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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Senator Grassley Gona Fix Them Preachers


Sen. Charles Grassley wants to investigate six Christian ministries by a Senate committee he sits on. One of the ministers, Creflo Dollar, has told him to send the IRS to do he investigation if he thinks the law has been violated by that ministry. Four others have also declined to submit information to the committee after initially saying they would. Whatever one thinks about these types of ministries there are some serious problems with Sen. Grassley's effort.

One is not compelled to contribute to any non profit organization. All non profits must file income statements with the IRS to show they are in compliance with the law and maintain their tax exempt status. If the Senator has a suspicion that these organizations are not in compliance he should by investigating the IRS since they are the agency charged by the federal government to enforce the tax laws. Senate committee hearings are not restrained by the same rules of evidence the courts are. It should not be a surprise that the people who write the law have made themselves free from the constraints of the constitution when they want to stick their noses into someone's business.

If Sen. Grassley is so fired up about protecting people's money he ought to look into his own back yard. Unlike contributing to non profit organizations, citizens are compelled by law to give their money to the government in the form of taxes. Congress has lately been quite enthusiastic with how it spends those taxes. Citizens Against Government Waste listed just the pork that larded up the defense bill. It "found 2,074 projects worth $6.6 billion." Check out Sen. Grassley's own bit of largess for his Iowan constituents.

Making the reality all the more grinding for those who favor limited government is the fact that not only has Congress lost all of its will to control spending, it seems to be on the verge of losing its sanity. Exhibit A is a project called "Iowa Child," which received $50 million in federal taxpayer funds in the recently passed "Leave No Pork Behind" appropriation's bill.

Iowa Child is a plan, headed by Des Moines developer Ted Townsend, to construct a 4.5 acre rainforest under an 18-story translucent dome, complete with an aquarium and a media theater, in the Iowa City-Coralville area (about 2 hours east of Des Moines and home to the University of Iowa). Many Iowa bloggers have been all over the problems with this boondoggle, not the least of which is forcing the U.S. taxpayer to fund the plaything of a millionaire developer...

... Yes, deficit hawk Chuck Grassley. Keep-an-eye-on-all-the-waste-in-the-defense-budget Chuck Grassley. Grassley defended his action, saying, "It will create jobs. It is being built on a [hazardous waste] site that would otherwise have to have a lot of taxpayer money for cleanup. Tourism is a major goal of state government, and this is a big tourism project." I could go on about how the tourism-as-economic-development bug has infected the Iowa political scene, but that is another article for another day.
David Hogberg-The American Spectator

Or perhaps a look at the travel expenses of his office. Do all these people need to be traveling to such places at taxpayer expense?

Trips Approved 112 ($155,505)


The ministers Sen. Grassley is so concerned about pay their bills on time. If they didn't we would have all heard about it. But October was the deadline for the Congress to pass the spending bills for the current budget. It has yet to be done. I guess they are too busy worrying about some prosperity preachers to be concerned about actually doing their own jobs.

I don't care much for those that preach the prosperity gospel. I don't see how it is compatible with what the scripture teaches, but that is why I don't give to these ministries. I don't care much for what the vote buying nonsense that politicians are pushing on us. I don't see where the Constitution allows for it but I don't have any choice when it comes to sending in my taxes. What Creflo Dollar and his ilk do with the money they raise is their business so long as they abide the law. What Congress does with the money it forcibly takes from the citizens should be Sen. Grassley's business but he is too busy buying votes with it to give a hoot.

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3 Comments:

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Anonymous old n cranky said...

>>It should not be a surprise that the people who write the law have made themselves free from the constraints of the constitution when they want to stick their noses into someone's business.<<

Or do any other bloody thing they please. Pity some pigs are more equal than others....

9:12 AM  
Anonymous old n really cranky said...

>>Do all these people need to be traveling to such places at taxpayer expense?<>

So could we have something like a "proof of performance" test - I mean if you go on a fact finding mission its expected that you bring home some facts.

Maybe we could rank staff effectiveness by how many facts were secured per dollar expended? (Cool, another subcommittee perhaps...) Even better lets cross reference those numbers with a system to determine the relative value of the facts (hierarchically speaking) per dollar and then benchmark that against the relative value of the dollar in absolute terms - I mean facts discovered early on (time-wise) when the dollar was comparatively worth more against say the euro or the peso than it will be in say a month or so (as we debase the dollar on a daily basis) should carry more weight than a fact discovered later on when it is so much less valuable....

Good thing I don't get to be Emperor, yessiree, galley races on the Potomac, impalements on the Mall...

9:27 AM  
Anonymous old n cranky said...

>>It has yet to be done. I guess they are too busy worrying about some prosperity preachers to be concerned about actually doing their own jobs.<<

The politicians are just too dang busy finding facts poor dears, got their noses all shoved down to the ground shuffling around making little grunting noises....

9:30 AM  

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