8/6/10

Grant money

So John Salazar got a grant for the airport. Nearly a quarter million bucks. Isn't that free Federal money great? Brother John managed to buy himself a few votes down these parts, didn't he?

Grant money. It's what seems to make the world go around these days. Public safety departments depend on it; Homeland Security shovels piles of grant money into every little Podunk police or fire department that thinks it needs a 60" LCD television in the 'conference center', or sniper rifles for a three man sheriff's department's "SWAT team".

School districts depend on grant money, which is exactly how the state and Federal governments dictate to us how we will educate our kids. You know, like teaching Kindergartners to use condoms and learn why the missionary position is so ... like, passé. You don't want that in your classrooms? Then you don't get the Federal grant money. If you want Federal money, you're going to dance to their music. Or you don't get that free Federal money.

Local governments depend on grant money. Services are provided because grants for such services become available and local governments jump on 'em. Of course, when the grants run out, citizens have become accustomed to the services, so ...do taxes go up to continue funding them? Or are other services cut? My favorite is funding police positions, School Resource Officers as but one example. You get a Federal grant for the position for ... oh ... three years ... and then when the grant runs out you either get the money by raising taxes or cutting some other program. Or you lay off the SRO.

It gets better. Look at Urban Renewal, which receives tax-generated revenues from the Tax Increment District (TID). Urban Renewal makes low-interest loans and grants from those funds. The problem is not the loans, but the grants. Just like Federal government, Urban Renewal can take tax revenues and redistribute them to private, for-profit businesses. Does it have to be a business? I have a house in the TID. Can I have some of your tax money to fix it up, so the TID presents a better overall image, improving the "shopping experience"? Why not?

I used the dread "R" word. "Redistribute". Urban Renewal, like our beloved state and Federal governments, is in the business of redistributing wealth, and has been since long before The Obamanians came on the scene.

The government's purpose is no longer related to that "... form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity ..." and it has not been so for quite some time. Its purpose is to take money from one group of citizens and redistribute it, often quite arbitrarily, to others, who may or may not be citizens.

Shoveling your money from your private pockets into the private pockets of another individual is so far removed from the purpose of government as designed by the Framers as to be total fiction. It seems that our elected officials in both parties at all levels of government have completely misread that "... promote the general welfare ..." business. Remember that "... and the Republic for which it stands ..." concept? Where is the Republic these days?

So. Let's go spend a few hundred thousand local tax bucks on the Kit Carson and the Tabares building, and then see if we can get a few million of those free Federal bucks as well. America's entrepreneurs don't see a viable market value for either one, or they'd be investing in them with a plan to make a (dirty word coming up) "profit". So let’s use tax dollars redistributed by government to do … what? Fund a hangout for AMTRAK passengers? And how long are they in town these days?

Or let's just quit messing around with this nonsense and bulldoze them both into parking lots. If we don't have customers to park in them, we can always put those great looking planters in them. I think there's a grant available for that.

Or maybe Imam Achmed could build a mosque there ...