Back to Quack Off
Boise’s Ada County Detox Center Bankrupt Within One Year as Cities Refuse to
Cough Up the Dough to Pay for it
Boise, ID – As
predicted, Boise’s Ada County Detox Center for drunks and druggies ain't
working out so well as a government solution.
It's actually rather humorous to read the Idaho Statesman's progressive (pun
intended) historical articles from before The
Drunk Tank was built, claiming the
Treasure Valley Will Curl Up and Die Without a Detox Center, to
after it was built, Yippee, The Detox Center
Has Opened, Champagne for Everybody Except the Inmates, to
today’s Oh-oh, Boise, Meridian, and Garden City
Ain't Coughing up Enough Dough to Finance the New Detox Center.
As we have reported
over and over in these pages, Boise's Treasure Valley does not need a
publicly-financed Detox Center. Let the free market handle the drunks and
druggies who CHOOSE to alter their brains with recreational booze and drugs
and end up at emergency hospital clinics or jail. That's exactly what those
facilities are for: extraordinary emergencies.
Let's stop pretending that hospital emergency rooms are not for drug
overdoses. The fact that county hospitals must take in indigent drunks and
druggies is steeped in ridiculous law. Change the law. In a free market,
the hospital could choose to accept these patients or not. And that is what
we should be striving for: a free market in medicine, not more subsidized
government intervention into the health care of Americans. That's exactly
what is wrong with ObamaCare, which hopefully will be repealed in 2011 with
a new Congress.
It is not the responsibility of Ada County citizens to pay for the alcohol
and drug induced overdoses of the perps who can't handle their liquor and
pills. To the extent that the perps go on a crime spree, yes, it is the
responsibility of the cops and courts to arrest and try the bad guys, and
that's what we have law enforcement for: criminal acts of infringement, not
the fact that they ingested or over-ingested recreational substances.
Using the standard left Liberal excuse of, "Well, gosh, gee whizzers, the
drunks and druggies will end up in either jail or emergency hospital rooms
we all have to pay for anyway," is a simple-ass excuse that is totally
irrelevant since the law shouldn’t care why you committed the crime or what
you ate for lunch before you robbed the bank. For the same reasons we don't
build Detox Robbery Centers for bank robbers and Detox Murder Centers for
killers, we shouldn’t be building Detox Alcohol or Drug Centers for drunks
and druggies on the premise that it would lower the cost of bank robbers and
murderers having to go through being arrested, booked, and held down at the
county jail. How absurd.
So, now we have the real costs coming in for the Treasure Valley's
Necessary, Yeah, folks,
Necessary Ha-Ha Detox Center: a 16-bed
joke in Ada County called The Allumbaugh House. Notice how the state
collectivists always call their monuments to state intervention a "House"
instead of the "Drunk Tank” or “The Drug Hotel?" That makes it sound more
like a politically correct "goodie-goodie" place of
It's Not My Fault, It's Society's Responsibility,
Rehabilitation Center. Uh-huh. Right. Progressives always like
to remove individual rights and responsibility from human relationships and
shift it to collectivist government control.
But let’s listen in as the left Liberal Idaho Statesman now reports -- more
like whining -- why the Detox Hotel, I mean Allumbaugh House, ain't working
out so well:
Allumbaugh House symbolizes something else: another ugly and misdirected
free-for-all between local governments."
Really? Wow, what a shock, girl friends. We never saw this coming, right?
The Statesman continues:
dispute has nothing to do with detox, and centers on the costs of running
magistrate courts. Armed with a pair of favorable court rulings, one dating
to 1980, Ada County is seeking a total of more than $4.5 million from Boise,
Meridian and Garden City."
Wow, again. Like the politicians didn't know the true costs of Allumbaugh
House before they built it and FROM WHERE the funding would come? More from
the Progressive Idaho Statesman:
has the law on its side, and the cities have an obligation to help pay. The
cities can't be blamed for feeling sticker shock, though. Boise's annual
bill would jump from $600,000 to $3.3 million. Meridian and Garden City each
would pay $660,350, a steep increase from their current annual bill - zero."
Whoa, so are you telling me that the City of Boise didn't know they were on
the hook for an extra $2.75 million to $3 million in taxes for the Detox
Hotel, I mean Allumbaugh House? Tell us more, Statesman, tell us more, this
is getting hilariously ridiculous:
is playing hardball. The cities face an Oct. 1 eviction date. In the
meantime, the cost-cutting commissioners are looking to jettison what they
now call "non-essential services," such as their $250,000 share of
Allumbaugh House's $1.8 million budget."
Wait a NY minute here. If Allumbaugh House's budget is $1.8 million, why
does the City of Boise have to cough up $3.3 million? Did everybody miss
Basic Math 101A where we learned that 2 + 2 = 4, not 2 + 2 = $3.3 million?
Moving right along:
"So much for
that teamwork thing. In case that wasn't already clear, the county also
wants to whittle $60,000 from its annual dues to the Community Planning
Association of Southwest Idaho, a regional organization that includes
elected officials from around the Valley."
And what's this got to do with "The Bankrupt Drunk Tank" question? Oh well,
but let's try to -- as they say for beginning writers straying from the
point -- "stick with the gorilla in the phone booth:"
budgetary brinksmanship undermines the county's case. However, it raises
important questions about priorities - and who should pay for services."
Oh yoo hoo... Shouldn't the source of financing have been determined long
before "The Druggie House" was built? Duh, Basic Project Management 101A...
The Statesrag continues:
requires local governments to support a detox center."
What? You mean nobody knew how this thing was going to be financed from the
"But it is
clearly wise, and critically important, to make substance-abuse treatment
available to people who cannot otherwise afford it."
Bullshit. Should we erect firearms abuse centers for bank robbers? “Now,
Vinnie the Blade, how come you pulled a .45 magnum on the liquor store
clerk, you bad boy?” How about death abuse centers for murderers? It is
clearly unwise, from the Statesman’s own information above, for the
government to jump into substance-abuse treatment for anybody, whether the
perps can afford it or not. This is not a collectivist issue. It is an
individual rights and responsibility issue, both for the drunks and druggies
and those of us who are now forced to pay for the irresponsible drunks and
druggies. If they committed a crime, they belong in jail and we already pay
for that. If they need medical help, go straight to St. Luke's ER and
charge it to Blue Cross. Don't have Blue Cross? Oooh, tough luck druggie.
Stay home and sleep it off.
alternatives, after all, include jail time and indigent ER care - with
property taxpayers on the hook for either."
True for jail time if a crime was committed, and we already covered that,
but not true for ER care. We already pay for cops and courts and that’s
where criminals belong. Hospitals can say no -- if not due to some archaic
law. If the law says hospitals must accept indigents, change the law. It's
up to the hospitals to choose whether they want to provide ER care
which is French for “freebies.” If hospitals don't have a choice,
change the law; don't build another statist monument to government absurdity
in the health industry.
court services are clearly a statutory requirement. But who should pay the
freight? Taxpayers, regardless of whether they send the money to the county
or the city? Or the people who actually place the burden on the courts?"
Easy peezy, lemon squeezy: Criminals go to jail. ER self-induced drunk and
drug Bozos should pay their own freight at the hospital, either at the time
of treatment or later. Take out a loan. Charge it on VISA. Get a mortgage
loan from Fannie & Freddie, they're flush with Obama money. Whatever. It’s
the drunk’s and druggie’s responsibility, not society’s.
Mayor John Evans makes a good point: Court fees have been frozen for 40
years. The fees obviously are insufficient. If they covered costs, local
officials wouldn't be playing chicken with detox services."
So unfreeze them. The major point, however, is -- knowing all this – it is
clear that building the Allumbaugh House was a stupid stupid move and the
bureaucrats have not solved anything. In fact, they have made the drunk and
druggie problem worse, as FM Duck predicted years ago, and the Idaho
Statesman is reporting today, plus added an increased tax burden on Ada
County taxpayers in the middle of the world's Greatest Recession. But The
Statesman editors still don’t get it:
leaders should come up with some short-term patch to erase the current
shortfall, and then concentrate their energy on a long-term solution. They
should lobby the Legislature to increase court fees."
More government? Why am I not surprised? The solution to one government
intervention is to interject more government intervention? No, they should
not ask the state legislature for a damn thing. Allumbaugh House should be
sold to the highest commercial bidder and the government should get out of
the business of trying to provide Drunk Tanks for irresponsible people.
Leave it to the private ER sector or courts if a crime was committed. Stop
trying to play Nanny State.
share their constituents' distaste for property taxes, but they're more
amenable to increased user fees."
What user fees? This entire problem came about because the "drug users"
were said to be not able to pay for their ER. Or does the Statesman now
define "users" as the taxpayers and not the drunks? Hey, you lost us on
this one, Statesman. What the hell quantum leap of gobbly-dee-gook language
have you leaped to here?
shouldn't be that difficult a sell, if local officials can check dysfunction
and drama at the door."
The only dysfunction and drama have been the Idaho Statesman editors and
other Progressive politicians who thought they should or could legislate
Local Drunk Tanks but, as usual, had no clue why it was morally wrong or why
it could not be easily funded. Dang, this is enough to drive one to
drink... Where's my bottle of Mike's Hard Lemonade? – FM Duck
back to top...