Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Grant Fairy...

I heard a person arguing the other day that a certain program was being funded by a federal grant, and therefore didn't cost us anything. Apparently there is a widespread belief in a "Grant Fairy" some distant creature that magically creates wealth and then distributes it to deserving people around the country and the world.

Well, I hate to be the one to burst anyone's bubble, but just like the Tooth Fairy had to get it's money from your mother, the Grant Fairy has to get its money from the taxpayers. A lot of those taxpayers haven't even been born yet, but there will be a bill waiting for them when they are.

It works the same way when the government pays its employees. Government doesn't produce any wealth. It relies on the private sector for that. Currently 4 of the top 10 largest employers in Wayne County are government entities. In Indiana, 4 of the top 5 largest employers are government. All told, the number of government employees in Indiana total 325,000. This doesn't include the retirees whose retirement programs are still being funded by current taxpayers.

That's not to say we don't need a few government employees. Certainly there are some legitimate functions that government needs to perform. I have to believe if we limit the duties we could trim that 325,000 number a bit.

I read the other day that come January the government has plans to create two and a half million new jobs.

Just remember the government is only creating the jobs.

We'll have to come up with the money.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Great Expectations...

My youngest brother is a missionary with Christ's Hope in Kenya. He reports a lot of native Kenyans are convinced their lives are going to get much better now that Barack Obama has been elected the next President of the United States. On the other side of the coin, I know a few people that are convinced the world is coming to an end now that Barack Obama has been elected the next President of the United States.

There's also a rush by a lot of people to buy firearms. Apparently they believe guns are going to become harder to get once Obama takes office. Given John McCain's less than stellar defense of our Second Amendment protections, I'm not sure how many of these same people would have went out purchased weapons had he won the election. Not near as many, I suspect.

Now, I don't know what's going to happen in Kenya, although I suspect the people there will be better off due to the efforts of people like my brother than because of the election of Barack Obama. And I'm not as giddy as the Obama supporters who view him as a savior, or as worried as the opponents who believe that policies as they envision them are going to change drastically.

I think we'll see the total amount of taxes that some people pay will increase, and the total amount of taxes that some people pay decrease. I think we'll see a different direction in how our tax dollars are redistributed, and I think we'll see a push for some expensive programs we can't afford to be added to the already existing expensive programs we can't afford. Hopefully most won't make it.

I also think in the next 4 years the Republican party will move to adopt a lot of the liberal policies that helped Barack Obama win the election, and in 4 or 8 years, the 4% of the voters that decide national elections will probably put another big government Republican in for President.

And after it all shakes out, the Libertarians that want a limited government will have a little bit bigger fight on their hands, a few more reasons to fight, and a few more allies in the fight.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Smokey the Bar...

I suppose that as a non-smoker, I should be happy that the state legislature is considering a statewide smoking ban in all enclosed public places this session. It sounds like a good idea if you say it really fast.

But there are at least a couple of problems with such a plan. For one, the legislature has a hard time distinguishing between publicly owned places that are open to the public, and privately owned places that are open to the public. I don't think the legislature has any plans for limiting the ban to publicly owned places.

Given my wife's culinary abilities, and my aversion to alcohol, I'm pretty sure that we won't be opening a restaurant or bar anytime soon. If we did, I certainly would make it a non-smoking establishment. And I would be none to happy if the government came in and told me that I had to allow smoking in all or part of my restaurant, in order to help bolster the declining tax revenue from tobacco sales.

But that's how things work when we let the government control things we ought to control ourselves


Saturday, November 08, 2008

A touch of grey...

They say every cloud has a silver lining, and Robert Hunter says every silver lining has a touch of grey.

That's probably true. We just went through a campaign and election, and the cloudy part is that the local Libertarians didn't win any offices.

The silver lining is that we gained a lot of ground. In my race for District 54 Representative, vote percentages in Wayne County increased from 22% in 2006 to 37% this year. In Henry County, those percentages increased 9% to 32%, and in Randolph County, from 12% to 27%.

When the Libertarian Party of Wayne County was organized 6 years ago, it was a rare instance for a Libertarian candidate anywhere to win a precinct. This year I won 8 precincts in 2 counties, and 2 more local candidates won precincts in their races. Thanks to all of the voters that contributed to those numbers.

The touch of grey might be that we're not gaining as fast as we really need to gain, but we certainly are Grateful for the support we have been given.

We will get by.

And we'll back in 2010.