Sunday, November 29, 2009

Federal Funds at Risk!

This is about the umpteenth verse to a song that has been blaring in the taxpayers' ears ever since wise government operatives first decided to get involved in every facet of the lives' of its people.

Howard Myerson writes in the GR Press:

The House voted this month (76-26) to repeal riding restrictions on all state lands, opening every acre to horseback use if it was open in January 1999.

Their primary target is the Pigeon River Country State Forest near Gaylord. A 2008 decision by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources limited riding to certain trails and roads and closed others. It also eliminated cross-country riding.

State officials said it was needed to reduce the impact riders had on the forests, trails and wildlife there.

Riders devoted to Pigeon River Country understandably were upset. They had hoped for a better compromise than they got. They claimed the DNR trumped up its case.

Anger followed, and they got organized. HB 4610, introduced by Rep, Tim Moore, R-Farwell, is the result.

Moore's bill has good points. It calls for an Equine Trailways Advisory Council and the creation of an equestrian trail network on state land. But it also jeopardizes $24.8 million in federal funds the Michigan Department of Natural Resources receives annually from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service -- a loss the state cannot afford.
I am not a hunter or a horse rider so I'd like to sidestep the hunter versus the rider angle, but it seems to me as if everyone is a victim here.

What disturbs me most about this sort of thing is the threatened withholding or incidental loss of money if the taxed do not kowtow to a favored orthodoxy. The feds take the money from the citizens, and as soon as the citizens don't tow the line exactly as prescribed by the feds, there is a threat.

We see it with our schools (where not only the feds threaten the states but also the state tries to threaten the local districts,) we see it with health care, we see it on transportation, and we see it in land management. We see it everywhere that benevolent government has been allowed to prosper beyond its charter.

Tax dollars are squeezed out of the population so that those dollars (minus the predicated administration costs, of course) can be later used as leverage to mold behavior of those from whom the money has been taken. When Mom used to threaten me with withheld allowance at least it was her money to withhold. She didn't sneak into my piggy bank and steal my lawn mowing money in order to threaten me with it.

This whole tactic is insidious. We Americans and Michiganders are turning into sheep who have placed way too much trust in our shepherds.

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