Suppose you believe in term limits, as I do. Should I use tax money to fund my efforts to term-limit politicians? Not that they’d give me that money anyway. But wouldn’t it be wrong to grab your wallet to support a cause you don’t believe in? Heck, it might be wrong for me to grab your wallet anyway. Yet I read stories all the time about how government officials use our own money against us.
A few months ago New York City landlords, being taxpayers, had to help pay for protests in favor of price controls over their own property. Despite the Big Apple’s big deficit, the city council spent $75,000 to organize protestors pushing rent control. Including $28,000 to bus in protestors from Albany.
Why on earth should a landlord have to pay a nickel to fund the agitation of people who want to bop him in the nose? It’s ridiculous. And why should other taxpayers have to pay? Most importantly of all, doesn’t this destroy the political process with those in power putting a thumb on the scales?
Gene Russianoff, an attorney for the New York Public Interest Research Group, says this type of thing is typical. He says, “Elected officials make a call about what they think is in the interests of their constituents.” Gifford Miller, council speaker, is blind to the travesty. Or at least pretends to be. “I think it’s an entirely appropriate use of our dollars,” he says.
I guess this means that if the politicians say it’s for my own good to hit me over the head with a baseball bat, I’ll also have to pay for the baseball bat. Now I understand.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.