Opinion

It’s not Budget Cuts. It’s Stopping Theft by Government

Governments can perform illegal acts. Not everything a government does is moral or justified. Just because a government says something is right and good does not make it so. There was a time when it was OK to enslave people. In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that killing unborn babies is a fundamental right. These are criminal acts, but because they are done by a government, there’s no way to prosecute.

Governments often kill, steal property, and imprison people based on laws they manufacture with no constitutional authority. It happens every day.

There’s a great deal of liberal angst over some of the cuts that Pres. Trump is proposing to Congress:

“President Trump’s proposed budget calls for big cuts in a wide array of domestic programs — among them, agencies that fund the arts, humanities and public media.

“Funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be cut to zero under the proposal, and the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely, the first time any president has proposed such a measure.” (NPR)

Why should NPR get funding but not GaryDeMar.com?

You won’t find anything in the Constitution to support these so-called “domestic programs.” When elected officials take an oath to uphold the Constitution and then violate that oath, they are by definition thieves. They are using their office to steal money from people.

Why should money be stolen from the public to finance the arts or Public Television or the education of other people’s children? The “general welfare” clause in the Constitution does not apply to these “particular welfare” programs. “General welfare” has nothing to do with wealth redistribution, even for the best of reasons. The list following the clause defines what constitutes “general welfare,” and the arts, education, and nearly everything that is being done from Washington are not found on the list.

Archie Jones writes in The Gateway to Liberty: The Constitutional Power of the Tenth Amendment:

“[James] Madison’s argument that those who look to the General Welfare Clause . . . as a constitutional basis for justifying the exercise of powers which are not stated in the Constitution are committing not only a grammatical but also a constitutional absurdity ought to be instructive to us when we are trying to understand the meaning of our Constitution, and when we are considering the unconstitutional things that men have tried, and still try, to force the Constitution to justify.”

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What about the promotion of “useful arts” (Art. 1.8.8) written into the Constitution? Here’s the clause in its entirety: “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” The clause is not about funding science and the arts, “rather it allows lawmakers to create a system of patents and copyrights for inventors. In fact, this part of Section 8 is referred to as the ‘Copyright Clause.’”

Pres. Trump has proposed that Congress work to cut spending in areas in which a government should not have the authority to fund using other people’s money. There’s enough private money available to fund causes and programs that some people consider important. If you like the arts, then donate to the arts. Don’t force me to pay for it. I’ll buy my own art or I’ll support an art museum with my own money. If you like the programming that NPR develops, then support it but don’t empower the government to take money from me to fund it.

The biggest hypocrites in the debate over funding the arts are the people in the arts who make millions of dollars from people who voluntarily pay to see their art. For example, Mark Ruffalo, best known for playing The Hulk, has a net worth of $20 million. He doesn’t need that much money. He could give $10 million of it to the arts or Sesame Street and not experience a dip in his lifestyle. The same is true for Jamie Lee Curtis who has a net worth of $35 million.

Take a look at all the corporate sponsors of Sesame Street. If something is good, it will be supported by the marketplace or by people who believe people in its message. Here are three of many:

When it came out that Trump’s budget cut Meals on Wheels (although I’ve read it’s not the case), guess what happened? People started donating, “surging 50 times their daily rate” when it was learned that “the White House proposed eliminating the Community Development Block Grant program.” (Red State)

What about cuts to the Department of Education, a federal program that did not exist prior to 1979? We sent men to the moon in 1969. The DoED has “4,400 employees and an annual budget of $68 billion (2016),” and most of that money is redistributed to people who did not earn it. End the DoED and save taxpayers $68 billion. The View’s Joy Behar is worth $8 million. If she wants to help schools in her area, I’m sure she could donate $4 million of her net worth and get many of her guests to do the same.

Here’s where these accomplices to theft can go for funding that would not cost the taxpayers a penny and hardly put a dent to their company’s bottom line or their personal wealth:

  • Bill Gates: $81 billion
  • Jeff Bezos: $67 billion
  • Warren Buffett: $65 billion
  • Mark Zuckerberg: $65 billion
  • Larry Ellison: $49 billion
  • Michael Bloomberg: $45 billion
  • Berkshire Hathaway: $432 billion
  • Apple Corporation: $730 billion
  • Google: $508 billion
  • Microsoft: $497 billion
  • Facebook: $397 billion
  • Amazon: $402 billion
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