In the first episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, Jed Clampett’s sister asks how much the oil company is going to pay him for the oil on his property. Jed said, “Twelve dollars.” His sister was shocked: “Only twelve dollars?!” Jed replied, “Yeah, but it’s some new kind of dollar. I’ve heard of paper dollars, and I’ve heard of silver dollars, but these are called mill-ee-yun’ dollars.” Most politicians at the state and local level seem to think Washington invented a new kind of dollar that doesn’t really cost anybody anything. It’s called a “fed-er-al” dollar.
These fed-er-al dollars are highly addictive, and like a crack addict needing a fix, state and local politicians will do anything – even sacrifice the sovereignty of their state and the future of their children – to get more of these dollars.
To accept some of the fed-er-al funds that are coming in sheep’s clothing from the so-called stimulus bill, our state will have to permanently change our laws and expand programs that will last long after the fed-er-al dollars run out. It is a short-term fix that will have long-term consequences for our state.