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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    We need tax money more than gov’t

    Someone’s been stealing from me, and it’s been happening for years.

    It again became abundantly clear when I picked up my check a couple of weeks ago. Someone has been skimming off the top of it, I’m sure. It happens everywhere I go, every time I buy something. Once a year in April, I’m even forced to hand over a large sum of money.

    The worst part is -ÿI’m pretty sure you’re a victim too.

    Political leanings aside, one can’t help but chuckle when former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain tells his favorite story of government bureaucracy. McCain likes to tell a story about when he spoke to a crowd of voters leading up to last November’s presidential election.

    “”Congress spends your money like a drunken sailor,”” McCain told the crowd, at which point a man emerged from the audience, bellowing above the cheers around him.

    “”As a former drunken sailor,”” the man said, “”I resent being compared to Congress.””

    You won’t find any arguments here, sir.

    A couple of the more intriguing earmarked projects from this year include $500,000 by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, (R-Texas) for a Manned Space Flight Education Foundation in Houston to create “”a virtual space community for students”” and, my personal favorite, $200,000 by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) for the Providence Holy Cross Foundation tattoo removal violence prevention program in Mission Hills, Calif., according to U.S. News and World Report.

    The list goes on and on, but it gets cumbersome seeing our tax dollars wilting away.

    Beside taxpayers’ money being used on frivolous earmarks, we have to continually deal with the monetary amount of earmarks growing each year.

    This year alone, more than $25 billion has been used on earmarks, those little side projects often added to bills as they make their way through the legislature.

    With the $25 billion used on earmarks so far in 2009, the United States could have afforded to give almost $2,000 to each of the 18 percent of children below the poverty line.

    I sure could use some of that money; I bet a lot of other struggling families would agree.

    Which brings me to my next point: If the government can raise taxes and use certain taxes to fund their little side projects at will, why can’t we do the same, with a bit of a twist?

    When the government wants more money, they take it from us, right? So, logic tells me that should be a two-way road.

    Let’s play a little role reversal. You know, I’m a little low on food right now, and, well, bills need to be paid. I think I should be able to call up the government and say, “”You know, I don’t really like what you’re doing with our money. In fact, I’m a bit short on it myself, so you know what? I’m going to go ahead and need my tax money back.””

    I can imagine it now: A long pause and an awkward silence fills the phone line.

    “”You want to do what?””

    “”Yeah, you know,”” I’d say, “”I don’t really have much money right now, so I need yours, which is actually mine, so no harm done.””

    Is the thought of such a phone call really that outlandish? More outlandish than a $500,000 earmark here, a $300,000 earmark there? More outlandish than the government taking as much of our money as they want? And I don’t recall them asking.

    I want my coffee to be $3.99, dammit! Not $4.36. I mean, what the hell is that all about? Have we ever stopped to truly wonder how much money we’re throwing away to a group of people who have the power to give themselves a raise?

    What if we all had that power with our salaries? I’d raise it faster than a frat guy with a beer bong.

    It’s truly disheartening to see a government that cares more about projects than people.

    No, most Americans don’t have a space program that needs funding. They don’t have a new revolutionary bus route thought up that just needs a little monetary support. But what too many of them do have is a low-paying job and lots of bills to pay.

    Well, I wish I could stay and whine a little more, but I’ve got a paycheck to pick up. I think this time I’ll keep the stub -ÿand make a phone call.

    – Shain Bergan is the news editor of the Arizona Summer Wildcat. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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