Public treasury shouldn’t serve as public piggy bank

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Treasury shouldn’t serve as piggy bank

To the editor:

I am extremely disturbed by what I’m seeing in the paper lately.

Greenfield’s Parks Department is inviting “children of all ages across Hancock County” to help design a “splash pad/spray zone” with the encouragement to “dream big.” It’s easy to dream big when you’re using other people’s money. When I was a kid, the “spray zone” consisted of running through the sprinkler in my backyard with my friends and the “splash pad” was a Slip’n Slide that my parents paid for. We didn’t need multi million-dollar recreation areas with rock climbing walls, spray zones and splash pads paid for by our neighbors.

In that same June 15 Daily Reporter issue, we see that McCordsville is offering exercise classes at their town hall. “Many people are hesitant to invest in a monthly gym membership but still want opportunities to work out as a group.” Well, isn’t that special! Folks don’t want to part with their own hard-earned money to support a local gym with their membership, but they are very interested in letting taxpayers support their interest in group exercise. How does a tiny minority of the McCordsville population get to “vote” themselves a subsidy? Meanwhile, no local fitness center can compete with the deep pockets of the taxpayers.

We see the same mentality with the proposed fairgrounds. A select group of citizens who have a particular interest and potential benefit in the multiplex and fairground design, who definitely “dreamed big,” want taxpayers to pay for their horse playground and conference center.

It has nothing to do with 4-H and everything to do with frustrated adults who will not part with their own money to invest in the “great potential” this plan has to offer but very much want you to part with yours. This project is not, and never has been, about the fairgrounds, which is currently, by the way, privately owned and operated.

We pay for trails for bikers, walkers and runners with money that comes from our road fund. There is no tax, as far as I know, on these people who benefit to the detriment of the rest of us. If you don’t drive a car, you are not paying the gas tax and therefore not paying for roads. If you don’t use the trails, the pool, the McCordsville town exercise class or the horse stables at the fairgrounds, you will still pay for it as a taxpayer, even if the money comes from a federal grant. Those “grants” come from your pocketbook, too.

We have learned to use the public treasury as our piggy bank, forcing our neighbors, through taxation, to pay for our dreams, both big and small. Alexander Fraser Tytler said:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy — to be followed by a dictatorship.”

We have come a long way from being a country of independent, self-sufficient entrepreneurs where free trade flourished, to living in a collective, where everyone contributes but only certain people benefit. It’s time to rethink the path we’re on.

Carolyn Flynn

Cumberland