Grant Money Is Really Our Money


In a recent article, Roundup reporter Jerry Thebado did an informative piece on the new court officer collecting late fines for the Payson Police Department. As is normal for Jerry and everyone on the Roundup staff, he has a politician's grasp of funding. Direct quotes from the article include "a new grant funded by town, county and state sources," and "success of the program will eventually make it a self-funded position."

Government at all levels is a collection of people paid with public money to perform those tasks best performed by government. Government does not make money, it collects it. Most politicians think that once taxes are collected it becomes government money that can be redistributed under that description. To waste tax revenue is bad but to receive a grant is good. People feel happy when they receive a grant and if they think about it at all they think it was tax money collected from some other state. They fail to realize that some other state is receiving some sort of grant composed of our tax money.

Government has only one source of revenue and that is the public. It may be taxes, license fees, tariffs, sale of natural resources, lotteries, franchise fees, special use permits, park entrance fees, etc., etc. The government produces nothing but bureaucracies, and spends nothing but money extracted from its citizens.

I expect politicians to pretend they are giving away federal subsidies, block grants, federal assistance, etc. when in actuality the public's money is merely being returned to them minus the government's collection and dispersal costs.

It would be a pleasant surprise, however, if the media would be more accurate. In the case of the new court officer position they could refer to its funding as "a grant funded by town, county and state tax revenues." If the media is aware of some profit-making enterprise the government runs, we would be happy to hear about it.

Ed Taves

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