Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Disturbing Surpluses

By Captain Opinion

MARCH 6, 2000:  As kids, it was our finest hour. Over the course of the school year, we had generously dropped our pennies and nickels into the coffee can on the nun's desk. The money bought "pagan babies," meaning it was used by missionaries to feed, house and clothe an infant in a Third World country for a period of time. At the time, 20 bucks did the job for a year. Our seventh-grade class had already "bought" two pagan babies that year. At school year's end there was $10 left in the can. It wasn't enough to buy another whole pagan baby, so the nun asked if we wanted to combine the money with that from another class or to use it for some other charitable purpose. An election was scheduled for the class to vote on the issue. With missionary-like zeal, my friends and I lobbied our classmates for the resolution we preferred. The election was held. We won an overwhelming victory.

We had voted to take our money back.

That's right: We wanted the money that we had voluntarily put into that can returned to our pockets. It would have gone a long way toward buying pizza and cigarettes.

By the nun's reaction to our exercise in democracy, you'd have thought that we had invited Satan into the classroom. She screamed at me and my friends, derisively referred to us as "disturbers," and swung at us with a wooden pointer. Then she called the principal to the room. The two nuns spent 20 minutes trying to shame us six disturbers in front of the rest of the class. We were thugs and unsaintly people, they said, while adding that the election was void and that we'd have to combine our money with that of another class to buy a third pagan baby.

When we protested that this was America, a free country and a democracy, and that the will of the voters in a free election was sacred, the nuns attacked us verbally and physically. There could be no argument. We could not have our own money back.

I don't know what ever became of those nuns, but I wouldn't be surprised if they joined the Democratic Party and went to Washington, D.C. Who knows, with their insistence that people are not entitled to their own money, they could easily run for president and vice president on the Democratic ticket.

I mention this story because Americans and many of their so-called political leaders have forgotten to whom the money that goes to Washington belongs. They have forgotten that it belongs to the people who make it, to the people who get up every day and trudge off to jobs as bank tellers, carpenters, cops, secretaries, farmers, machinists, nurses, doctors, cooks, car mechanics and bus drivers.

It's predicted that over the next 10 years the federal government will have a surplus of nearly $2 trillion. That means the government is overtaxing people and taking too much out of our paychecks. Two trillion dollars is an obscene amount of extra money to have on hand. It's also your money. You wouldn't know that, though, from the way President Bill Clinton, the New Mexico Legislature and other Democrats howl when, like we disturbers did in seventh grade, Republicans demand that we be given our money back.

Republicans have proposed that the government return our money through large tax cuts. But Democrats act as if tax-cut proposals are a crime against humanity. They scream about how we're pandering to the rich and dumping on the saintly poor -- never mind that it's the so-called rich who pay most of the income taxes in this nation and that the poor hardly pay any taxes.

The horrifying thing about the debate is that the Democrats, with the help of idiots and supplicants in the news media, have convinced a lot of people that their money -- the money that they work long, hard hours to earn -- belongs to the government and that they're lucky Uncle Sam lets them keep any. The surplus is referred to as the "government's surplus," not as money that the government has forcibly taken from workers.

Governments have no money. For funding, governments rely on the people to contribute for projects that make life a little better. It's akin to taking a collection to buy a group birthday gift. After buying the gift, the person who goes to the store isn't entitled to keep any extra cash and think of new things to spend it on.

Those nuns had no right to keep our money; they were thieves for refusing to return it. The federal government has no right to keep the projected surplus. If the politicians don't give it back, they're thieves, too.

If you think robbery is wrong, start demanding tax cuts. And shout loud enough so that every thief in government can hear it, the battle cry of the disturbers: We want our money back!


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