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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Fund it 'cause it's old!

JS Online: Editorial: Reinventing the Domes

Let me state that I have never once been to the domes in all my 23+ years of existence, most of which I lived in Waukesha, but for the past three I live probably two miles from the compeltely useless money pits. I know plenty of people from outside the state that figured they had to go because well, I can't fathom a reason to go. Maybe they're pretty, I don't know. Gardens aren't my thing.

Anyway, yesterday was a doom and gloom story cooked up by the Journal (fund raising a la Circus Parade perhaps?) and today they followed up with the incredibly shocking editorial calling for their favorite solution to every problem facing man...RAISE TAXES! (A new dedicated sales tax to be precise.

But without a steady stream of additional public revenue besides the property tax - a county task force has suggested a dedicated sales tax - we fear the Domes could still end up short.

Perhaps it is time to face the fact that just because something is old and has been here a long time doesn't mean we have to keep flushing money away on it. If the domes are failing it is undoubtedly due to a lack of visitors and a lack of public will to keep them afloat. The brilliant minds on the editorial board however, have a much more pressing reason than "it's old" to support their proposed tax hike:

Even with the broken glass and peeling paint, this botanical oasis still offers a priceless, year-round emotional lift for residents and visitors alike, which is more important in this intemperate climate than almost anywhere else. Many people, and that includes schoolchildren, can't afford in the middle of winter - or for that matter what passes for spring around here - to jet to Florida to see subtropical vegetation or to Arizona to behold the beauty of the desert.

Is that a joke? These domes are somehow a glimpse into other worlds that some might not ever see otherwise? If that is true, and this is the sole reason for their existence, I want a tax payer funded dome featuring the inside of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleader dressing room, or perhaps Jupiter. While I can go to Florida or Arizona, I know I can't afford a trip to space. What about those of us not fortunate enough to have been in a boy band that want to experience outer space Mr. Pimentel? Isn't a nice hefty tax raise just the thing to solve that problem?

Perhaps these folks don't remember what it was like to be a teenager. I'll tell you what, if I was fifteen or sixteen and went on a field trip to the domes I would not be awe struck by some plants and a giant sandbox, I would be bored.

I do agree with the Journal on one point, that there is a solution without forcing another sales tax down our throats:

One ray of hope is the Domes' dedicated 1,000-member Friends group, which could spearhead a private fund-raising campaign.

No one will argue with using private funds, just don't force everyone in the state to pay for more of your useless and outdated public pet projects.