Discontinue the donations by government bodies to groups, charities, and individual gifts
by Marvin Pirila
Long overlooked by many city, county, state, and national government bodies is the practice of handing out taxpayer funds for local groups, charities, and gifts. In a local incident, the policy had been for the city to donate flowers to families of employees when someone died. The council eliminated that provision from their policies, as it didn't deserve to be paid by the taxpayers.
When someone loses a loved one, it is tragic, but is it for the government, at any level, to provide gifts of sympathy on taxpayer money? In this case, it was just city employees and no one else. If someone wanted to relay their sorrow, it should be done on their own money. Individuals have always opened their hearts and pocketbooks to friends in both good and bad times. The government is not needed, nor wanted there.
Likewise, governments should not be donating public monies to various civic organizations, outside of possible loans. The public interest must always be weighed and when it isn't served, the donation of money should be denied. Any person responsible for determining tax disbursements must be especially careful in how tax money is spent. It is not personal money to support pet projects, that of a friend, or any activity failing to serve the public interest.
This country is based on limited, restrained government. Civic donations, and even subsidies, granted by government bodies too often serve the ideology and interests of the individuals on the board or council rather than the public. Ethanol, for example, is a known loser fuel, and yet has received nearly $50 billion in taxpayer money. The national mandate for alternative fuel sustains its survival when it should be left to die. It exists solely because of politics.
Civic donations, by and large, should be left to individuals to choose. The taxpayer should decide whether they want to donate to a specific cause, not a government body. If the need is there, the average American will support it. Leaving the choices to a select few, based on money that isn't theirs, is like signing your check and leaving it to a stranger to spend.
The bottom line is that every disbursement of taxpayer money must serve the public good and not that of an individual councilor, county commissioner, or politician. When it doesn't government grows, and individual freedoms are diminished.