Thursday, March 15, 2007

letter to the editor on Hill's letter

I appreciate Rep. Hill’s efforts to keep his constituents informed about his activity. In a recent letter to the editor, he praised a $14 billion Federal program that would result in $351 million in benefits for Indiana. H.R. 720 would fund the Water Quality Financing Act, providing taxpayer-subsidized loans to local communities—to construct wastewater treatment plants and water pollution abatement projects.

<>Let’s do the numbers on this. A $14 billion program costs $190 in taxes from the average family of four. Payouts of $351 million to Indiana would benefit the average family of four in Indiana by $220. The good news is that we’ll be receiving more than is being taken from us. The bad news is that this extra money is coming from taxpayers elsewhere in the country. For example, I don’t think people in Colorado will be happy to have money taken from them to pay for a wastewater treatment plant in Indiana. Is this an ethical use of government force?

Another question is why the federal government is involved in funding local projects. Practically, when we have a local problem, one solution is to send a bunch of money to Washington, they take a cut of it to pay for their bureaucracy, send some of it back to us with strings attached, and we address the local problem. Another solution would be to send the money to Indianapolis and maybe reduce the bureaucratic costs and strings. Perhaps the best solution would be to keep the money and the solutions at the local level.