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Government Is Bad Business For Non-Profits

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Over the years, non-profits have become more and more dependent on government (taxpayer funds) to fund their budgets. Sure enough, the number of non-profits has escalated, staffs have grown and, of course, the need for more funds. We literally have dozens of non-profits in Mecklenburg, each with its own paid staff, many of them with overlapping and duplicative services.

The growth in non-profits and their funding from government has, in a way, destroyed the natural tendency of Americans to be responsible and generous to those in need. After all, if the government takes our money through taxes and gives it to non-profits, there is not only less for us to give, but also and even worse, we develop a callousness toward the needy with a ‘let the government do it’ attitude.  This, of course, promotes irresponsibility of both the non-profits and those receiving benefits, while relieving the public of its moral responsibility to help those in need.

Supporting non-profits is not a proper role of government and, as is usually the case when government gets outside its proper role, there are unintended consequences. After all, why should the city and county government give millions of dollars to the Arts and Science Council when there are hungry, unemployed people in our community. The Arts and Science Council is just one example of the numerous non-profits that receive funding from the taxpayers.  The millions that are given amount to a huge slush fund for politically driven handouts by our city and county elected officials. Even the county Alcohol Control Board (ABC Board) gives over $500,000 dollars a year to over 20 non-profit organizations. The ABC Board has a full-time employee whose soul job is to evaluate non-profits and make recommendations to the board for those deemed most worthy of ABC funds.

For eight years I sat on the city council and watched as millions of your tax dollars were doled out to these non-profits, often without regard to the need and always without proper oversight. Our priorities, for the most part, were determined by the powerful uptown crowd; the Council liberals were always looking for ways to buy votes and help from other council members, unwilling to oppose these uptown groups, for fear of the powerful in our city or being called heartless or racists by the media.

It should be obvious to all that the government will not stop spending until it runs out of money. After years of unbridled spending, primarily by Democrat-controlled county commissions and city councils, and despite repeated warnings from a few commonsense conservatives, (called Naysayers by the Charlotte Observer and the big spenders), we have hit this wall!

If this recession causes the elimination/consolidation of many non-profits and brings us back to our senses about the proper role of government, the recession may turn out to be a good thing.

Unfortunately, our elected officials still don’t understand the depth of the recession or the plight of the taxpayers. They continue to plan huge spending projects like the trolley and Eastland Mall. They just don’t seem to get it. We have one more chance in November to defeat these big spending, Democrat county commissioners at the polls. If the voters fail to do this, they should not complain about the huge tax increases that are sure to follow!

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