March 13, 2000
Had he simply encouraged us to join him in the sheer joy of giving, it would have been a more effective letter. But I was surprised by the tone of disappointment, particularly his phrase, "It seems to me that saving this money is actually hurting our community..." I take this to mean that he believes the community would have been better served had the government taken our money from us rather than have each of us enjoy the right to choose. He mentions several worthy organizations, but then writes "you could even give it to your city or community."
First of all, not everyone in the "helping" business is equally worthy of our support. I thought it was common knowledge that good charities and non-profits use as little as 20% of the donations they receive from us to administer their good works, while it costs the government roughly $2 to give away every dollar they have confiscated from the taxpayers. Could that be because the government extracts its income by the force of law and operates as a monopoly, while charities are dependent upon our cheerful goodwill and know that there are many other willing recipients, should they abuse our trust?
Secondly, spending the money can also be a great way to support our community. When you spend $500 in one of our local businesses, they continue to be able to sponsor our sports teams and provide employment for us and our children. For those of you who remain concerned that government still isn't getting enough, you'll sleep better knowing that more than $40 of your $500 purchase went to the state in the form of sales tax. If you bought gas with the money, you "contributed" even more to the state in the form of gas tax.
I agree that giving the money away is an excellent way to use the savings, but don't forget that the money we saved from I-695 was not a gift from the government. It is our own money, which we may use as we please. Americans are the most generous people in the world. I would suggest that continued tax cuts would enable even more of us to experience the joy of giving.
Jacob Herzog, Duvall