If there were a Pulitzer Prize for truisms, one would surely go to the person who said that no person’s life or property is safe while the Legislature is in session.
Well, the Georgia General Assembly is indeed in session. Thus far this august body hasn’t even been able to figure out a way to make texting while driving illegal. Perhaps now would be a good time for me to resurrect my “Taxpayer’s Addendum.” The idea came to me many years ago, and I did manage to cajole a Georgia legislator into introducing a bill calling for the Taxpayer’s Addendum.
Needless to say, it didn’t go very far.
Now, anxious reader, I’m going to explain the Taxpayer’s Addendum to you, and you’re going to instantly proclaim its brilliance and demand immediate passage.
Then nothing will happen.
With government spending at all levels out of control, now would be a wonderful time for this idea. Now would also be a wonderful time for a string of 85-degree days with bright sunshine.
Neither is going to happen.
The idea here is to impress on our legislators the fact that the money they so freely spend was actually earned by someone. That money actually represents the expenditure of a portion of some person’s life-work effort converted to wealth. It would be nice if these politicians could at least acknowledge that fact and make the case that they need this money more than the people who earned it.
The addendum would require that every legislator who sponsors or co-sponsors a bill that calls for either increased taxes or the expenditure of any taxpayer funds would be required to sign a statement attached to the bill.
The statement would read thusly:
“I (insert name of sponsor or co-sponsor), in sponsoring this legislation, do hereby state that it is my belief that it is appropriate for the government to use its police powers to seize this money from the person who earned it, and spend it on the legislative purposes outlined in this bill, than it is to allow the person who worked for and earned this money to retain it and spend it on their own needs and the needs of their family.”
Pretty simple. All we’re asking here is that a legislator assert, for the record, their belief that their pet legislative cause is so all-fired important that the government should use its police power to seize the needed money from the poor sap who earned it to fund their marvelous, world-changing idea. In other words, “It is more important that we have this money to study grandparents in a remote Inuit tribe of Alaska than it is for the truck driver in Omaha who earned the money to keep it and spend it on his kids’ college education or to pay some of his wife’s medical bills; or, heaven forbid, a vacation.”
How many of these free-spending legislators do you think would actually walk up to a constituent and tell him or her to hand over the money because a town in Idaho needs a waterslide? Clearly you aren’t going to get them to do that, but with the Taxpayer’s Addendum you could come close. As I said, several years ago one suicidal member of the Georgia General Assembly actually introduced a bill containing the Taxpayer’s Addendum. It was assigned to a committee and went absolutely nowhere. (What a complete shock.)
By the way, that wasn’t the only time someone tried to make one of my ideas law. You will recall that former Sen. Zell Miller introduced a resolution in the U.S. Senate calling for the repeal of the disastrous 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Yup. Sen. Miller got the idea from yours truly. Naturally, it went nowhere.
OK, go look up the amendment and see for yourself. Perhaps we’ll cover that one next week.
Neal Boortz’s column will appear every Saturday. For more Boortz, go to boortz.com