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FROM THE EDITOR
Posted: 04/06/08

How Politicians Are Stealing Your Money

By JR Dieckmann

Did you know that the House of Pelosi just voted in favor of spending $50 billion of your money on AIDS patients in Africa? That’s right. In a vote of 308 to 116, the House of Pelosi this week decided that caring for AIDS patients in Africa was more important than reducing the budget deficit and limiting our national debt.

But with the expectation that Clinton or Obama will win the next presidency, and with a Democrat controlled Congress, Americans won’t be left out. They intend to spend 100 times that amount on their socialized healthcare programs. All of this spending will have to be paid by our children and our grandchildren and their children since it’s all being done with money we don’t have. Congress seems to think that managing the federal budget is nothing more than a game of Monopoly. When they lose or give up their seats in Congress, the just get up and walk away with no regrets.

But this is not just about the unconstitutional theft of your money by federal politicians, I’ll come back to that in a moment. This theft exists at all levels of government, especially where Democrats are in control. Let’s start at the local level.

The City Government

In Los Angeles, Mayor “Mecha” Villaraigosa and the city council are always complaining of a “budget crisis.” Democrat controlled governments are always complaining about a “budget crisis”. Why do you suppose it is that Democrats are incapable of managing a budget and living within their income? It’s really quite simple. The more money they spend, the more money they feel justified in demanding from the taxpayers. So here’s what the city of Los Angeles did.

The L.A. Department of Water and Power is a city owned utility which produced a $200 million profit in 2007. In a deal earlier this year between the DWP, Mayor “Mecha,” and the city council, that $200 million profit was transferred into the city’s general fund for the city to spend on their special interest projects. That transfer was not widely known among the citizens of Los Angeles and the city doesn’t talk about it.

Instead, the Mayor and the city council are still crying about a “budget crisis” and the need to raise our taxes in spite of the tax hike they just received through Proposition S on the February Ballot. The measure passed because the city promoted it as a tax reduction and few bothered to actually read the text. If they had they would have seen that the reduction was a minor one in one area, while it created increases and new taxes in other areas such as telecommunications. The measure levies new city taxes on cellphone use and internet connections. You read that right, the city of Los Angeles is now taxing internet use in spite of all congressional and public opposition to it.

Mayor “Mecha” is also proposing a new tax on imports at the Port of Los Angeles, a major shipping port for the West Coast. This new tax will, of course, be passed on to consumers as usual, and the benefits of the tax will go to the truckers’ union. As long as liberal Democrats are in control of Los Angeles, the city will never have enough money, or so they say, no matter how much they tax the citizens.

But as if that isn’t bad enough, and just as expected, the LA-DWP is now asking the city council for rate increases to pay for upgrades to the water and power systems. The very same city council that they just gave their $200 million profit to, which should have gone to pay for the upgrades the DWP now says it needs. No doubt the city council will approve the rate increase and keep the $200 million which they stole from the tax payers of Los Angeles. That would be about half of the residents of Los Angeles who are not illegal aliens.

The LA-DWP is a tax collection agency for the city government along with the local phone companies. It’s interesting to note that over the past year, the taxes and city surcharges on my electric bill have risen to just about equal the actual charges for electrical usage. This is like paying $3 in taxes on a $3 loaf of bread at the market. This, along with the illegal aliens, is what the citizens of Los Angeles are putting up with under the control of a Democrat controlled city government.

The State Government

It’s no secret that California is perhaps the most liberal state in the country. So it should come as no surprise that California is also the state with the most serious budget crisis. If the state were a private business it would be in bankruptcy. It’s always been this way ever since liberal Democrats took over the state legislature. More proof that Democrats are incapable of managing a budget.

I always find it ironic how liberal legislators show no shame in constantly announcing to the citizens of the state just how incompetent they are in managing a budget every time they claim a “budget crisis.“ But when does anyone ever point out that it is those very same legislators who caused the crisis in the first place? They expect the taxpayers to just give them more money to squander when they constantly show us they have no ability to properly manage the budget? Still, the liberal voters keep reelecting them to inflict more punishment upon the electorate.

On the same February ballot where Mayor “Mecha” got his tax increase, the State of California got their gift as well. Other propositions on the ballot permitted the renegotiation of treaties with California Indian tribes to give the state triple the income from Indian gambling casinos in the state, one of California‘s most profitable enterprises even though gambling is illegal in California (unless it’s done on Indian owned land).

This should have provided a windfall of income to the state government but as is always the case with liberal governments, it’s never enough. The state is again claiming a “budget crisis” and trying to raise taxes again which so far has been blocked by Republican legislators who insist that the answer is to reduce state spending, a solution that would never occur and would be considered absurd to the tax and spend Democrats.

More than half of the state budget now goes to the schools which are among the worst in the country under control of the California Teachers’ Union. The more money this union gets, the worst the schools become. Liberal indoctrination does not educate children in what they need to know to become successful. Perhaps this is why 40% of California students drop out of school before reaching the 12th grade.

Business is declining in California because of high tax demands by the Democrat Legislature and foolish global warming restrictions on business and industry by the legislature and Governor Schwarzenegger who himself has turned out to be a “gurley man” (sic) when it comes to standing up to liberal Democrat tax and spend habits. "Anything that you tax, you get less of; anything that you subsidize, you get more of." Republicans understand this, Democrats don’t.

The Federal Government

But now let’s get back to the $50 billion of your money our federal politicians want to spend on Africa. This is just one example of how the federal government is giving away your money in places where it has no constitutional authorization. If you want to know what the federal government does have constitutional authority to spend your tax money on, you can read it in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. Neither Africa nor any other country is mentioned there.

Politicians, as well as private citizens are welcome to give as much of their own money as they wish to anyone they please. But no one, including politicians, has the right to give away other people’s money. The money in the U.S. Treasury does not belong to politicians in Washington; it belongs to us, the taxpayers. We allow the government to take it from us and use it to fund government functions, not to give it away to poor people or to foreign nations. We have more charity organizations than any other country in the word for that purpose. Charity is not a constitutional function of the federal government under the Constitution.

We have typically given $15 billion over a five year period to Africa through foreign aid. Putting the constitutional issue aside, it seems the American people had few objections to that. When President Bush returned from Africa earlier this year, he proposed a doubling of aid to Africa, increasing the amount to $30 billion. But if the House of Pelosi had simply acted to pass legislation supporting Bush’s proposal, Bush would have been given credit for it, showing how much he really cares about black people. Not wanting that to happen, the House of Pelosi decided to increase the amount to $50 billion. It’s mind boggling to see just how easy it is for politicians to give away money that doesn’t belong to them.

The justification for this excessive spending of American taxpayer dollars is to fight AIDS and malaria in Africa which is supposed to be in our best interests. I can see where it is certainly in the best interests of Barack Obama, since most of his family lives there, and perhaps it might help to limit the spread of AIDS to black Americans living in the United States with close connections to Africa, but shouldn’t our government be dealing with problems in America instead of trying to take care of people in foreign countries all over the globe? Only in an election year with a black candidate in the race would we see this kind of reckless spending by Congress and the President.

The money will not only be spent on AIDS research in an attempt to find a cure for AIDS, but it will also go to programs to provide healthcare for those already infected with the disease in both Africa and the U.S. Yes, the United States will now become the healthcare provider for African citizens as well as Americas and on the backs of the American taxpayers.

Congress and the president never asked us if we want our tax money spent this way. They already know what our answer would be. And we call these people our “representatives in government?” Who do they actually represent? Not us. Not the taxpayers who pay their salaries. And probably not 70% of the people who actually vote for them.

If our government is really serious about curtailing AIDS and malaria in Africa and AIDS in America, I have a suggestion that could save the taxpayers $49 billion. Malaria in Africa can easily be eradicated by simply providing DDT to deal with the mosquito problem now that the 30 year old DDT scare has been shown to be another hoax, just like global warming. Control the mosquitoes and you control the malaria. Problem solved, just as it was before the foolish ban on DDT.

In 1996, the “Ansari X Prize was established to offer $10 million to the first private entrepreneur to launch a private craft into space and return it safely to earth. The prize was won by aerospace engineer, Burt Rutan in 2004 for successfully accomplishing the mission. Why not offer a $1 billion prize to the first private medical research team who can develop a cure for AIDS? Want to bet that a privately owned American company would do it in less time than it took Rutan to build his spaceship and thereby saving the American taxpayer $49 billion?

Just think of the benefits of addressing the AIDS problem this way. Not only would we save lives by preventing the spread of AIDS, but we wouldn’t have to be paying for the medial care of 33 million AIDS patients around the world as Congress and the President want to do.

Some may think their generosity with other people’s money is admirable, but America didn’t create the global AIDS problem and it’s not the American taxpayers’ responsibility to pay for it. If Bush thinks we can buy the friendship of foreign and Islamic countries with our money, he hasn’t learned a thing from history. Just look at all the nations of the U.N. who we have tried to buy off with foreign aid, yet still hate us, support terrorism, and vote against us.

John McCain has proposed a new coalition of Democratic nations to serve as an alternative to the United Nations. That is just about the only thing other than Iraq on which I can agree with him.

Also this week, Congress held these absurd hearings on oil company profits and called in oil company executives to testify for making a profit. Isn’t that what private enterprise is all about, making a profit? The oil companies should be calling for hearings on Congress to justify their interference with the efforts of private enterprise to make a profit.

Oil company profits, which actually benefit the American people through stock dividends, are not the cause of high gasoline prices. The cause is rooted in foreign oil dependence, congressional restrictions on drilling for domestic oil, and government taxes. All the result of liberal Democrat legislation in Congress. The ones complaining about the problem are the ones who caused it and refuse to do anything to correct it.

Now they want to raise taxes and confiscate oil company profits which will only exacerbate the problem and cause higher gas prices. Remember that any time government imposes taxes on any business or industry, those taxes are paid by the consumer of their products in higher prices. This Congress thinks it can fool the people by pretending to be on the consumer’s side by punishing the oil companies with higher taxes. They will only succeed in punishing the consumer with higher gas prices and in doing so will again be stealing more of your money.

It’s time to put a stop to this theft by politicians and hold them accountable to the Constitution. Every dollar of our money they spend should be supported by attaching the article of the Constitution that authorizes the spending of money on that program. If it’s not specified in the Constitution, then the legislation must be scrapped. We must return this government to the constitutional principles it was founded on, or replace it with a new one as stated in the Declaration of Independence.

Politicians be warned. The American people are not going to put up with your unconstitutional and corrupt behavior for very much longer. If you continue with your pandering for votes with handouts of our money and socialist government entitlements, this country will be divided in a way that can only be settled with another civil war. Is this the path you really want to go down?

 

JR Dieckmann is Editor, Publisher, Writer, and Webmaster of GreatAmericanJournal.com. He also works as an electrician in Los Angeles, Ca. He has been writing and publishing articles on the web since 2000. His articles appear on other publications such as: The Conservative Voice; Real Clear Politics; New Media Journal; Mich News; Daley Times-Post; Renew America, and other conservative websites. JR can be contacted at http://www.greatamericanjournal.com/contact.htm.