A reader emails:
"First off, what happened to the 3rd amendment....I can't for the life of me
remember what it concerns. I only noticed you hit 1, 2 and then 4."
This is a reasonable question. The 3rd Amendment is also important but does not in any way seem to be in jeopardy:
The last time the 3rd Amendment really came into play was during the Civil War, when the homes of our Ancestors were used by both sides of the Conflict. And that is the reason why it is addressed so seldom that we don't immediately recall its subject.
The reader goes on:
"Earmarks.....I am confused on these. More to the point, I am confused on
how the examples you gave directly impact TN.... I sure as heck don't want money
from my state being diverted to and used by NYC!!!"
I don't want my money being sent to NYC lobbyists either!
Earmarks are designed to be confusing. Some are straightforward and beneficial but others only appear to be either. The primary purpose of earmarks is to "bring the money back home" and they are only viewed as pork when the money is going elsewhere.
The problem arises in that for Middle Tennessee to get back 87 cents of our taxpayers money, Our "Representatives" also have to support the earmarks of their colleagues. It impacts Tennessee in that of the $119.62 of the average taxpayers money spent in earmarks, we only get 87 cents back. No matter how noble the cause we spend that 87 cents, it costs us $119.62 to get it.
The solution is to end ALL earmarks. If a spending bill cannot be passed on its own, it should not be attached to bills that have little to do with it.
The solution is to return governance to the lowest effective levels possible. Our Federal Government has overstepped its Constitutional bounds in several areas. The reason is the addiction to power. The more things controlled at the Federal Level, the more taxes it must collect, and the more power the Government has. But the more taxes collected by the Federal Government, the less there is available from the taxpayer to fund our local and state governments and to fund our charities of choice.
But our local governments are more efficient and more responsive to us. We have greater power at the local level because our vote is one of thousands rather than one of hundreds of millions. We can meet and know our mayors and council members.
But before we can return the Constitutional powers to our state and local governments, we must vote in members of Congress that will reduce rather than increase the power grabbing ways of the Federal Government.
How do Earmarks to New York, California, & Chicago effect the Taxpayers of Tennessee? Those earmarks are the price paid to get the earmarks for Tennessee. Those earmarks are paid for with YOUR tax dollars because our "Representatives" voted for them in return for their support of our 87 cents.
They effect us because we are paying less in Interest on the Debt than we are adding to the National Debt. And each of these earmarks are adding to the National Debt and hence to the interest we must pay on the debt every year. We have to cut spending and a moratorium on earmarks is a good place to start.
The People of Tennessee would be benefited by reducing Federal spending by their portion of the $119.62 in all earmarks even though we would still lose our 87 cents in earmarks. We would be better served by $119.62 less in Federal taxes and $8.70 more in State taxes. We would have ten times the funding for the same programs for 7.3% of the cost. We would have greater control over the money taxed from our hard work.
And hopefully this Common Sense Citizen can better communicate this but any time there is confusion, please feel free to ask. I know the numbers can be boring and I do wonder how many of those numbers our Congressmen actually look at before they commit you to pay them. They are simply nickel and diming us into bankruptcy but their generosity with our money knows few bounds when their Corporate Sponsors hold out their hands.