Our Money, Our Freedom

Originally written as an Op-Ed to submit to our local paper.

“SC loses $175 million Race to the Top education grant.” So ran the headline of a South Carolina Radio Network article a few weeks ago. It seems that a very competitive and lucrative education grant has slipped through our fingers – again. Superintendent of Education Jim Rex said that a lot of hard work went into the application, and he was “surprised by the outcome.”

Now folks, it seems to me that there’s something wrong with this picture. I did a little research, and did you know that there have been grants available for scientific research, law enforcement, juvenile delinquent rehabilitation, airport security, infrastructure, and broadband internet? That’s not even including all the federal funds we get in other ways to carry out state functions and federal mandates.

Am I against all of these causes? Shucks, no. But government has no money – except that taken from the people. Some of it is through direct taxation, and the rest of it is through borrowing and printing it out like crazy and letting our children and grandchildren pick up the tab.

And then the federal Government makes us stand in line and do pushups, handstands and cartwheels to even have a chance at getting it back. And then if we do get it, woot woot! Hurrah for us! Of course, there are strings and conditions that come with them (Did you ever know the government to miss a chance to attach them?) but we won’t worry about that. We got the funding we need, and that’s what’s important.

It’s our money in the first place! Why are we letting the federal government take it to start with if we need it to help our state function? How can we say we are really free when we allow this type of legal plunder and oppression to continue? Where is the justice in a system that takes from all equally, and doles it out selectively? Why am I suddenly thinking of Robin Hood?

It’s time that we the people start waking up to what’s really going on here. We can sing the states’ rights song all day, but as long as we’re dependent on this federal money, they’ve got us over a barrel and they know it.

So where do we go from here? In the first place, we need to elect local and state officials who understand that freedom is our most valuable commodity, and who will work to keep our state as self-sufficient as possible. Secondly, we need to elect federal legislators who will cut all taxes except those necessary to fund the eighteen Constitutionally-enumerated powers of the federal government. This will keep the money at home, get the federal government off our backs, and usher in a new era of freedom and economic prosperity.