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Bert Dirschell


Dear Editor:

Are you interested in a sure thing money-making investment? Let’s buy some land that floods regularly and build a levee to protect it from most floods. The levee will substantially increase the value of our land as we put the land to agricultural or commercial use. (It isn’t our problem that every time our levee prevents flood waters from flooding our land it makes things worse for downstream land owners.)

In a few years, when a “big flood” comes along and damages our levee we will simply get the federal government to force others, even people in other states, to subsidize repairs and improvements to our private levee. You might say, “No one who voted for our original Constitution, nor its amendments, ever intended to grant the federal government the authority to enrich individuals/corporations at the expense of others.” I would agree with you, but federal politicians are doing it regularly.

A June 30 NT article noted that over 150 project applications for federal funding for levee repairs had been received and more were expected. Why should taxpayers, especially those in other states, fund repairs to these levees? They were built for one reason, to increase the value of private property.

Programs like this one are the main reason glad-handing politicians; politicians have run up a $22 trillion national debt. They don’t even have the guts to increase taxes to pay for these programs. Instead these gutless politicians tell us “Don’t worry about the debt” as they pile more and more of it on backs of our children and grandchildren.

The following dollar figures are inflation adjusted to 2018 dollars. From 1941-1946 (WWII) federal debt grew from 51.5 percent of GDP (the debt was $6,476/capita) to 119 percent of GDP ($26,275/capita). From 1946-1981 the debt grew very slowly, it was less than $3 trillion most of those years. In 1981 the federal debt was only 31.8 percent of our GDP ($11,433/capita). From 1981 to today federal spending, and the debt has skyrocketed. In 2018 the debt was $21.5 trillion, 106 percent of GDP ($65,594/capita or $182,000 for every taxpayer).

It has not skyrocketed because of military spending. In 1981, the national defense accounted for 23.2 percent of the budget, in 2018 it accounted for only 15.4 percent.

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