Once we give our tax money to the government it is no longer our money, it is the government’s money. That is what we as a community have decided through our laws by us and by our elected leaders. To believe otherwise guides us into behaving in ways that do not move us forward. to believe in that way leads me to argue that a government employee must behave in a certain way because I pay her salary or that I get to decided which policies and laws I can skirt because I pay lots of money to a government or person in the government.
Now, it is our government and they are our politicians, our elected leaders. How they behave is not controlled by us, but rather guided by us. If they do not seem to being doing whats best for the community they represent whether through incompetence, malfeasance, or through any other sort of misguided reasoning, then we need to make change to someone who inspires hope and encourages our voices to be heard.
The more open communication there is, the more likely informed decisions will be made. Remember that our government is a republic, not a democracy, we depend upon our politicians to make the best decision for us, not the decision that the majority of us want at a given time, not the decision that the person who will give them the most money or goods wants at a given time, and not the decision that is most likely to get them reelected.
And as citizens in a community it is up to us to speak our ideas and to be appreciative listeners in community so as to help guide our leaders and ourselves into making the best informed decisions. In order for a community to be sustainable there must be ongoing open conversation and sharing of ideas in all sorts of venues: in coffee shops, beauty parlors, grocery markets, libraries, schools, colleges, and on and on. There need to be ongoing civic gatherings where there is guided conversation. We need to listen, think, and talk in ways that move activity forward.