No Public Profit in Funding Non-Profits

Commentary by Ron Miller

Ron MillerLet's pretend the nation is in the grip of a global recession that shows few signs of abating. Your state government has been running up billion-dollar plus annual deficits due to dramatically reduced revenue, and an inexplicable compulsion to spend money, even when the law requires a balanced budget. Tax increases to close the gap would be hugely unpopular, because you've already burdened the people with the largest tax increase in that state's history.

Yet, despite the facts on the ground, the state allocates $9.5 million to a non -profit organization that openly aids and harbors lawbreakers, while at the same time furloughing or laying off state workers. People who point out this egregious misuse of taxpayer dollars, rather than being hailed for demanding responsible stewardship of the people's money, are instead pilloried as racists.

What's that? This isn't a pretense? It's really happening? Never mind.

Only in Maryland could such a travesty occur. CASA de Maryland, an immigrant support organization that openly and unapologetically defies the laws of our country by aiding and harboring illegal aliens, operates in part with public funding from Montgomery County and the State of Maryland.

Incidentally, the fact that one of the organization's private benefactors is George Soros would worry most sane state officials, but they aren't in the majority in Maryland.

Private funding aside, it's the abuse of public funds that should have every Maryland voter steamed.

On Governor Martin O'Malley's official discussion page, a thread titled, "Stop funding organizations like CASA de Maryland that provide assistance to illegal immigrants" elicited this response from the state:
The State of Maryland has provided limited funding support to Casa de Maryland. In FY 2009, CASA received $1 million in capital funding for the renovation of a Multi-Cultural Service Center in Langley Park, Maryland and $33,000 in Community Development Tax Credits.
In effect, when confronted about taxpayer money being spent on a lawbreaking organization, Governor O'Malley's response is essentially, "Well, we only gave them a little." That reminds me of another Will Rogers gem, "It's easy being a humorist when you've got the whole government working for you."

Except this isn't funny.

When money is tight, shouldn't government fund only the most essential services?

Frankly, I think government should get out of the business of giving taxpayer money to non-profit organizations, period. As a friend and mentor of mine wisely says, "I'm sure it's a worthy cause, but should taxpayers be paying for it?"

$15 million in Maryland taxpayer dollars went to fund bond bills, which finance pet projects for legislators to buy votes in their home districts. The list of projects the state is funding in the midst of its greatest fiscal challenge will blow your mind.

Why should some private organizations be favored with our tax dollars over others? What if I object to that organization's mission or tactics?

Should pro-life taxpayers have their money funding Planned Parenthood? Where is the funding for crisis pregnancy centers to at least pretend there is balance in how the government allocates public funds to non-profits?

Why does most government money for non-profits go to liberal causes? Who gets to decide which non-profits are worthy and which ones aren't?

Should an organization that flaunts its defiance of the law get a single red cent of taxpayer money?

Will Rogers once said, "When you're in a hole, the first thing to do is quit digging." Not spending money on non-essential projects would be a start. Such a move would demonstrate sound fiscal stewardship, responsible governance and respect for the blood, toil, tears and sweat of the taxpayers who actually earned the money and created the wealth.

Of course, Will Rogers also said, "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts."

Except this isn't funny.

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