Monday, September 22, 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

Vaca Christian hits FM airwaves

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Popeye’s seeks Fairfield site

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
North Bay Pediatrics celebrates anniversary

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8

Sutter Solano has new leader

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8

 
.

US / World

More drought forecast next year across West

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
2016 may loom, but Jeb Bush is focused on business

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

North Korea powerful temptation for some Americans

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Thanks go out to Telstar Instruments

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

.

Entertainment

TVGrid Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Donaldson’s walk-off HR powers A’s past Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Penalty nixes Raiders rally, Patriots win 16-9

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Giants swept by Padres; fall 4 ½ behind Dodgers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Stanton leads Cardinals past 49ers 23-14

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Armijo boys run to 2nd-place finish in Irvine

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Hamilton wins in Singapore, takes F1 title lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Ex-Titans kicker Bironas killed in car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Seahawks hold off Broncos 26-20 in overtime

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

NFL roundup: Cowboys erase 21-point deficit, beat Rams 34-31

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Hur pulls away for LPGA Tour win in Alabama

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

Logano wins at New Hampshire in 2nd Chase race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
.

Business

 
Native Americans getting final settlement payments

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

5 ways to protect yourself from data breaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Dilbert Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Word Sleuth Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Get Fuzzy Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C. Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Crossword Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7