Tax dollars used to fund nonprofit groups for a variety of very questionable projects

TRACKSIDE © by John DíAloia

Jr. April 15, 2003

"Where, on where do my tax dollars go!" The Presidentís supplemental appropriations bill to support operations in Iraq provides examples. About four weeks ago, the President asked for $74.7 billion, of which $62.4 billion was for the armed forces. But when you put before Congress the opportunity to load up a bill with goodies knowing the President will not veto it and no politician will talk against it for fear of being labeled unpatriotic, stand by for the goodies. By the time the bill passed, its bottom line increased to just under $80 billion. Included now are $2.9 billion for the airlines, $250 million for Department of Agriculture grants, $69 million for the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust, $11 million for House of Representative expenses, $5.5 million for the Library of Congress, $100,000 for the U.S. Court of International Trade, and an unreported amount to extend emergency farm aid to catfish producers. Also included in the bill is additional foreign aid, including $1 billion in economic assistance to Turkey, $1 billion in military assistance to Israel, $700 million in economic assistance to Jordan, and $500 million in economic assistance to Egypt.

Questionable distribution of your tax dollars to groups with their hands out goes on daily, largely unheralded, unnoticed, and unchallenged. An article by Austin Ruse in the April 2 "eco-logic" took note that several Congressmen have charged the U.S. Agency for International Development with making a grant of $50 million to groups such as the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and the International Center for Research on Women, groups that call for the promotion of abortion, the legalization of needle-exchange programs, and the legalization of prostitution. The grant was part of an USAID program that was supposed to bring faith-based organizations into the fight against HIV/AIDS. So much for implementation of the Administrationís policy that states the order of priority in AIDS prevention programs must be "abstinence, faithfulness to one partner, and then condoms as a last resort."

Allowing faith-based organizations to be involved in government attempts to resolve certain social problems seems like a good idea - the faith-based approach has a proven success rate in helping many people resolve their problems on a person-to-person basis based on religious beliefs. The real-world reality is that any time a pot of money is going to be handed out, greedy trough feeders will find a way to get their snouts into the pot. A current example is U.S. Senate Bill 476, the "Faith-Based Initiative." Two sections inserted in the bill by environmental groups with the help of EPA bureaucrats and green senators hijacked the bill and its intent. One section gives environmental groups and their radical agenda the same status and standing that religious groups will have in competition for tax dollars authorized for distribution under the terms of the bill.

Environmentalists may try to cloak themselves with religion, and in particular Christianity, but it will not wash. Fr. Robert Sirico, writing in the Foreword to "The Cross and the Rain Forest" put it thus: "[Their] green faith poses a threat to orthodox religions and its view of the relationship between God and the created order. ... eco-religion proposes a new god to take the place of the Creator in the religious tradition of Christendom. ... worshiping the earth, instead of our Lord, becomes the essence of faith. ... Nature does not have a metaphysical right to be left alone, to be preserved and adored for reasons other than its usefulness to Godís human creation. ... Secular liberalism, having successfully banished orthodox religion from public life, is now eager to use heterodox spirituality for its own purposes." Fr. Sirico is on target with his analysis.

S.476 also gives environmental groups special treatment that will enable them to have a competitive advantage in acquiring land and then reselling it to the feds. A Missouri resident, William Jud, summarized the bottom-line concern in an article about the bill: "While we fight terrorism in foreign lands, government agents and environmental organizations spread their own anti-private-property brand of domestic terrorism here at home. Government ownership of land is in nobody's best interest and must be discouraged to the maximum practical extent. The right of people to own land was settled in their favor on June 19, 1215, when King John signed the Magna Carta at Runnymede."

Faith-based initiatives appear on first blush to be a worthy approach, but better not to enact them if they contain provisions that promote degeneracy and degrade private property rights.

See you Trackside


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