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Your Opinion: Why add to federal debt for a port?

Your Opinion: Why add to federal debt for a port?

November 29th, 2018 in Opinion

Bert Dirschell


Dear Editor:

Elections are over, Republicans and Democrats will now strive to see who can buy the most votes by giving away free stuff before the next elections.

Interest paid on the national debt was $523 billion in FY2018. One-third of all individual income taxes went to pay the interest on the debt. Interest on the debt is projected to grow to over $800 billion/year in FY2023. This is what we are passing along to our children.

In FY2017 federal non-defense spending was $77 per day per household. Of that $12 was borrowed money. National defense cost us another $14; total $91 per day per household. This is just federal spending! There is no magic money tree in DC. How much government can we afford?

The push to build a port in Jefferson City continues. Business people don’t think that it is economically feasible, without subsidies, or they would be building it. Why should additional debt be piled on the children in our state, let alone children in other states, to subsidize a port in Jefferson City? Free stuff spending on these types of projects is part of the reason we had a $665 billion deficit last year, and why we have a $20 trillion national debt. Funding such projects at the federal level is sheer lunacy. No individuals outside of Cole and Callaway counties will realize any significant financial benefit from a port. Let voters in Cole and Callaway counties choose whether or not we want our taxes raised to subsidize the port. If local voters can’t be convinced the benefits outweigh the costs, the port should not be subsidized.

Drivers pay for the roads and bridges through taxes on vehicles and fuel. Airport users fund airports through fuel taxes and the taxes included in the price of every ticket. If a port is to be built it must be funded by fees paid by those using the port.

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.” — Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747-1813), unverified