Saturday, December 20, 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

 
Groundbreakings, ribbon-cuttings play role in civic life

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Sondheim’s ‘Woods’ holiday showcase for Missouri Street Theatre

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Frankye Kelly ready to spread holiday cheer

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Celebrate the magic of Christmas

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

 
Safe streets task force work nets 3

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

Santas have busy week at schools

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
 
 
Solano College approves officers, meeting schedule

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

Longtime Suisun harbor master to retire

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

 
Spy’s parents search for son after Cuba-US deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Next steps on Cuba: Normalizing could take awhile

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Sony film took aim at North Korea’s biggest taboo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

Timeline of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Police: Drunk man shot while entering wrong house

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
Local emergencies in Northern California counties after rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California’s top utility regulator defends record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Pretty horrible’ scene; car slams into crowd

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
President signs legislation ending Nazi benefit checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

2 states challenge Colorado marijuana legalization

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
‘Prison Houdini’ set to make his 1st legal escape

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Russian sailors leaving France without warship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

 
Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 2 Comments

 
European court rules obesity can be a disability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

Opinion

 
Another look at school bonds

By George Guynn Jr. | From Page: A11, 6 Comments

Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 19, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
News of the day strikes a chord

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 10 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 19, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D8

 
Should I use Child Protective Services threat to get back rent?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D8

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Dec. 19-25, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Sweet ‘Night at the Museum’ bids farewell to Robin Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Craig Ferguson to end 10 years as host of ‘Late Late Show’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Eric Idle brings ‘Not the Messiah’ to Carnegie Hall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

.

Sports

49ers’ Aldon Smith hopes to build off tough year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
A’s trade All-Star catcher Derek Norris to Padres

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Warriors beat Thunder 114-109 after Durant injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
A’s acquire lefty De La Rosa from Arizona for cash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Raiders defense depleted by injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

49ers’ Harbaugh mum on reported offer from Michigan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Column: Thaw in US-Cuba relations warms up MLB

By Jim Litke | From Page: B8

Rivera: Newton ‘probably’ will start vs. Browns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Bears bench QB Jay Cutler for Clausen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

‘Hands Up’ players to attend Ferguson Christmas party

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Celtics trade Rondo to Mavericks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Rodriguez boys open Les Curry Tournament with victory

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

 
39 bowl games and a reason to watch every one

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Signups for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B11

 
.

Business

Roomiest Subaru Legacy debuts for 2015

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Dow industrials have their best day in three years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Lisa Dee McHughes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Travis Curt Price

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jennie Ponce Reyes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics