It has been announced by Delaware Department of Transportation that a $78,000 grant of federal funding, has been awarded to create a plan, to create a Western Sussex Byway.
The Byway is intended to link historical sites in western Sussex County .
But much in the same way that I criticized the Sussex County Council for seeking out stimulus funding to create a solar field to supply electric to the emergency operation center. I have to ask. Is this the right time for the federal government to be handing out grants to fund study groups ? To study how best to map a route between historical sites that are already on the maps.
It also seems as if one of the goals of the byway plan is to limit the use of billboards and other signs. So one has to wonder. If they are going to have the authority to limit signs, what other authority will they have? Could we see access to certain areas taken away? Maybe.
But back to my larger concern here. At a time when this nation is running huge deficits. When our debt is in the trillions. When every dollar spent is a dollar borrowed. Why is this even on the table?
This shouldn’t even be up for debate. This is not a necessity. This is a whim. We cannot afford to fund whims at this time.
Now let me make the argument that I know someone is bound to make. The federal money is out there to be had by some state or county, it might as well be Sussex and Delaware. Also the tax dollars are taken from the citizens of Sussex, so let’s get some back.
I understand the thought process in those arguments. I just don’t happen to agree with them. I feel that by participating in taking this type of funding, we are also participating in creating a centralized government power. I am a fiscal conservative who believes in local government control. I believe that having the federal government collecting tax dollars, just so that the federal government can turn around and send tax dollars back to the states they collected them from is moronic. And has nothing to do with conservatism.
When our state, county and local governments seek this funding they are in essence saying that they agree with the process. They are condoning it and they are legitimizing it. How can a local, so-called, conservative elected official come out against federal intervention today. And tomorrow be announcing that they have procured federal funding for a solar field or some other project that should be handled and justified on a local level?
I have brought this up with elected officials on several occasions. Of course I get the standard answer of, ” well somebody is going to take the money, might as well be us”. Often they will tout how they fought to bring those tax dollars back to Delaware and Sussex County.
Well I don’t know about the rest of you. But I am tired of having to fight to bring the money back to where it should never have left. I want leaders who will fight to keep those tax dollars in the state, county and local governments to begin with. Where you and I have a better chance of controlling through elections how that money gets spent.
We must begin as citizens to stand on our principles. Then we must demand that our leaders represent our views. And if not? Well then, we will get new leaders.