for your services.

    GREAT!!!!

    Wait 'til the chief hears that we don't have to have carwashes, pancake breakfasts, fish frys, white elephant sales and chili suppers anymore. We can take the kitchen off the station and add a new bay for the new truck they'll get us.

    But, it sounds to me like you are both just disgruntled FF whose services did not get a FIRE grant this last year.

    I admit my department applied over my objections.

    Now, do a little research and find out when Bucks, RJE and I and a few others started to speak out against this vote buying scheme disguised as a welfare program with a fancy name. You'll find it was long before the rules were established, the application packets were available and way before the awards were announced.

    make sure neither of your departments puts in for a grant this year since you are both so opposed to getting federal money.

    Rest assured I will do my best.

    We spend our own money for equipment.

    Me too.

    Next sad story please...

    Given the facts at hand, it does appear you deceived.

    Fact, I live in the DFW area of north Texas.

    Fact, I do not live in one of the richer counties surrounding Dallas or Tarrant County.

    Fact, your statements about me are based on assumptions you made and are totally incorrect.

    At least she lives in the real world and works to make what is, better, instead of spouting on the net to people who live hundreds of miles away.

    The real world of low FD budgets? I live AND work there. Got two chiefs that just wanna kiss a city managers butt.

    CM "Chief, we need to cut your budget so we can do this. Don't worry though, we're gonna apply for a grant for twice that amount from the feds for you."

    Chief (wiping brown stuff off his nose) - "OK, are you sure that's enough? We can hold off on buying a new truck to replace the broken one behind the station for another year."

    There is no need to attack someone who is actively doing something that will potentially benefit us all.

    I fail to see how grabbing more of yours or my tax dollars and sending them somewhere else benefits us all.

    And since you're not going to respond, I guess we'll never know how the FA will benefit us all.

    Hey!!! Maybe they'll take the 250,000,000 they're looking at now and divide it by 44,000 (rough estimate on the number of FDs in the US) and send us all a check for $5,700!
    Last edited by mongofire_99; 01-31-2002 at 11:18 PM.
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

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    Ok....since we are at it...let's look at a couple other federal programs from this point of view. I don't see why my tax dollars are used providing a vey ineffective Border Control problem in Tx, NM, AZ, and CA. I think that that hard earned SC money could be used providing border protection here in case a boat load of illegals from Bermuda try to come ashore. If they don't want illegal aliens from mexico there...that's a local problem....do away with the Border Patrol and let the local Sherriff's Dept worry about it.

    Another thing that bothers me is all the tax money that is spent recbuilding these communities out West that seem to burn every year, or sent to these communities along the Mississippi River that have to replace their levees because they aren't up to par. That money could be better used here rebuilding the maybe 15 or 20 houses that are lost to wildland/interface fires in SC a year...or to repair damage in the maybe 50 or so homes that are damaged in flooding yearly. We have a levee along the east bank of the Congaree River that could use bolstering, and Lord knows the west bank always floods below Cayce.

    You know, I never plan to visit Maine, and by golly I sure as heck don't habe any family there..so why is my hard earned SC dollar paying to protect them from foriegn invasion? I mean really...we have a strong State Guard and reserve system here in SC...if they want protection they can pay for it themselves.

    You know...I really get tired of hearing about the nuclear waste that is being stored at the Savannah River Site in Aiken County,SC. If a nuclear plant in PA has nuclear waste...then they should dispose of it in PA. The electricity that it produced didn't get used in SC why should SC have PA's nuclear waste. That's a local problem. We will not even go into the solid waste dumps in the Pee Dee Region that's filled with garbage from the Mid Atlantic states.

    You know....I think I'm starting to come around to this point of view. Pretty soon it'll be "every state/county/city/town/etc for themself" We will not need a Federal Govt at all. Imagine all the money we will be rolling in then. Wait though...what was that I heard President Bush say in his speech at the school in Atlanta today? Did he mention that the local police/fire/and emergency services were the first line of Homeland Defense? I am pretty sure that's what I saw. Is it still simply a local issue? Hmmm.

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    Hey firecat, got a news flash for you - all those things you're arguing against funding - they ARE in the Constitution - except for rebuilding western towns that are victims of wildland fires (which also applies to rebuilding beachfront communities wrecked by hurricanes, BTW) and nuclear waste disposal.

    Now - here's what should really be happening (as I told Karolin earlier, and we've followed up on since) - In that case, there is a single very large "landowner" in the district that doesn't "pay" its fair share of local taxes, but does much more than its share of the "damage". And there's a way to handle such a case. Here's an example:

    My old dept formed a fire protection district - included two small towns and 250sq. mi. of rural land - total about 10,000 homes (suburban) + 250 small farms and ranches. And we got a 2 mill property tax for funding. Up the road a ways, another area formed a similar district around the county seat. They've got twice the area but 1/2 the homes (farther from the "big city" so more rural), and a similar tax rate. But farm land is valuable in that part of the country, so their budget is pretty close to the same.

    1/2 way in between (right on the border between the two) there is another small town. Population around 5,000. They'd never had their own fire dept. (used ours before the FPD went in). But they didn't want their taxes raised, so they got an amendment to "exclude" them from both FPDs, that formed the same year.

    So, do they form their own "town" FD? Nope, we're all on a centralized 911 system, so when a resident calls, we roll, and call Central for M/A if nec.

    Except - the first time it happened, we billed the "town" for an amount nearly 25% of their annual budget.

    The mayor tried to raise a fuss - but the people promptly voted themselves into the FPD, and we put a station in the town.

    So take this scenario to the BLM owned lands around Helena: now, the FD can't really successfully bill the BLM (they'll just ignore it, and where are you going to get with a collection agent? But they do have a sizable budget. Now, this money comes from all of us (including SC) as well, but Congress has said they get it - for the specific purpose of "managing" Federally owned land. So us, (FFs and sypathizers) should support BLM paying their own way, out of their own budget. If Karolin gets the MT Congresspeople to propose a bill that says Federal agencies have to pay their own way, we should all support it. But it shouldn't include an increase in the budget, either. They've (at least in the case of BLM) have plenty already.

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    Talking Mongo, Mongo, Mongo.....

    Mongo,

    I have changed my mind, as this is fun watching you run for cover.

    I will start with the Constitutional question you brought up. I will admit that I had misplaced my copy of the Constitution, and did not bring the Constitutional debate in earlier. I do like to have facts on my side before I spout off. You may want to consider that sometime. In the Preamble of the the Constitution it states: "...Ensure domestic Tranquility,...Promote the General Welfare,..." Do you think domestic tranquility or the general welfare of the United statea would actually be improved without the fire service? Or would it be better to have allowed Detroit and Los Angeles to burn down? Our founding Fathers knew that the Constitution was just a framework, and provided for specifying these powers as needed. They made the Congress. In Jan. 1786, they decided to meet on the first Monday of May following "...to devise such further provisions as should appear to them necessary to render the Constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union." So although the founding fathers knew more work was needed to "fine-tune" the Constitution, you know better.

    Article I, Section 8
    "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States."

    Article III
    Section 2. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States,... Now, Mongo, if this is unconstitutional, why hasn't it come before the courts??

    Webster's New Riverside University Dictionary defines the word welfare as: 1. Health, happiness, and general well-being"

    This does not mean you give me money to make me happy, this means if it will improver the health or general well being of the population, or help ensure domestic tranquility, it is constitutional. Go ahead and whine about you having to give up some of your money for the general good of all citizens. If the fire service does not contribute to the health and well being of the community, there is no need for it. The reason I joined the Fire service was to help people. Most of us feel the same way. Congress is specifically empowered to lay taxes. The Judicial Branch was created to ensure that the laws passed by the Legislative Branch are Constitutional.

    You are the one who brought up Tarrant Co, TX. "You missed my population base by a whopping 1.13 million people based on assumption you made and now you want to call into question my credibility?" Using information you gave. You put it there and didn't think anyone would do any research. You got caught, and now are saying "you made an assumption." You didn't use that for an example, you just got caught. Admit it. And, yes, that is a reason to question your credibility, Einstein. You still did not state what county you are from. You responded as soon as you read my post, didn't take the time to research, and had to work off of the cuff. Instead of getting caught in a lie, you omitted anything that could be verified. I was watching for you to log in, and know you spouted, again, without thought. Ooops!! Oh, and by the way, to say a county now, when you might have actually done some research, although I doubt that, is not going to work. I won't fall for it.

    You state "Did you know my income group and above earns 66.5% of the total US Income, but pays 84.5% of the total taxes?" According to the official IRS website, and some simple math, that puts your income in the top 13% of Adjusted Gross Incomes in the nation. "And the crap about per capita income is meaningless without cost of living data too." If the cost of living is too high where you live, then move. Now on to your next sob story.

    You state in one of your early posts "the VFD I serve on has a measly budget. Rest assured we do not get anywhere near the money we need." If your budget is so low, and you aren't out there busting your hump trying to find more money, you have absolutely no right to even mention funding. You are negligent to your community. "I admit my department applied over my objections." Why are you in the fire service at all?? Oh, that's right, you can ride in the parade every fourth of July and brag to your friends how you are on the FD.

    You complain on, "Got two chiefs that just wanna kiss a city managers butt." If your chiefs are so bad, vote them off. That is usually an option in a small town volunteer department. But most small towns I know of don't have a city manager. They don't even have a full-time Mayor. How small is your town again? Oh, that's right, you don't want to be pinned down with any facts. Maybe you can become the chief. I am sure that will swell the ranks. People with Egos as large as yours always seem to make friends, and people love working under your authority. ROFLMAO!!!!

    When have you had the entire Federal government show up at your house to take your money "at gunpoint?" I don't know what business you are in, but if Federal Agents are pointing a gun at you on a regular basis, you may want to consider a change in employment. That just strikes me as an inherently dangerous way to make a living. Good advice.

    "Hey!!! Maybe they'll take the 250,000,000 they're looking at now and divide it by 44,000 (rough estimate on the number of FDs in the US) and send us all a check for $5,700!" Well, Mongo, I know you don't like facts getting in the way of a good arguement, but I will make this one easy for you. Instead of clicking on "forums" try going down and looking on the left hand side of the screen. There is a link there for "Funding." It is written in white and is bordered by red. On 12/20/01 Firehouse News announced the FIRE Act is funded at a level of $360 million for 2002. Can you get any "fact" right??

    "...Your arguements aren't too strong for a private or home school educated freshman to rebutt." You are the one who is relying on rhetoric and a few "facts" which you throw in for good measure. It doesn't matter if the "facts" you throw out cannot be checked. I have done research, and put it here for all to see. If you are motivated enough, you can check the facts I have stated. The sources I used are openly available, and I used facts. But I warn you, you may have to actually spend some time on it, and it will cut into your time "enlightening" all of us so ignorant as to not share your narrow point of view. You have still to rebut a single statement I have made other than to deny it or say I assumed something (using information you provided) incorrectly. So I guess you are not as educated as a "private or home school educated freshman." Deal with it. Show us facts, not words. But be prepared to have them checked.

    "Would it be too much trouble to retype your reply in regards to me with teh info I supply you in this reply?" No, I have replied to the facts which can be researched and verified. Which was exactly two. How can I retype a reply to information given, which wasn't given. Did you state your county or City?? No, you just denied Tarrant County. Given that fact, I cannot believe anything you will now come up with as being genuine. I believe two things about you, Mongo. One, that you live in Tarrant Co., TX (as much as you deny it) and two, the income level you claim. Poor little rich boy... {wiping tears from my eyes for poor Mongo}

    So with your last post we finally get to the real reason you don't like the FIRE Act. I do support a flat tax. This would be fair. But the Constitution does provide for the Congress to levy taxes. Argue that the fire service, as a system, does not provide for the "general welfare" of he population as a whole. If it doesn't, why does it exist at all? If you do not like your Congressperson supporting the FIRE Act, vote them out. Oh, that's right, you are only one person. Granted, your opinions are the only ones that matter, but we do live in a democracy. You use the rhetoric of a far right conservative, but use the logic of the far left liberal. "Even though I am in the minority, you should all do anything I want or I will get mad. Reality is what I want it to be." If the majority of people shared your narrow view, things would be different. Thankfully my parents taught me to think, and I learned to research my statements.
    I stated that the FIRE Act will potentially benefit us all. You changed that to will benefit us all. You are the only one twisting words. You are the one either a)deliberately mislead us all, or b)got caught and are now backtracking. The only facts you have given, in your whole, long-winded but humorous dialog, was a percentage of income versus total tax dollars, and the amount of the 2002 FIRE Act (which you got wrong.) Granted, you left even this vague, but I did verify it, and correct you.

    You know, the smart ones know when to walk away when they are losing. You have freely used sarcasm, which is a valid debate tool if used wisely, and a superior attitude in all your posts. I have replied in kind, but with facts to back me up. Where is one fact that you have given, that we can verify, to give you your credibility back? Where in the Constitution does it state, specifically, that the fire service does not promote the general welfare of the United States? Where is the first lawsuit challenging it? If you do believe it is un-Constitutional, why have you not brought about a lawsuit to stop it? I understand that it is much easier and cheaper to just spout off here, in this Forum, than to actually do anything. If all you want to do is ramble on, without a single verified fact, give it up. You were caught. Admit it, and there will be no hard feelings. I do not hold a grudge, but I do expect honesty. If this embarasses you, good. Maybe you will learn from this that even though this is the internet, some of us will verify what you say, and catch you if you are not truthful.
    "Illigitimi Non Carborundum"

    "The views expressed by me are solely my own, and in no way reflect the views of any organization which I belong to."

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