Friday, November 28, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Grants, strings dilute our liberty

By
From page A11 | February 16, 2014 |

We often hear or see the phrase, “Paid for with a grant by . . .,” when reviewing a commercial or press release concerning a new government program or initiative. People seem to think that the money comes from a generous and wealthy fellow named Grant. Unfortunately for taxpaying citizens, grant money is not free bonus money. It usually consists of diverted and targeted tax dollars.

Ever wonder why we are told there isn’t any money available for basic necessities like streets or sidewalks, but then magically, there is enough money for some crazy art project or new software system? The black box we call “government” has plenty of resources to achieve what we want. The obstacle we face is that once those resources are in the black box, unknown elements are in play directing those resources, not always to the benefit of the community it purports to serve.

The government works for, and derives its power from, the people. Thus, the people prioritize the government’s workload. The citizens of a community or region determine which items and services they would like. Their representatives go out and find resources to enable those requests. This is bottom-up governance. This is where the phrase “bring home the bacon” would be appropriate.

Unfortunately, far too often, politicians and bureaucrats determine which equipment and services we the people should have, as opposed to the other way around. We are left with defacto legislation through funding. Your community can have a sweet pot of money if you spend it like you are told to.

Laws no longer need to be passed to compel the citizenry to behave certain ways; just threaten to withhold funding unless the community complies with some edict, or strap a bundle of cash to otherwise unpopular legislation. This is how a community can end up with a train station we didn’t know we needed.

Now we are in the worst of all positions: We (and our children) are on a long-term financial hook for something we never wanted or needed, while actual needs we requested to be filled are unsatisfied.

A common response I’ve heard when inquiring about the need for specific grants is, “If we don’t get it, someone else will.” It is usually followed up with verbiage extolling the economic benefits of getting the grant. The money may be a short-term boost to those directly providing the questionable good or service, but it does not outweigh the long-term cost to community of having unfulfilled needs languish, and the IOUs that will inevitably need to be paid by future generations.

Even if you agree with the intent of the project or service, flowing our tax dollars up through numerous government layers just so they can trickle back down is a waste. All these “administrators” are not working for free; one can assume they are each consuming an average of $100,000 in salary, benefits and overhead. After all, you can’t have a herd of administrators without having a senior vice administrator of administrative affairs, right? In any operations chain, middlemen are a drain. Why not keep our resources at a local level, where we have more control, and a more responsive public service system to boot?

In the end, this is a failure of representation. Hordes of unelected bureaucrats and administrators are not an acceptable substitute for the ideal responsiveness of an elected representative. A system that consumes our resources (money, property, time and liberty) without providing requested value should not be allowed to continue unabated. The responsibility of changing that system falls upon the people.

Brian Thiemer is chairman of the Solano County Libertarian Party. He can be reached at lpsolanocounty@gmail.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • The MisterFebruary 16, 2014 - 8:11 am

    You've nailed it, Brian. Regardless of the politically correct illusion, local governments are accountable to whom ever writes the checks with conditions. Taxpayers place no conditions on their tribute to the government when their money is taken away in the form of taxes. But that "free" money at the end of the string will make your local potentates jump like marionettes. (Right, Pete?)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Solano Turkey Trot draws 2,600 to college

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Il Fiorello schedules olive milling day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Movies just another course on Thanksgiving

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Early Black Friday shoppers take advantage of deals

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Solano College student body to mark World AIDS Day

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: A3

 
Eagle Scout project adds floating docks at Rockville Park

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
.

US / World

‘Guardian angel,’ community join to give man home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US celebrates Thanksgiving with parades, turkey

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Tons of marijuana seized in Central California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

 
Gorilla death prompts San Francisco Zoo changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Health agents still unpaid after plan’s rollout

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
California Burger King employee finds $100,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Researchers discover ‘pre-cancers’ in blood

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
At 1 month, US Ebola monitors finding no cases

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Families asked to host visitors for pope’s US trip

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
35 arrested in Oakland after protest march

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

A glance at Ferguson: Then, now and the future

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
For some, location of Brown’s hands irrelevant

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

Ferguson gives thanks after a quiet night

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Colorado mastodon bones show ancient warmer Earth

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

Queen of crime writing PD James dies aged 94

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Ebola aid dogged by coordination lags in Guinea

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Taliban attack rocks upscale Kabul district

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Small quake rattles California wine country

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Living

Today in History: Nov. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Nov. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Poor health is no excuse for not behaving like a caring person

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscope for Nov. 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview: Nov. 28 to Dec. 4, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Singer John Mayer among ‘Late Late Show’ subs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Review: ‘Horrible Bosses 2′ doesn’t work

By Jake Coyle | From Page: B2

 
Review: ‘Madagascar’ spin-off hatches family fun

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Prison theater transforms Colombian inmates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Talking songs with She & Him

By Kim Durbin | From Page: B3

 
Reading Harry Potter gives clues to brain activity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar Nov. 28, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B4

 
Cosby testimony describes accuser’s spiked story

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Sports

College notebook: Many happy returns for Arizona’s Bondurant

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Sherman’s big night leads Seattle past 49ers again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment | Gallery

Rookie quarterback Carr is Raiders’ silver lining

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
US cities urged to keep price tags down for 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Eagles roll over Cowboys 33-10 for NFC East lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
5 investigated in FIFA WCup bid corruption probe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Johnson shines in Detroit’s 34-17 win over Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
No. 9 UCLA must overcome Stanford for Pac-12 title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Signups for Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

Kia’s ‘Soulful’ first electric car

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Automakers aim to drive away car computer hackers

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Google’s latest: A spoon that steadies tremors

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
3 Reasons holiday shoppers will spend cautiously

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

OPEC keeps oil output on hold despite low prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

Deanna L. Haines

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Esther Ringler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9