A Weekly View from the Foothills of Appalachia
February 7, 1999 #121
by: Doug Fiedor
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Copyright © 1998 by Doug Fiedor, all rights reserved
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THE $40-BILLION RIP-OFF
If you ever wondered how the far-left got so much money to set up protests and advocacy groups, you're going to love a recent report titled "Phony Philanthropy: How Government Grants are Subverting the Missions of Nonprofit Organizations," by Citizens Against Government Waste. This report shows how the big government supporting socialist groups use your money to force you to behave the way they think best.
"Many taxpayers don't know how to look objectively at the effectiveness of nonprofits and who is pulling their financial strings. When trying to discover an organization's funding sources, the best place to start is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 990. This form is a financial snapshot of an organization. The IRS requires most nonprofits to submit a Form 990, which is equivalent to an individual's Form 1040 tax return. The 990 includes useful information such as total revenue within a one-year period, government funding, investments in securities, salaries of the highest paid officials, and net assets (or fund balance), which represent the wealth of an organization. Organizations are required to allow anyone from the public to view their 990 during regular working hours either at their principal office or any regional office that has more than three employees. In 1996, President Clinton signed into law the Taxpayers Bill of Rights II. This new law requires organizations to also provide a copy of their 990 to anyone who asks for it in person or in writing."
Back in 1975, the Commission on Private Philanthropy and Public Needs reported that the government contributed about $23 billion to nonprofit organizations and private sources contributed $25 billion. Now we see that, as government contributions grew, nonprofits increasingly became hybrids -- part private, part public institutions, ever more dependent on government funding and bureaucratic control. That is, "Nonprofit organizations that accept federal funding subject themselves to political processes, pressures and priorities." The bottom line is: over 40,000 organizations receive over $39 billion in federal grant funds directly -- that averages out to $340 per taxpayer per year.
And, he who pays the fiddler calls the tune. No big surprise there.
Nor is there any surprise that the far-left socialist organizations are using taxpayer funds to help bureaucrats control the behavior of the American people. As a matter of fact, there is a very active revolving door between these far-left organizations and the federal regulatory bureaucracy.
For instance, have you ever wondered where all these totally silly EPA "scientific reports" come from? Well, lookee here:
In 1995 and 1996, 105 groups got $4-billion in grants from the EPA alone. Twenty-three of the groups received more than half their funding from the EPA. The grants ranged from $1,000 to the African American Development Association in Oakland to $21 million for the American Association of Retired Persons. Other EPA grants went to the American Lung Association, the Consumer Federation of America, the Environmental Defense Fund and the League of Women Voters Education Fund. Also reported was that the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, the Rural Community Assistance Program and the National Senior Citizens Education and Resource Center each got 99 percent of their funding in 1995 and 1996 from the federal government.
As the report concluded, "The sheer volume of grants awarded by the EPA is staggering by itself. But what is more disturbing is that the process is being repeated every year in other federal agencies, costing taxpayers billions of dollars, with little accountability for how the money is being spent."
The Alliance to Save Energy, a business organization designed to "promote the efficient and clean use of energy" received a million dollar grant from EPA. The American Association of Retired Persons received $79,430,000 in federal funding -- $20,937,108 from EPA. The American Farmland Trust, a group designed to "stop urban sprawl," received $980,273 in government funding. The American Lung Association (a physician's group) received $649,000 in free taxpayer money. The Center for Clean Air Policy got a $1,057,739 EPA grant to "persuade Congress to address the problems of acid rain and ground level ozone pollution in an intelligent way." The World Resources Institute, which is "dedicated to helping governments and private organizations of all types cope with environmental, resource, and development challenges of global significance," got $4,180,702. The Bicycle Federation of America got $525,722 in free money to "create walkable and bicycle-friendly communities." The Center for Marine Conservation received $661,181 of our money to support "full funding for President Clinton's Clean Water Action Plan and for strengthening the Clean Water Act." The Clean Sites group received a $1,231,270 grant to help "governments, private companies and communities find and implement efficient, effective, and collaborative solutions to environmental contamination problems." The Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon got $1,944,419 to "teach citizens how to avoid and detect lead paint in houses." And the National Senior Citizens Education and Resource Center ripped off a whopping $36,216,787 to help other liberal advocates lobby in favor of big government solutions. Really!
What we have here is Taxpayer Funded Advocacy. And at least three quarters of it is big government, bureaucratic controlled, un-American, un-Constitutional, socialist advocacy.
Read the very interesting (2 page) report at:
If ever we needed another law, it would be to punish politicians who do not tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Last week the lies were so ridiculous it was almost comical.
No, not the impeachment trial. That was a major debacle from its inception. This time they were "spinning" the socialist party line for spending Trillions of our tax dollars. Obviously, no one at the White House has anything resembling accounting experience. Either that, or they are intentionally lying.
The most flagrant lie around Washington these days is that the federal budget is in balance and that there is a multibillion dollar surplus. We know that is a lie because the national debt keeps growing -- at a rate of $316-million per day. In other words, they are spending money belonging to our grandchildren and great- grandchildren. http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock
The national debt is $5.6-Trillion -- or $20,648.95 for each man, woman and child in the country. The Social Security debt is $10-Trillion -- or $36,832 for each American citizen. Which means, due to mismanagement in government, each of us owe more than $57,000 total.
The cold hard fact is that they increased Social Security taxes a few years ago, but did not use the money for Social Security. Instead, they add it to the general fund and spend it all to grow government. Yet, they keep saying that Social Security is going broke. Well, sure it is! They stole all the money to hire more government workers who do not pay the Social Security tax. The February 2 Washington Times editorial identified most of the problems with Clinton's federal budget proposal:
Before President Clinton's second term, you could count on two fingers the number of times the federal government extracted tax revenues above 20 percent of the nation's total economic output since George Washington first took the oath of office. Both times occurred during World War II. Before that, annual federal tax receipts averaged well below 10 percent of economic output. In fiscal 1998, however, taxes exceeded 20 percent of gross domestic product. President Clinton seems to enjoy this state of affairs so much that his fiscal 2000 budget, which he released yesterday, forecasts taxes over 20 percent of GDP as far as the eye can see -- or at least for the next 10 years.
Yeah, and he included a five-year net tax increase of $45.8 billion to help grow government. In fact, a Cato Institute report identified nearly $150 billion in new spending during the next five years.
President Clinton announced a $1.766 Trillion budget for fiscal 2000, which he claims includes a surplus for the third consecutive year. And, just as an afterthought, Clinton announced that he will earmark 62 percent of the federal budget surplus over the next 15 years for Social Security and another 15 percent for Medicare.
So, there's the big lie that the hard working taxpayers of the United States are supposed to believe: Social Security is broke and Clinton is going to "fix" it.
Social Security was supposed to be an insurance fund. That is, we were all supposed to contribute a little each year and draw from it after retirement, if needed. In the beginning, they actually put the money collected in the fund. But, somewhere along the line the big government growing politicians decided they needed it to run government. Today, there is no Social Security fund because there is no Social Security money to put in a fund. Had all the FICA taxes collected been properly deposited in an investment fund, Social Security would today be one of the worlds largest investment funds -- $10-Trillion rich. Instead, it is broke, just like the rest of the federal government.
As can be expected, many Democrats jumped on the Clinton bandwagon and defended the budget. One big government supporting socialist even called it "bold, innovative and fiscally responsible."
"I think this will be a popular budget among Democrats, and once people know more about it, it will be a popular budget in America," said Rep. John M. Spratt, Jr. (D-SC), the ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee.
We think it will be popular among Democrats, too. After all, it's the Democrats who got us in this fiscal mess -- with an assist from liberal Republicans.
Republicans with a little economic sense called Clinton's budget proposal "fiction," "fraud" and "honestly phony." A few Republicans issued a critique calling Clinton's Social Security plan "pure fiction at best, fraud at worst." That's an understatement.
However, if we can get Republicans to make a few constructive changes, perhaps there would be an honest budget surplus. For instance, All FICA tax should be kept away from the eager tax and spend crowd and deposited in marketable Treasury bonds. The overall federal workforce should be cut by at least ten-percent. The federal government should only offer one medical insurance plan, the same one for all federal employees, as well as Medicare and Medicaid recipients. And, that national debt must be abolished.
For more information on federal taxes, we recommend the Tax History Project at:
Most importantly, scroll down to the "Facts and Figures" section.
There are seventy members of the United States Senate who should be removed. These are the seventy Senators who voted against witnesses in the impeachment trial. But wait, there's still more to this:
In a telephone conversation with someone very much in the know on the Senate side of Capitol Hill, I asked about the rush of Senators to view the deposition video tapes before last Thursday's vote on witnesses. The immediate reaction on the Washington end was a devious sounding laugh.
"OK then," asked I, "how many Senators actually turned up to view the tapes?"
"Twenty-five, maybe thirty," was the reply.
"Really?" I asked. "Not more than thirty?"
"No," came the reluctant reply. "Not even thirty. And . . . you're not going to quote me, are you . . .?"
"No," I assured, "I will not use your name. But, how many Senators watched all three tapes?"
"Are you kidding?" was the reply. "That's about 16 hours worth. Probably no one."
"Did you?" I asked.
"No, we watched parts of each."
And so it goes, folks. The Lords and Ladies of the United States Senate are negligent. At least 70% of them cannot be trusted.
In the House, not one of those Democrats we saw on television every night with diarrhea of the mouth had even bothered to read any of the evidence against Clinton. We know that, because the grand total for all House Democrats visiting the evidence room was 20 hours. That's it.
On the Senate side, it's even worse. The Senators who defend Clinton the most read nothing of the evidence. Worse, some of them even slept through parts of the House Manager's presentations to the Senate.
Then we get Senators like Bobby Byrd publicly acting like he understands and embraces the Constitution and the Federalist Papers. Yet, for thirty years, he consistently voted like a big-government loving socialist.
Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd even came out in defense of the Impeached, Lying Clinton. There's two moral deviants -- socialists to the core -- that better keep their mouths shut lest some of us pull out articles of their prior escapades.
The Senate is in dire need of some strong supervision. It is long past time that we the sovereign citizens of these United States find our "boss" hats again and take some immediate action against our negligent employees in the Senate -- at least the 70 most lazy and derelict.
And, just so there will be no mistake of who we are talking about here, below is a list of those Senators voting against having Monica Lewinsky testify. Some say that she is just a "girl," and needs protecting. In fact, just a "girl" would not need immunity. The fact is, she broke the law, and therefore she is also a criminal who got a lucky pass on her crimes.
These Senators should be targeted for removal as soon as possible. Republicans should be taken out in the primary elections, Democrats in the general.
Then, we need to take a cold hard look at that Seventeenth Amendment. Because, it's time we made the United States Senate accountable.
Below is a "Project Freedom" press release dated February 3, 1999 by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). The text, is titled, "Paul introduces financial privacy package: Measures will ensure American's privacy, stop Know Your Customer regs."
WASHINGTON, DC -- In an effort to reclaim the eroding privacy rights of American citizens, US Rep. Ron Paul on Wednesday introduced his financial privacy package that includes three separate pieces of legislation.
"Today we proclaim that American citizens have the right to be free of the snooping, spying, prying eyes of government bureaucrats," said Rep. Paul. "This legislative package will, once enacted, give Americans the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their every financial step is not being filed away and viewed as potentially criminal. This package restores and protects the fundamental privacy and due process rights that are the foundation of our system of government."
The centerpiece of the package is the Know Your Customer Sunset Act, which will stop federal agencies from implementing recently proposed regulations that would essentially turn bankers into the frontline spies and investigators for the federal government. The proposed regulations have garnered more than 14,000 opposition comments from customers and bankers alike. Rep. Paul was the first Member of Congress to take a stand against the proposed regulations.
"These rules are more like Spy on your neighbor, and I have not yet met anyone who likes them," Rep. Paul said. "I've heard from literally thousands of people, and not one of them wants the government to require banks to implement these massive new programs which turn every customer into a presumed-guilty suspect."
An informal group of organizations and individuals actively opposing the proposed rules and supporting Rep. Paul's legislation ranges from the liberal American Civil Liberties Union to the conservative Eagle Forum. In addition, the Texas Bankers Association, the California Bankers Association and the American Bankers Association are actively opposing the rules.
The Know Your Customer Sunset Act has about a dozen original co-sponsors, including Majority Whip Tom Delay of Texas, Government Reform chairman Dan Burton of Indiana and the Resources Committee chairman Don Young of Alaska.
Rep. Paul's financial privacy package also includes the Bank Secrecy Sunset Act. The measure would require that Congress either re-write the poorly-written and abused Nixon-era law, or choose to devolve the power of regulation to the states.
Finally, there is the FinCEN Public Accountability Act. This measure would allow Americans to view the files created on them by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, much as citizens are currently allowed to view their FBI and credit report files.
"It's time for Congress to reign in the creeping Surveillance State; the time has come, the people are demanding it."
A special section on Rep. Paul's web site contains a great deal of background information on the important topic. It can be found at:
For reference, the bill numbers of the Financial Privacy Package are:
HR 516, the Know Your Customer Sunset Act; HR 517,
the FinCEN Public Accountability Act;
HR 518, the Bank Secrecy Sunset Act.
We owe Ron Paul our thanks for responding quickly. Now, the ball is in our court. Y'all want a mantra to go along with the Project Freedom bills? "No peace without privacy" seems quite fitting.
Inform your representative and senator that you want these bills passed right away.
There are only two reasons for the federal government to keep personal data on an American citizen: That is for people who are either in the military, or in prison. Other than that, there is no Constitutional authority. In fact, if the Fourth Amendment were interpreted strictly, as it should be, keeping any such records would be legally prohibited.
Let's tell them so -- loud and clear. Because, if we do not, they will just keep stealing our rights one at a time.
By Jim H. Hill Jr., at: JHill1776@aol.com After years of neglect and abuse, the Constitution has finally returned to our public discourse. The topic is presidential impeachment and the Constitution is the rule book. In spite of all the evidence, the vote to remove Bill Clinton from office will, for some Senators, be the toughest vote of their entire careers. Yet, we as conservatives rightfully insist that our Senators stick to principle and uphold the Constitution.
This has created a perplexing situation. If we demand that Congress obeys the Constitution in this most difficult area, why do we not demand it on other occasions when the issues are less heated? Are we not practicing a double standard when we insist on constitutional purity during this impeachment process and then ignore the same document when debating other legislation?
Daily, we allow the Federal government to extort money from Americans to maintain government's Social Security pyramid scheme, HUD, Planned Parenthood, Departments of Commerce, Energy, Education, etc. -- none of which are authorized by the Constitution and all of which are outright violations of the 10th Amendment. Yet, we fail to raise even a murmur of protest over these gross acts which are far more destructive to the Constitution, and our everyday lives, than a lying president.
The Constitution is not a menu from which we can pick and choose items according to our tastes, while ignoring other selections. It is a recipe for a full course meal that must be followed in its entirety, without omission, in order to savor the full experience.
The Clinton trial will pass. Hopefully, the Clinton dynasty will pass with it. The question, however, is whether this short excursion into the Constitution will be "today's special" that temporarily gratifies our appetites for the moment, or the first step in the return to "a more perfect Union."