To the editor:

In the latest attempt to separate the taxpayer from monies earned by the taxpayer, the mayor has presented the "PACE" plan which would loan or just flat out give away money (a grant) from taxes collected from EDIT funds.

EDIT funds are tax dollars taken from the Jefferson County Option Tax. The County Option Tax was sold to citizens as paying off funding for the County Jail. (Somehow nobody believes when the jail is paid off next year, the tax will be repealed ... wink and nod.)

This is yet another example of taking money from some citizens to give to other citizens. Crony capitalism = wealth redistribution = theft. Whether it's federal money to the state; state money to local government, the money for these "loans or grants" come from the taxpayer. There is no such thing as "free money."

Can anyone remember the $1 million spent for the still vacant (for the past decade) industrial park? Now this "historic" bill of goods is being sold as yet another "economic development" opportunity. It's also called an "investment." When folks in government want an "investment," it's time to hold your wallet.

One dominant rationale for taking taxpayer dollars from some to give to others is that a whole bunch of cities and towns are currently doing this. The term "lemming" comes to mind ... does a majority doing wrong ever justify an immoral theft?

This reminds one also of the silliness of "if we don't spend it, somebody else will!" Or "we have to get ours!" The idea that one person's home or property or business is more special or deserving than another's is a step in the wrong direction.

In 1794, James Madison said: "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." Neither the mayor or the City Council can say where in the Madison Constitution (if there is one) the right of the City to take from one group to give to another is found.

I've got a better idea for the $150,000. Pay off the jail early, repeal the tax and give the dollars back to the taxpayers, as was promised. To do otherwise is to reinforce the concept that government is never true to it's constituents. It should be a matter of integrity for elected officials to do what they said they would do when enacting a tax.

As Walter Williams said this week: "Helping one's fellow man in need by reaching into one's own pockets to do so is laudable and praiseworthy. Helping one's fellow man through coercion and reaching into another's pockets is evil and worthy of condemnation."

Rick Reuss

Madison