Monday, March 2, 2015
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 [email protected]

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
  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Whiteside ready to take Travis school board seat

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    World War II spy shares tales of work behind enemy lines

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    I love to ‘read’ audiobooks

    By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

     
    Shell casings, but no victims found on Del Sur Court

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

    Council to hear budget scenarios

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

     
    Sessions on Suisun water rate increases to start

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

    Fairfield High School celebrates black history

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Warm winter afternoon at Lagoon Valley Park

    By Steve Reczkowski | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Free medical series targets senior health issues

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Pena Adobe hosts natural dye-making presentation

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    PublicStuff, an online app, set for Fairfield

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

    Beginning gardening series starts in March

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Literacy celebration returns this month

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

    Vacaville 4-alarm house fIre

    By Steve Reczkowski | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    IHOP takes part in National Pancake Day

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Local governments schedule meetings this week

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Weather for Monday, March 2, 2015

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

    Corner Store Gallery schedules open house

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    .

    US / World

    Kerry tries to dampen fuss over Israeli PM’s speech

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Hundreds of bills introduced by California lawmakers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Lawmakers tinker with crime measure recently OK’d by voters

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Family backs mom of infant found dead along California river

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Storm brings rain, thunder, hail to Southern California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    California GOP recognizes gay faction of party

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Survey: Parents increasingly ask doctors to delay vaccines

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Newspaper: Nurse who survived Ebola says hospital failed her

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Myanmar captures rare white elephant in western jungles

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Crowd kills girl suspected to be suicide bomber in Nigeria

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    New plane tracking to be tested after Malaysia jet mystery

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Iraqi premier gives ultimatum ahead of hinted Tikrit attack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Activists say Islamic State releases 19 Syrian Christians

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Sierra Leone’s vice president in quarantine for Ebola

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    30,000 marchers in Moscow mourn slain Putin foe

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Spacewalking astronauts finish extensive, tricky cable job

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    .

    Opinion

    Your right to work for less

    By Mike Kirchubel | From Page: A8

     
    Right fight in DC, but wrong reason

    By Colbert I. King | From Page: A8

    Editorial Cartoon: March 2, 2015

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    A night with a King

    By Delon Jackson | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: March 2, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: March 2, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Why timeouts only prolong the problem

    By The Washington Post | From Page: B5

     
    Horoscopes: March 3, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

    Horoscopes: March 2, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

     
    It’s never a good idea to point out how big a pregnant woman is

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

    .

    Entertainment

     
    Will Smith’s ‘Focus’ tops box office with $19.1 million

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Lady Gaga, Vince Vaughn take charity polar plunge in Chicago

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    TVGrid March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

    TVGrid March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

     
    .

    Sports

    Lillard, Aldridge lead Blazers past Kings for 3rd in a row

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Curry scores 37, leads Warriors from 26 down to beat Celtics

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Jimmie Johnson pulls away for another Atlanta Sprint Cup win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Giants reliever Strickland insists he’s tranquil on mound

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Process gets underway to carve up $60 million Sandusky fine

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Cal’s big run lifts Bears past Oregon State 73-56

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Former Washington basketball star Christian Welp dies at 51

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Sharks trade Sheppard to Rangers for draft pick

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    4,000 attend Jerry Tarkanian tribute in Las Vegas arena

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Garnett buys 1,000 tickets for fans for next T-wolves game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Poulter, Casey share lead at rain-delayed Honda Classic

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Blatter concerned by Russian soccer racism before World Cup

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Broadcasters propose FIFA election debate to Blatter, rivals

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Major league baseball’s 1st black Latino star Minoso dies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Seller’s market for NHL teams as trade deadline nears

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Andy Sullivan wins Joburg Open for 2nd title this year

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    South Korea’s Amy Yang wins Honda LPGA Thailand

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Hannah hurls Bulldogs to 2-0 win over Campolindo

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

     
    Oregon women upset No. 19 Stanford 62-55

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Indians open season with 12-4 win over Falcons

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

     
    Oregon beats Stanford 73-70, clinches bye in Pac-12 tourney

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    This date in sports history for March 2, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez nearing 1st spring game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Fast and furious: Rousey looks to future after 14-second win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Samsung ditches plastic design, adds mobile pay in new phone

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    In Apple’s latest update, emojis get diverse

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Mimi’s adds breakfast items to menu

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Jacqueline Mendes

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Lester Singer

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Baldo March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Zits March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Garfield March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Sally Forth March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Get Fuzzy March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Frank and Ernest March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Dilbert March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Beetle Bailey March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Blondie March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    For Better or Worse March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Wizard of Id March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Pickles March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Peanuts March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    B.C. March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Baby Blues March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Rose is Rose March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Cryptoquote March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Word Sleuth March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Bridge March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Crossword March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sudoku March 3

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Peanuts March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    For Better or Worse March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Dilbert March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Baldo March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Zits March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Rose is Rose March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Pickles March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Garfield March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Get Fuzzy March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Frank and Ernest March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Blondie March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Sally Forth March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Wizard of Id March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Baby Blues March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    B.C. March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Beetle Bailey March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Sudoku March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

    Bridge March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Word Sleuth March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

    Crossword March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Cryptoquote March 2

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7