Having considerably firsthand experience at the now-common practice of buying voter loyalty via pork barrel projects, yesterday’s Outdoor Wire feature “Celebrate Until the Bill Comes Due” was an easy one to write.
After all, everyone likes getting free stuff. And this “bipartisan” legislative lollapalooza was billed as the solution to our sagging national infrastructure. As is the practice when you’re trying to cram something down taxpayer throats, it also manages to toss a few shekels in for virtually any special interest group that might have sufficient membership to mount some sort or resistance.
So…it was passed, then widely “celebrated” by single-issue organizations nationwide who are already creating to do lists for their newfound revenue.
Our readers, however, didn’t seem to “get” the celebratory nature of the press releases “lauding the signing of the Infrastructure….” In fact, they were downright miffed at people celebrating the return of tax dollars they’d paid to the government. As one caller said, “sometimes it seems our organizations don’t really grasp the concept of taxation.”
There’s no substitute for letting the readers tell you what they’re thinking. So… this morning we’re surrendering the feature position for their responses. OK, not their exact responses, I’ve exercised my “old school prerogative” and cleaned up -or at least minimized- some of the more colorful rhetoric.
Here you go….
“Liked your editorial this morning. I sure agree. And I recall, when I was 24 and working for (a well-known outdoor magazine), I was at a table with marketing people from three conservation organizations. Global warming was then a new idea and they were all so excited about it. I naively asked why. The money, of course, they all said in their own ways. It was a new pot of government gold and they wanted in. Principles, no. Money and power, yes.”
“Just a quick note to say thanks for the " Celebrate…Until The Bill Comes Due" article in today's Outdoor Wire. Hopefully, it'll open a few eyes to how foolish the back-slapping and celebrating by some of these groups is. Quite ridiculous, IMO, but they don't care as they'll get their few bits of silver…..maybe.”
“Just wanted to thank you for today’s story. I sure wish groups would stop being selfish and think about the big picture in this country.”
“Totally agree with today’s editorial. I thought about writing a PR about the constant sucking heard by many organizations on the federal dollar, our tax dollars. Some so called NFP organizations now are totally dependent on federal dollars and sing its praises at every opportunity to get more. Yet, there is no results, deliverables are none existent. Wildlife is declining, farm lands are disappearing and those that really care are horrified by the lack of focus. The “integrity” of understanding this country is broke, means little. They, like politicians, seem to not care of the financial burdens being created in mountainous form.
We are not taxed too little, our politicians spend WAY to much.
Your article is spot on and this ol conservationist totally agrees. Thank you.”
“RIGHT ON! My thoughts exactly as I read the press releases from various organizations.”
“Loved your feature..and the description was perfect. I know my kids’ll be pissed that I sent it to them and that puts it in the top 5!!”
“Jim, God Bless You! I really enjoyed your editorial today and will do my part to circulate it far and wide.
Yesterday, I saw the gloating from the conservation groups, over their new taxpayer-funded windfalls, in the Wires, and it really got my nose out of joint. I was sorely tempted to write a rebuttal to that, but you handled the job admirably. Thank you Sir!”
“Nailed the OpEd today. I got so pissed reading all the congratulatory media releases. While I get it, they are single issue organizations, often with bipartisan support, the bill is terrible for America big-picture-wise. Not just debt, but policy. It is NOT an infrastructure bill. It is a “destroy the fabric of America with some infrastructure thrown in” bill. Not that anyone gives a sh** what I think…”
Editor’s Note: I’m taking slight exception with the last comment. We certainly care what our readers think. Obviously, I agree with these commenters. But I also believe in fairness. I would have included comments who disagreed…if we had gotten any.
We’ll keep you posted.
— Jim Shepherd