COLUMN NOTES: I really became annoyed reading a column written by republican state representative Ed Clere. He wrote this column bragging about his success in bringing stimulus funds to our area while at the same time claiming he disagrees with it.
HARBESON: Let’s clear the rhetoric
Wow, it must really feel good to be federally stimulated. At least Indiana Rep. Ed Clere makes me think so. I’m sure he’s right because the deal he recently brokered as paid political middleman would certainly make some people feel good. I do have friends and family who will benefit from this forced transfer of funds from one group to another so it’s nice to know someone locally is being stimulated.
Good for Clere. He performed his job well. This is exactly what he’s supposed to do. By filling out the right papers, he’s made quite a few people very thankful and they’ll take care of him now. So the system lives. The system grows.
I also can’t blame Clere for writing a column promoting his successful stimulation of sewers. What I don’t get is why he felt the need to pile on so much additional doo-doo.
Most ridiculous was his comment about how important this is because it helps Georgetown residents afford their sewer bills. Well of course it’s hard to afford it; they have to pay for the stimulus projects his cohorts are also handing out around the country.
He also explains that he’s making sure this area gets back our “fair share.” But what does that mean? What evidence does he have to prove that this was our area’s “fair share?” Does the citizen living in Podunk, USA, who received nothing think this is true? “Fair share” is impossible to calculate, nor do we know what economic activities have been stifled due to the stimulus handouts.
Even worse, he says Floyd County taxpayers are off the hook. This is a perfect example of how politicians use the layers of government to their advantage. The Floyd county taxpayers are paying plenty for this because the tax bill was simply transferred to another government entity. One much harder to control by the way.
But by far, what bugged me most is when Clere congratulated himself while at the same time claiming to disagree with the federal government’s way of stimulating the economy. I simply do not get that. All of his energy was spent on continuing the system, in fact, legitimizing the system, and none on figuring out how to change it so why bother to even say that?
What are we to do with that information? Is it supposed to make everyone feel better about taking the money? Is it supposed to make the people who don’t get lower sewer bills feel better? Did he change anything that could improve our children’s future dealings with the federal government? Was it simply more pandering just in case someone criticizes how he spent the last six months of taxpayer time?
I understand if money’s been taken and we can do something to get some back, it’s certainly practical to do so. Yet there must be a feeling that something’s inherently wrong with the system or else Clere would not feel the need to share that he disagrees at the same time he’s proclaiming success.
What can those of us do who think the entire system needs to be changed? Obviously electing new people, even those who belong to parties that pretend they don’t want bigger government isn’t going to change anything. We clearly, or should I say Clerely, see how joining and working inside the system is not going to accomplish this task, so what now?
If we are to accept the idea that it’s only practical to try and get money back that’s been forcibly taken, then the root issue must be handing over the money in the first place, right? The money gives the system its power. Or to be more exact, the belief that it’s moral to take the money in the first place is what gives the system its power.
As I see it, the only way to get started down a new road is to do what we can to avoid handing over our money and/or get a conversation started on how we can morally justify the taking of money by force.
Once enough people think the system is morally reprehensible, they will act on that belief. They will refuse to hand over the money and neighbors will back each other up because it’s the right thing to do.
So how about you? Where do you stand on the basic morality of a group of people being able to take money by force when you as an individual cannot do the same? How many will it take to stand up with me and say we are morally opposed to this system of coercion before more people join in?
If this is the wrong way to go about change, then what other alternatives are there for those morally opposed to the existing system?
Sellersburg resident Debbie Harbeson recently experienced an unusual shiver up her spine and wonders if it’s a result of local federal stimulation of the economy.