By Martin Light
During this election year Governor Jerry Brown, President Obama and their left wing socialist progressive supporters are demanding more “Entitlements” for their voter base. Maybe we can help.
Most of us wouldn’t mind how many or what kind of entitlement programs our politicians implemented if we weren’t expected and ultimately forced to pay for the ones we don’t want and won’t benefit from.
One thought is to let state, congressional and presidential candidates campaign for all the social and corporate welfare programs they like. But instead of allowing the state and federal governments to appropriate our income to pay for a seemingly endless number of special interest entitlements, we should expect these candidates to bankroll their own programs. If a candidate really cares so much about his constituents that he’s willing to spend other people’s money on funding special interest programs, he/she should be willing to spend his/her own money once elected on helping them. Past practice says that despite their overwhelming altruistic tendencies and allegiance to the less fortunate, most, if not all politicians, would not personally fund the entitlement programs they promoted that got them elected. Funny thing and I wonder why?
In addition, we could expect the people who vote for special interest entitlement programs to also fund them. The politicians who appeal to the most voters will win and, more importantly, likewise will only be able to make good on the programs they’ve been sent to office to enact. In many respects the politicians will be forced to implement the most worthy of the entitlement programs but also begin operating like a private business. If they exhaust program funding due to their own incompetence, careless decisions or cronyism they’ll either have to abandon their programs or appeal to their supporters for additional sponsorship.
Isn’t it way past time that consideration be given to controlling government support of special interest entitlement programs from taxes we are forced to pay and from which we rarely see any personal benefit for ourselves? Too often it is easier to be charitable with other people’s money i.e., our tax money. Have the politicians pony up some of their own cash along with some of that from their voter base and we’ll see funding stop going to worthless projects that show little or no return on investment.
Martin Light was CABPRO's Executive Director from 2008 to 2011and has returned to blogging on his Light on Nevada County (lightonnevadacounty.blogspot.com/) which you are welcome to visit for more perspectives on local, state and national issues.