Today's government legalizes plunder
Sunday, September 15, 2013 10:00 PM
The Declaration of Independence reminds us that the purpose of government is to secure our rights to our life, liberty and property. Unfortunately, this principle has been perverted to the point that laws passed today are used to violate our rights. This is especially true of our right over our own personal property. Personal property includes our wages. In a free society, one that has only rightful laws, a government is only allowed to take a portion of its citizen's wages (in the form of taxes) for the purpose of securing the rights of citizens. However, today's perverted laws allow the government to tax its citizens and then give it to a special interest group. Special interests have figured this out and routinely lobby government to pass laws and ordinances that effectively plunder the taxpayer for the benefit of the special interest group. Now it has gotten to the point where everyone attempts to use government as a weapon to live at the expense of everyone else. This is the case for welfare programs, but is also the case for corporate subsidies (corporate welfare).
John Pickerill is the Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman. His column is part of a series of columns that appear in The Paper of Montgomery County on Mondays from public officials.
We are seeing many examples of this in Montgomery County. One is the Culver Hospital cleanup project. The City of Crawfordsville is taking $150,000 from the city citizens and giving it to Sustainable Solutions. Sustainable Solutions will then use it to purchase the hospital property from Metope Project Inc. Plundering of the city taxpayers.
Another example is the $99,000 U.S. Dept of Agriculture grant to the Montgomery County Economic Development (MCED) corporation. The federal government is taking $99,000 from United States citizens and giving it to MCED. MCED will then use it to pick and choose which small and emerging businesses in the county get a business loan, essentially giving those businesses an unfair advantage over their competitors. Plundering of the American taxpayers (not to mention meddling of the free market).
Another example is MCED itself. The City of Crawfordsville is taking $75,000 from city citizens and giving it to MCED. The Montgomery County government is taking another $75,000 from county citizens and giving it to MCED. MCED then acts as a monopoly government-subsidized real estate agent for businesses interested in relocating to Montgomery County. MCED also petitions local government for property tax abatements for the businesses they choose. Being a monopoly, they pick and choose which business inquiries and which tax abatement requests get special attention. And the operation of MCED is almost all funded by city and county taxes. Plundering of the city and county taxpayers (and further meddling of the free market).
Another example is the Crawfordsville Commerce Park. The City of Crawfordsville spent millions on it. The first prospective tenant, Polyglot, was a disaster and cost the city taxpayers another $350,000 with nothing to show for it. The only way the city could get an actual tenant there was to take $5 million more from city and county taxpayers and spend it on a building to essentially bribe Ivy Tech to move in there. Plundering of the city and county taxpayers.
Another example is Amtrak's Hoosier State passenger rail service. Amtrak is trying to talk Indiana Dept of Transportation into taking over the $3 million annual operating cost of this line. Thankfully, the federal subsidies for all lines shorter than 750 miles ends on Oct. 1. So the plundering of American taxpayers for Amtrak will finally be reduced. And thankfully, INDOT's chief-of-staff has said Indiana is not interested in footing the entire subsidy, which was an $80 subsidy for each of the 37,000 riders in the 2012 fiscal year. However, several municipal leaders, including those in Crawfordsville and Greater Lafayette, are actually advocating to continue this subsidy. Plundering of the Indiana taxpayers.
Another example is the SAFER grant federal subsidy. This was $1 million taken from American taxpayers in 2012 to subsidize the Crawfordsville Fire Dept budget. By the way, the original problem was caused by a 2009 SAFER grant that allowed them to hire more firefighters than their budget could afford. So instead of making the hard decisions necessary to balance its budget, the city used a band-aid to kick the can down the road for two more years. Very similar to this is the $380,000 COPS grant federal subsidy in 2011 that is subsidizing the Crawfordsville Police Dept. Plundering of the American taxpayers.
Here's a new idea: A government that passes laws and ordinances to ensure no one plunders anyone else, where we don't seek to live at the expense of everyone else, where we pay our own way. Is that such a radical idea?