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Service cuts spawned Galleria disaster

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With $55 million in damages to (Roseville) Galleria businesses, plus the loss of holiday revenues, taxpayer price tag for police and fire personnel time, investigation hours and other ongoing public agency costs, the media is hung up over revelations regarding the responders or status of sprinkler valves. How much would it have cost in taxes to help a mentally ill man who pleaded for help on more than one occasion? What will be the net tax savings from cuts in social services after the costs of this incident are totaled? The Galleria tragedy that is being ignored is the penny-wise, pound-foolish mentality of anti-tax people, who would deny social services to the needy and then complain and debate response issues. The finger of blame needs to be placed squarely on Reagan-era cuts to social services, many of which served the mentally ill. The well-orchestrated anti-tax movement and tax cuts to the wealthy have left mental health programs in shreds. The knee-jerk, non-solution reaction is more security and tax-funded jail time. Tax-funded social programs help resolve issues and provide professional resources to prevent such incidents. Until taxpayers figure that out, history will repeat itself. Jake O’Rourke, Loomis