Thursday, May 19, 2005

"LUS 'In Lieu of Tax' is really a hidden tax"

Ok folks, I took a look at this morning's Advertiser and saw a "guest editorial" attacking fiber. More of the silly ILOT rationale, I thought. (I've covered this here recently here.) But, lo and behold, a quick search of the page reveals nary a mention of fiber. I was shocked. I had been sure this was an anti-fiber editorial.

And it was...but of the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) variety. You just get up and try and smear your opponent. You don't even have to mention what you are really against. Far and away the largest advantage that the proponents of a fiber optic plan has is the good name of LUS and the deep-seated approval of the job it is currently doing among our citizens. So it has become a theme among the anti-government contingent that is opposed to LUS' project that there is something, anything, everything wrong with LUS. And this editorial is about nothing more than trying to tear LUS down. Let's see: 1) identify it with "government"—Neal discovers that it is nothing more than a branch of the LCG. (Implication: Ugh.) 2) That the elected city council runs the government (a news flash) and that this list of actual human beings hold the reins. (Implication: Don't trust these men.) 3) These guys are doing things to you "on purpose." (Implication: Bad men.) 4) This bad thing is the "in lieu of tax" portion of the fees you pay for the services you get which are, like the taxes from private concerns they replace, used to support the general fund. (Implication: shocking, surprising) 5) ....good grief, do I have to go on?

You get the picture: government bad, therefore LUS not to be trusted. These council guys are deceiving you by doing what every administration has been doing in the public eye for generations and what every municipality with a municipal utility has always done. It's all been bad and dishonest in all those years and in all those places. And you shouldn't trust any of your blackhearted neighbors or the government you elected.

What's hidden here is not a "tax." What's hidden is the actual agenda behind Neal's attack on LUS: his opposition to the fiber optic initiative. This is eerily reminiscent of the failed petition drive in which opponents loudly trumpeted that all they wanted was a vote . . . this wasn't about being against the plan. That was untrue, and their opposition to the idea of LUS providing a little competition for BellSouth and Cox has continued unabated. This isn't about LUS and ILOT. It's about a plan to build a fiber optic network that is so popular that it can't be effectively opposed directly. At least not until you tear down the proponents.

It's not government you should distrust. It's folks who make their arguments in this way.

No comments: