Tip O'Neil, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives from many years ago, coined the phrase, "All politics is local." When he said this he was referring to the idea that voters would vote for their local issues over the grand ideologies of one politician or another. He also meant that voters are closer to their local politicians and not so wrapped up in the Federal schemes being played out in Washington DC. That was then.....way back when the Federal government was less involved in the daily personal lives of citizens. Voters then had just a few Federal issues to concern them; defense of the nation, social security, medicare, immigration policies, interstate highways, and that was about it. My how things have changed. Those issues are still on the list, but now we have to include; personal energy use, personal water use, personal trash management, personal building decisions, personal education choices, personal property issues, personal healthcare decisions, just to name a few.
Somehow, over time, the Federal greed for power over individuals has become so prevalent that citizens can't sneeze without asking permission from the Federal government. The Federal government has been taken over by the most intolerable greed for power that Americans are looking at coming elections and wondering, "Does my vote even matter anymore?" What does this have to do with "politics being local?"
The Federal government is being enabled by local politicians, from cities, counties, and each state. Our local politicians are letting this pervasive intrusion into our daily lives occur. No, worse than that. Our local politicians are forcing us into Federal policies that local citizens don't want, don't need, and are extremely averse to adopt. Federal politicians have, over time, figured out how to bribe local politicians into acquiescence. (The bad joke there is that these bribes have been done with borrowed and printed money causing huge debts and inflation, but who is laughing?) You, citizen, might be saying to yourself that you feel disenfranchised, but you can't put your finger on it. You are wondering, since you voted locally for this guy or that lady, why your elected representative is NOT doing what you thought that representative would do, i.e. represent you. You might be asking yourself, why are these policies being put into place when you and your friends and neighbors don't want any of these policies.
When the bonds for parks and recreation was on our local ballot, the voters turned it down. What happened? The council ignored the voters and just went ahead, using our taxes, grants, and subsidies for those projects anyway.
When the Carolina Thread Trail came before the council with its greenway proposition, our council was sold a project that by definition takes private property out of the hands of owners using tax incentives and public money. Even without eminent domain, the Carolina Thread Trail premise is the act of turning private property over to the government. This property must be maintained by the remaining taxpayers. Then, after unanimously agreeing to adopt the Carolina Thread Trail, some on the council acted SHOCKED that the project could not be completed without using eminent domain to take property from private ownership. That might be good theater and fool some people, but it is duplicitous, false, misleading, disingenuous, and flat out wrong. You can't tell me that these same council members had no idea that there would be some unwilling property owners along some parts of the Carolina Thread Trail. After all, who sits down with a map of the county, proposes to take land away from other private property owners just for the sake of a recreational walking or biking trail and then thinks everyone will just jump up and hand over their land?
When the issue of trash management and recycling came before the council, our council adopted a "Pay As You Throw" plan that was designed by the EPA. While Gastonia citizens were already paying for trash management and recycling through property taxes, this council decided that they could use property tax revenues for other special favored projects and make the citizens pay extra fees for trash management, creating yet another revenue stream for the government coffers. Throwing a crumb to the citizens, the council lowered the tax rate by .01 cent per hundred dollars, saying this .01 cent would offset the $6.00 to $9.00 per month for the trash and recycling scheme, again designed by the EPA. The city council has left no opt out option for citizens, thereby forcing citizens to pay for a service they may or may not want. What was not reported to the public about this waste management system is that the recycling bins come with Radio Frequency ID chips so Republic Waste Management will track your recycling activity and report your activity to the local government for the purpose of education and fines.
If you think that won't happen here, it is already the case in Cleveland, Ohio where the city hired trash police to hand out $100.00 fines for non-compliance. This is taking place in cities all over the country. Each ID chip is assigned with your address. The bins are weighed by the high tech trucks picking them up. Your recycling amount is then recorded to Republic's data base and reported to your city. Charlotte's recycling program is already using the tracking chips with the same company, Republic. Our council voted to make us pay fees to have our activities tracked.
While I'm on the trash issue, I want to point out two things. Mandating citizens to purchase a trash service is the same as Obamacare. The commerce clause does not give the government the right to force people to buy something. Secondly, the RFID chips violate the search and seizure clause. You are being searched without a warrant if the government decides to raid your recycling and trash bins to monitor your compliance.
Another assault on voter consent is coming through the local government appointment of unelected boards of hand-picked boot-lickers and then handing off the policy decisions to these boards. These boards are not accountable to the voters, but are creating policies that the voters never have a chance to consider. Planning commissions and boards are bringing forth projects that reflect grants and subsidies coming from outside of our local jurisdiction, boards such as the regional government, the Unified Development Ordinance board, the Municipal Planning Commission, etc. From my research I am finding these boards are making policies based on whether or not local government and projects can apply for and receive State or Federal grants and subsidies. This is happening outside of voter consent. And again, happening for the purpose of obtaining money and bowing to Federal power.
The only option we have to rid ourselves of this is to elect people who care about what their constituents want in the manner of government and to NOT elect people who care more about getting money from the Federal government ....which is completely broke, in case no one noticed.
My point here is that we voted these people into office to represent us and protect our rights. Instead what our elected representatives are doing is anti-individual rights and using our tax money to implement projects that we, the people, don't want, don't need, and find to be oppressive. Our local elected officials are proving themselves to be just as greedy and power hungry as the Federal and State elected officials.
Tip O'Neil may not have realized how his phrase would eventually play out across the land. Today, local politics is being driven by Federal policies. This means that indeed, "all politics is local." We, locally, have an opportunity to turn off the Federal intrusion into our lives by electing representatives who reject the debt-laden oppressive control over our lives. When 2012 comes around, we have an opportunity, I hope, to elect Congressional representatives and a president who will stop this insane flow of borrowed money into the rest of the nation.
Tip was right. "All politics is local!"