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Your Opinion: Tax subsidy for public transit?

Your Opinion: Tax subsidy for public transit?

July 10th, 2014 by Bert Dirschell, Centertown in News

Dear Editor:

Someone, preferably someone who is a JeffTran rider, explain to me why taxpayers should subsidize 92 percent of the cost of their transportation. Why should the federal government borrow money to subsidize JeffTran riders? Perhaps those who support such a concept also think that the feds should borrow even more, so that it can start subsidizing the cost of gas, insurance, depreciation, etc for those of who use private vehicles for transportation.

Federal subsidies for mass transportation are one of many examples of why the federal government is running up obscene annual deficits. This increased federal debt is piled on the shoulders of all future generations, since they will be the ones paying the interest on that debt. This is nothing more than government-sponsored financial child abuse.

If Jefferson City residents want to subsidize "free" mass transit then let them raise local taxes. Those of us who don't live in Jefferson City, and who prefer not to subsidize "free" transportation for those who do, should sound off loud and clear to our state legislators.

The federal deficit could easily be erased if the federal government was forced to get out of the subsidy/welfare business. Local and state governments would then be forced to justify the spending for the programs. All that "free" money from DC (can you say Medicaid expansion) is a major cause of the debt problem.

Decisions on the worthiness of locally funded programs would be based on the costs/benefits of the programs, not the lure of "free" money, nor the number of votes that could be bought with the handouts. When it comes to making responsible decisions about local programs, local citizens are preferable to someone in DC .

In 1930 the federal government spent an amount equal to 3.4 percent of our GDP. (I picked 1930 because data back to then is readily available in the president's proposed budget) From 1930 through 1942, during the Great Depression but prior to the start of WWII, federal spending averaged 8.5 percent of GDP. During the budget surplus years of the Clinton presidency, 1998-2001, federal spending averaged 18.6 percent of GDP, it is now 23 percent of GDP.

I am unaware any changes to our Constitution, since 1930, that require Congress to spend nearly three times as much of our GDP. Will we ever force politicians to control runaway spending before they take everything we have?