The Government Teat

Conservative Scalawag has a post up today about Georgia caving to federal demands and implementing a seat belt law for SUVs and Pickups. Why did they do it? Because of the “millions of dollars that were lost”. In other words, the FedGov was withholding money that Georgia would otherwise have gotten (probably in transportation funds) because of their “lax” seat belt policies.

This is something that has been burning my butt for years. Our State’s representatives spending thier time in Washington attempting to squeeze more for the state from the Federal teat.

This policy is great for the poor states that can fleece New York and California…can’t think of nicer people to steal money from…but what about us middle of the road states that want nothing more than to be left alone. Shouldn’t our representatives be advocating the Federal Government taking less of our money in the first place rather than giving it up and then begging to get some of it back in the form of federal grants and “earmarks?”

Then we add in the “extortion” factor: “It is not constitutional for us to pass federal seatbelt law, so what we will do is take your money, then refuse to give it back to you if you don’t bow to our wishes. “

Let me try that with my neighbors and see how long I stay out of jail.

“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.”
— H.L. Mencken

This is exactly why I don’t support school vouchers. Sure, it sounds great, give kids in failing schools some of the tuition money they need to attend private schools. But what happens in a few years when President Obama takes over? How hard do you think it would be for congress to pass a law that says “you may not provide any type of religious training to any of your students or you are not eligible for vouchers” or “You must provide free contraceptives and planned parenthood approved abortion counseling for your students or you are not eligible for vouchers”.

Of course, in the several years that vouchers came with no strings attached, the schools came to depend on them for a good portion of their tuition income. The increase in student load and tuition income prompted the schools to take out loans in order to expand, build more classrooms and upgrade technology, now the schools can’t afford to pay the loan costs without the income from the vouchers. What are they to do? They can refuse the government’s demands and probably go bankrupt or they can compromise their principles and stay in business. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.

“You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.”
— Lyndon Johnson

As ironic as the source of that quote is, the basic truth of it cannot be denied. The best law in the world can be twisted and used by the unscrupulous to achieve the most onerous of ends.

This is the case in Georgia as well, basically, the Federal Government takes the money of Georgia Citizens in the form of taxation, then, as if that money were Manna From On High. offers to give some of it BACK to the citizens of Georgia in order to maintain their highways (how charitable of the Federal Government). But wait…those pesky Georgia citizens aren’t following our edicts, those ungrateful peasants are living their lives the way THEY see fit, not the way WE, their great and wise rulers, have told them they should live…they MUST be punished. We shall withold from them the Manna that we provide until they bow down and worship us, their one and only true deity.

I’ve got to stop, I’m making myself ill. I think you get the point.

“What is wrong with America in the eyes of [some]? The same things that are right with America in the eyes of others. If one word rings out, and echoes around the world, when America is mentioned, that word is Freedom. But what does freedom mean? It means that hundreds of millions of ordinary human beings live their lives as they see fit — regardless of what their betters think. That is fine, unless you see yourself as one of their betters…”
–Thomas Sowell

Of course, who is the greater fool, the fool in Washington, or the fool that sent them there?

“Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one’s government is not necessarily to secure freedom.”
— F.A. Hayek

I would submit that a large majority of Americans WANT to be told what to do, how to live their lives, what food to eat, what kind of car to drive, what substances they may put into their bodies, what doctors to use, which plumbers are authorized, etc. etc. etc.

“The man who asks of freedom anything other than itself is born to be a slave.”
— Alexis de Tocqueville

The remainder don’t so much want to be told what THEY can do, but want to use the police power of government to force their NEIGHBORS to live by their standards.

But that attitude is your classic double edged sword.

“He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates his duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”
–Thomas Paine

“whatever power you give the State to do things FOR you carries with it the equivalent power to do things TO you.”
—Albert Jay Nock

I firmly believe that the vast majority of Humanity are born to be slaves and are content to remain in bondage until dragged out of it by a few, strong, freedom loving leaders. As soon as those leaders are gone and the confilict is over, the sheep strive fervently to return themselves to the servitude in which they are most comfortable.

“The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”
–John Stuart Mill

But I’m not bitter or anything.

“If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
— Samuel Adams

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”
— Thomas Paine

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