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El Paso County Colorado District 49

March back to freedom

As I begin this letter, the national debt clock reads $11,412,933,709,178.43. Below the clock, which you can access at, the estimated population of the United States is listed at 306,391,113, making each citizen’s share of the debt $37,249.56. The national debt, according to the Web site, has continued to increase an average of $3.83 billion per day since Sept. 28, 2007.We are facing unprecedented debt in this nation, setting us up for hyperinflation and economic instability from which we may never be able to recover. In the face of historically soaring debt, the current administration added the stimulus bill, marketed formally as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Never has there been a more twisted group of words to describe the theft of America’s future.The American Bankruptcy Act, as is its rightful name, is coming home to roost in El Paso County. The Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) has begun to see stimulus items on our agenda awaiting approval. Particularly troubling are requests to approve these dollars for ongoing and new government programs, as well as new government jobs and charitable contributions. For example, on June 4, we were presented with a request to authorize the Department of Human Services to apply for $887,367 in stimulus dollars for distribution to several prominent, local nonprofit charitable organizations. No roads built. No bridges repaired. Just unsustainable programming subsidies.As an ardent supporter of charitable organizations, I believe wholeheartedly in charities’ missions to help those in need, and I encourage people to voluntarily contribute whenever possible. I believe that as a society we must contribute freely in a variety of ways to help those who are unable to help themselves. I myself have been in a position of need in the not so distant past and understand first-hand the difficulties life can pose.However, to suggest that government begin subsidizing various charities with the forced acquisition of your money is a sobering departure from our liberties and constitutional free enterprise society. Since when did it become acceptable for the government to forcibly reach into your pocket and remove your money to give to the charity of its choice? Granted, this practice has been going on in multiple ways for years now, but it is increasing in its scope and brazen nature by leaps and bounds with this stimulus charade.Arguments made for bringing these dollars into El Paso County include the following: “Even though we opposed it first, it is the law of the land now; if we don’t spend it someone else will; it is my job to bring home the bacon; the people need the money; these programs will get people off of welfare.”These programs are themselves, welfare! As we submit to the feds and bring these dollars into our communities for new programming and new hires, we create unending dependency on the federal government and we foster an ever-growing entitlement mentality. Our citizens will never be able to repay this debt in their lifetimes. The feds are simply printing money and telling us we must spend it. How fundamentally flawed is the notion that we can spend ourselves into economic stability with massive entitlement programs, while crushing production and free enterprise. Can you imagine doing this with your own finances? Further, when we allow these dollars to be introduced into the private and nonprofit sectors, we hand over local control. These dollars come with strings attached; and, with every dollar spent, power is transferred to the federal government. Look no further than the GM takeover.Government does not earn anything. Government does not produce anything. Everything government has it has taken. Some is absolutely necessary, legitimate and honorably part of our founders’ structure, i.e. our military, infrastructure, judicial and law enforcement systems. Much is not.There is no greater injustice to the poor and middle classes than to create more government handouts. Note the argument referenced earlier, “The people need the money.” Now remember this infamous quote, “From each according to his ability to each according to his need.” That one is from Karl Marx, co-author of the Communist Manifesto.In his book “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” historian Edward Gibbon wrote, “In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security … When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society, but for society to give to them; when the freedom they wished for most was the freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free.”As we celebrate our nation’s independence, let us hold fast to our liberties and teach those who have forgotten what it means to be free from government tyranny. Let us remember our very freedom, which we stand to lose in this present march deeper into socialism. Join me in demanding that we march back to freedom.Amy LathenEl Paso County Commissioner, District 2

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