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El Paso County Colorado District 49

Government gluttony has to go

On April 15, I attended the tea party rally in Acacia Park, which was a nationwide grassroots effort to show support for the U.S. Constitution and disdain for the tax-and-spend freight train that has barreled through our government for years.The unprecedented acceleration and expansion of this tax-and-spend frenzy, from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) approval last summer to now, brought droves of Americans to a “we won’t take this anymore” show of determination and a demand to return to our constitutional roots.I was thrilled to be a voice in the crowd that day and exercise my God-given freedom to stand together with other Americans, fighting in this small way to take back our liberties and out-of-control government. The crowd was diverse – filled with young and old, rich and poor, black and white, Democrat and Republican – with messages that ran the gamut. There was one common denominator: We were all Americans, understanding our liberty and recognizing the imminent threats facing that liberty. Yes, Mr. (Barry) Noreen, this was grassroots at its best. (The Gazette; April 16, 2009)Before you choose to call or write and tell me how horrible I am for railing against the current socialist administration, because “Bush overspent, too,” save your breath and ink. President Bush and Congress have spent too much for years; however, we are dealing with the policies of right now. Blaming past administrations has nothing to do with the current administration and its new spending, unprecedented new debt and unconstitutional intrusion into our free markets and private industries; not to mention the weakening of a fundamental government purpose – military protection.Two items stood out for me at the rally. As I was leaving through the crowd, a man stopped me and said, “I know who you are. Thank you for being here. That took courage, for you to be here!” I assure you, it took no courage. I would not have been anywhere else. I am an American citizen just like everyone else there, and I did not hesitate for a moment to join the crowd in protesting government gluttony. Perhaps this is one of our fundamental problems with our representatives. If it takes courage for elected officials to stand with their fellow Americans, those they are hired to represent, and show their support of our liberties and founding documents, then perhaps they should not be our elected officials.The second item that stood out to me was the emphasis on taxes. Obviously, I agree with the outrage over excessive taxation and the current violations of the 10th Amendment. However, the disease is not the taxes. The disease is spending. There has been a fundamental shift in principle in this country from what the role of government should be. As President Kennedy said in 1961, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” Too many have reversed this and believe they can only prosper with government as their regulator, their financier, their instructor, their nanny. How devastating this frame of mind is to liberty. While there is a necessary level of taxation, which is defensible, and anarchy is not a principle of our Founding Fathers, government does not exist to make us prosper. Government must get out of our way so we can prosper. We must address the destructive and ferocious appetite for spending in our government before we will ever get our arms around the tax issue. This administration has not begun to rob the fruits of our labor to the extent they desire but must in order to support this unfathomable spending package it has deployed. The debt and spending of our future is vast and there will be no relief from taxes unless the irresponsible spending spree is reversed. This administration’s fallacy of itself trying to mend our economy will proceed only at the expense of our liberty.Thank you to the Americans in Colorado Springs who came to Acacia Park on April 15 to stand for freedom. I proudly stand with you, without apology and without hesitation, and I will never give up fighting for what our Founding Fathers worked so hard to accomplish. Remember these words by Thomas Jefferson, “A government big enough to give you everything you need is big enough to take away everything you have.”Amy LathenEl Paso County Commissioner, District 2

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