Disrespect for My Money

This letter was sent to the Georgia congressional delegation with copies to Senator Lott and Speaker Hastert on May 28, 2000.
— 05/28/00


Dear Georgia Congressional Delegation Member:

I’m not a wealthy man and I work hard for my pay. This will not change any time soon. The U. S. government receives $1600+ of my money every month. Consider the federal programs noted below, and my questions about how my money supports them.

Since 1981, the U. S. Department of Agriculture provided $14.1 billion to farmers for insured crop losses. Losses were the result of drought, floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.

The Market Access Program sponsored by the U. S. Department of Agriculture promotes the export of American agricultural products. That’s $90,000,000.00 to subsidize marketing American products overseas. Many of these are brand name products.

In 1999, Amtrak lost $907 million. Since 1971, government has given Amtrak $23 billion in operating and capital assistance.

Why does government use my money to subsidize farm product insurance? My products get no insurance subsidy. How can I get free insurance from natural disasters?

Why does government use my money to promote products overseas? My business gets no public money for overseas promotion.

Why does government use my money to run trains that very few people ride? If government stopped subsidizing highways and airports, more people might ride the damn trains.

Why does government have the right to use my money for any subsidy or charity that it democratically deems appropriate?

How is collective theft different than individual theft? Government does collectively what the thief does individually.

If government is ordained by individuals, how does it have the moral authority to do–what no individual–can do?

I submit, the proper function of government is to protect life, liberty, and property for ALL PEOPLE. You cannot do this by redistributing wealth. Charity is not within your constitutional power.

Law cannot logically subsidize all citizens, businesses, and groups equally. Some will be subsidized at the expense of others. Law should defend our right to be free and to live peacefully so long as we do not use force on our neighbors.

Millions of Americans work even harder and longer than I do. You disrespect us every time you use our money to enrich other people.

Wes Alexander