Our region of the Appalachian Mountains is still, politically, New Deal Democrats. While most citizens do not align with the current Democratic Party social agenda, the voting registration is still 2:1 Democrats to Republicans. Part of the New Deal Democrat ideology is that less developed regions should seek funds for various infrastructure and programs from the rest of the country to help us catch up. This creates an irony, in that we loath intrusion of the federal government, but have our hand out requesting funding from the same federal government. This prompted this recent letter to the editor to our local paper. The opening quotes are from a recent edition of the paper, that came our during the recent federal government shut down.
“(Police chief) Reckart said the council should not be concerned about the excessive amount of overtime officers are working. ‘Most of that will be reimbursed by federal grant funds,’ he said. ‘We have funding for seat belt violations, stop sign and stop light violations and distracted drivers.’ ”
“Mike Crites, president of the Moorefield Landmarks Commission brought paperwork for the commission’s designation as a Certified Local Government. ‘Once we are certified, we can qualify for federal grants…’ ” Both of these comments were printed in the October 9, 2013 edition of the Moorefield Examiner (page 7).
I do not criticize these program, for I believe that good police work and preservation of historical properties enhances our communities. I am concerned when we look to the federal government to fund local programs. This suggests either that we cannot afford these programs, or we expect someone else to pick up the expense. We are Takers, not Makers, in this equation.
The current squabble leading to the federal government shut down may be over health care and the fear that the government is intruding in our lives. Yet, we turn around and ask the same bureaucrats to fund program to check whether we are wearing seat belts, and saving buildings that could not be replaced if razed. We cannot criticize the federal debt when we contribute to it.
P.S. I suspect that the non-essential government workers include those who move the paperwork through the process to approve and pay for these grants. As long as they are not working, we will not be getting the money, even if we are in line.
Moorefield Examiner, Wednesday, October 18, 2013