Keith Olbermann fulminated at great length last night about the house that burned down, outraged that the city did not provide fire service to a person who lived outside their jurisdiction, who does not pay taxes in their jurisdiction, who was offered coverage for a fee of $75 per year and declined that coverage, and who expected to receive that coverage after declining to pay for it.
Olbermann quoted at length from a county planning document regarding fire protection coverage, as if that county planning should in some fashion dictate the city fire department operations. He also failed to point out that the county plan was voted on by county residents some years earlier and was voted down. The county residents did not want to have a county fire department, and the “fee for service” being provided by the city was what the county residents chose to retain.
Olbermann cited this at the beginning of his night's rant as a "breakdown of government." In fact, it is the exact opposite of that. I believe it was what we call democracy; a form of government in which the voters receive precisely what they choose to have when they cast their votes at the balloting place.
Olbermann provided time for a lengthy and self-pitying interview with the homeowner, who now claims that he simply “forgot” the pay the fire protection premium. Sure he did. The homeowner also thinks, but has “not checked on it” that some of his taxes go to the city to pay for the operation of the fire department. He thinks his tax money goes to the general fund so maybe it isn’t specifically for the fire department, but he’s willing to bet that some of the money is used for fire trucks. Since he lives outside the city, I’m guessing he’s full of crap.
Olbermann did not cite the homeowner as saying, as other sources have quoted, "I thought they'd come out and put it out, even if you hadn't paid your $75, but I was wrong." Indeed you were, sport.