Pope off base about returning tax dollars
I do not quite know what to make of Jeff Pope’s June 23 column, “Arizonans hit jackpot with $40 windfall.” Mr. Pope’s sarcasm is totally off base and uncalled for.
He is either very young or incredibly naive assuming the bureaucrats know better what to do with the taxpayers’ money than the taxpayer himself. This is a typical liberal social engineer’s stance. If the people would only give more of their hard-earned money to the government, they would fix all that ails them. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. One could bring money in by the trainloads – they (bureaucrats) would still ask for more. Forty dollars may not seem much to Mr. Pope; he should go out more and talk to some minimum wage earners or people who live on their retirement income and see what they could do with $40.
If the roads need to be enlarged or maintained, let them use the money already provided for that exact purpose, namely gasoline taxes. Yes, Mr. Pope, the Arizona taxpayers are the real winners. And what do you mean, the state will lose $300 million? How can they lose what does not belong to them? Tax money is the people’s money, and never, never forget that. If you feel guilty about your $40, by all means make it a gift to the state, but do not ask your fellow Arizonans to forfeit their hard-earned overpayment of taxes.
Constitution should be used correctly
In Jennifer Bartlett’s June 13 column, “Gay marriage amendment an attack on 1st Amendment,” she asserts that the “gay marriage amendment” is an attack on the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The 1st Amendment was written by our Founding Fathers to protect religion from government and not government from religion.
As she correctly states, “Congress shall make no law respecting establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...” but it does not say that religion cannot influence or initiate legislation. Since religious beliefs have established marriage, the state by forcing religions to accept same-sex marriage through the courts, or by any other means, is in fact, violating the 1st Amendment. If the state wishes to establish same-sex unions by legislation and at the same time not force religious organizations to accept these unions, this would appear to be within the spirit of the 1st Amendment.
She further states that “it is not our job to interfere or regulate the lives of others.” By not allowing religious groups to express their opinions and beliefs, and desiring protection of them through a Constitutional process, is this not also regulating and interfering? I am sure you would agree that it is.
So while Ms. Bartlett is entitled to her opinion, she should not use the Constitution incorrectly.
Rand L. Terwilleger