Thursday, December 13, 2012

We're broke, but we have money to burn

HR.709/S.3583, the "Community Parks Revitalization Act" would establish four related grant programs to fund urban recreation facilities and to support or establish at-risk youth programs. In order for local governments to receive funds under the Act, they would be required to match the grant amounts with local tax dollars.

The annualized cost for this legislation is said to be $445 million ($2.225 billion over five years). That does not include the matching cost that would be imposed on the state and local governments. Congress has bankrupted this nation with unnecessary social-engineering legislation like this!

I am outraged that Congress would consider another in a long list of legislation that funds state and local programs. Congress seems oblivious to the simple fact that if a local community needs "urban recreation facilities and to support or establish at-risk youth programs", it can identify that need on its own, convince the local voters of the need, then tax the community to pay for it -- without the interference, "help", or strings attached that always comes with federal programs.

It is even more outrageous that state and local governments always seem eager to seek and accept federal money for programs they often don't need or even want along with all the bureaucracy, regulations, and other "strings" that this "free" money entails.

I know that most of the members of Congress think it's funny when we commoners bring up the Constitution, but I see nothing in the US Constitution that authorizes Congress to fund, mandate, interfere with, or otherwise legislate local and state affairs. In fact, the Tenth Amendment specifically leaves those responsibilities with the States and the People and clearly prohibits Congress from doing anything that is best done at the state and local levels.

Moreover, to presume that only government can solve problems is absurd. "[A]t-risk youth programs" are best planned and executed by volunteers in youth programs such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Campfire, Big Brother, Big Sisters, 4-H, etc. -- not big government! Yet, for some bizarre reason, many in Congress want to discourage charity and volunteering by cutting tax deductions.
Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem. -- Ronald Reagan
I remind every member of Congress that they took an oath of loyalty to the US Constitution -- not to any political party or leader, not to any lobbyist, and definitely not to bring home pork or to do the jobs of the States and local communities!

I urge every voter to take that first small step toward fiscal sanity in government. Urge your congressmen to vote no on HR.709 / S.3583 and to aggressively fight its enactment.

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