Monday, May 15, 2017

Federal "grant money" is still tax payer money

There is no such thing as public money; there is only taxpayers’ money. - Margaret Thatcher

I have long decried the local municipality paradigm of looking to the federal government for a source of funding for every pet project.  Not every single "good idea" or even "nice idea" needs to be funded at the public expense.

I remember one local mayor that was praising a US Congressman for constantly helping get road funding for his little town from the national coffers.  I have a better idea.  Instead of extracting the money from local taxpayers to begin with, why not leave the money in the pockets of the populace so that the local governments can finance their own expenditures?

I am so tired of the mentality that keeps people and lower levels of government dependent upon Washington, DC for their monetary needs and desires.  I have seen this here in my little town of Selma, NC.  For years the town has repeatedly looked to the US Government for loans and grants to fund water, sewer, roads, building renovations, and now even a civic center.  Our town only has about 6,000 residents.  We already have a parks and recreation department, a local Lions Club building that the public can rent, and an entire former school complex that is used as a gymnasium, workout center, meeting place, and can be used for civic events.

An old gymnasium has been re-incarnated as a utility contractor's building and was later given to the local American Legion, who in turn sold it to the town under the guise of building a civic center.  OK, this is a nice idea for our little town, but I sure don't want to spend our tax dollars on it.  The town was already hoodwinked into paying $60,000 for the facility.  Well, that facility needs an additional $300,000 in renovations in order to be usable.  The concept was sold to the town that private fundraising could bring in the money necessary, but a couple of years later, no such thing has happened.

The town has applied for and is waiting on the results of the grant application from the USDA.  The USDA?  Why is the US Department of Agriculture involved in any way, shape, form, or fashion in the funding of a small-town civic center?  Of what importance is this to the topic of agriculture?  For that matter, why has it been the USDA that has been involved in our town's loans for sewer line projects?  I fail to see a single provision in the US Constitution that allows for Congress to make provision for any such program or projects.  Why should someone in Montana be paying tax dollars to help renovate a civic center in Podunk, North Carolina?  I commented on this very project on my TV commentary as far back as 2015.

Whenever a town gets money from the federal government, it is still money extracted from the pockets of taxpayers.  When a town borrows money from the feds, it is even worse.  We have to be taxed to supply the funds lent to the town.  Then we have to pay taxes to the town to repay the loan to the feds at interest, so we get doubly taxed on all such subsidies and loans.  The only good thing about a grant is that we pay the tax money once, not twice.

I, for one, am tired of seeing small towns attempting to suckle off the federal government teat and often settling for the crumbs that fall from Caesar's table, instead.  I am tired of seeing our government run money laundering schemes and overtaxing the citizenry for the sake of retaining power over people and local governments.  I am tired of local politicians agreeing to be beholden to the national pork barrel spending projects that are bleeding us taxpayers dry.  And I am tired of seeing the national government spend money upon projects that are wholly unconstitutional.

Fountain pen advice for newbies

Monday, May 08, 2017

The Road to Smurfdom

You may have heard of the book "The Road to Serfdom" by F.A. Hayek. I am thinking about writing "The Road to Smurfdom" since I discovered the formula a few minutes ago.
1. Open the mail containing several ink samples among other things from The Goulet Pen Company.
2. Open another package that has a pen you have been drooling over for a while and finally got.
3. Open a sample tube of Noodler's 54th Massachusetts blue ink.
4. Find that the breather/filler hole on the Waterman Carène will be a bit higher than you like and so you tip the sample tube to try to get a good ink suction going. No, I did not pay anywhere near as much for the pen as it shows in the link I just provided.
5. Only get some bubbles with very little ink.
6. Set down the sample tube without putting on its lid while you clean up the pen with a paper towel.
7. Tell yourself that you were stupid for not trying the nice bottle of Waterman Serenity Blue ink you had on the shelf.
8. Knock over the open vial of sample ink, thereby confirming your negative self-affirmation.
9. Attempt to clean up the spill using more paper towel, Windex, and even Clorox bleach spray cleaner.
10. End up with blue hands and a now permanent blue stain on your beige colored desk.
11. Fill your new Carenè with the ink you should have used, to begin with.
12. Enjoy the new pen and realize that for this one, you need bottled ink and never sample ink vials.