The Following is a Speech I made in front of the Franklin County Courthouse in Chambersburg. These words spoken in front of 750 of my fellow citizens are just as true today as they were when I delivered them on April 24th of 2010.
245 years ago before Franklin County even existed the American revolution started here. Due to British restrictions on trade with Native Americans James Smith and 300 rifleman laid siege to Ft. Loudon. 10 years later as a foreign power became even more restrictive the beginning shots of what would be a war of independence were fired and the American Experiment was started.
Our founding fathers being descendants of those that had left their oppressive homelands in search of freedom had no desire to rule. The age of rulers was destroyed when the victorious colonists set out to create a Republic. Creating a nation that did not restrict individual freedoms but instead restricted government.
As I look around today I see my neighbors, my friends, and my family. I see them living in a nation that does not mimic the intent of the founders. I see statesman who wanted nothing more than freedom and liberty, replaced with lifelong politicians content to spin lies and and brag about their ability to bring back the bacon. I see laws upon laws, codes upon codes and ordinances upon ordinances. I watch as even those that are said to cherish liberty spew out half truths and work against the cause of liberty.
Recently I have been given the honor to serve my community on Shippensburg Borough Council. While being an opportunity to give back to the community it has also served as a point of education. Local governments have been hijacked by unfunded mandates and restrictions that are placed upon them by politicians in Harrisburg and Washington. We are told as local governments that in order to be eligible for grant money we MUST follow certain regulations. We are forced to spend local tax money to match most money we get back from the state or federal government. Through state and federal income taxes the government becomes our bank for need projects and as our bank charge us to get our money back.
I will make this as simple as I can. If we want to stop spending and lower taxes there is only one way to do it. We need to stop being proud when our elected officials bring back grant money, we need to ask them every time they pat themselves on the back for this project or that, what have you done to keep the money here in the first place. Their response will be well thats just the way it is. This defeatist attitude of so called reformers has become typical. So many times we hear about reform from candidates and when they take office they sit back and say well I'm better than the other guy was. We as voters need to do a better job of holding our elected officials accountable.
The grant system has created a new form of feudalism where tax payers are the serfs the government the rulers and certain preferred companies the lords. Tax money is doled out in the form of block grants and handed over to non-elected authorities such as the Chambersburg Area Development Corporation. These organizations then hand out your money to businesses and other organizations as they see fit. This is corporatism and is responsible for the continued need for more taxes. Until we stop looking at things such as these as a positive redistribution of wealth we cannot have limited government.
If we truly want limited government we cannot pick and choose. We cannot be for a larger department of education and against a larger department of health. We cannot be for a larger department of defense and against infrastructure upgrades. There are those that will say we are unrealistic. That today we need government to take care of us from cradle to grave. To those I say then enjoy mediocrity. Government cannot create wealth only spend it, government cannot create health only encourage it, and government cannot create freedom only protect it.
The future of this nation is not one that can be molded by government bureaucracy it is one that must be decided by We the people. Freedom is more than a word it is a gift that was given to us by our creator. There are not classes of freedom, we cannot divide our freedoms into sub-types. Our founders knew this. They were not concerned with having a government that took freedoms away from others if they disagreed with them. They were not concerned with legislating morality. They understood that for them to be truly free they had to create a nation that allowed all to be free. We can no longer afford to live half free and half enslaved. And in closing the worst way to take away ones freedom is by force, and we as Americans to do not freely pay taxes we pay under threat from those that are to protect us. We must actively work towards a smaller government and then we may find a day when we can repeal the 16th amendment and no longer be forced though we may choose to pay for other people needs,wants and desires.