Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Force and Fraud

KHOU recently reported that Metro "cooked" its books in order to secure federal funds to build light rail that nobody will ride. Not surprisingly, Metro officials deny the accusation. Congressman Ted Poe worries that taxpayers may get hit with another bill when Metro can't finish the rail lines:
Down the road, Metro's gonna come and say, "Oh well, we don't have the money to finish this project. We need another penny, two cents on the sales tax to make the poor taxpayers in the Houston area pay for this project we started. We gave bad information to the federal government. We need more taxpayer money. All of that is fraud and deceit."
Apparently Poe doesn't have a problem with the use of coercive government power to fund mass transit. He just thinks that Metro should be up front about it. Metro can use force to fund its operations, but fraud is going too far.

The fact is, force and fraud are two sides to the same coin:
Fraud involves a[n]... indirect use of force: it consists of obtaining material values without their owner’s consent, under false pretenses or false promises.
While Poe is decrying Metro's alleged attempt to defraud the federal government, he ignores where that money came from and how it was obtained. The money that Metro is accused of attempting to steal was in fact stolen from taxpayers. That apparently doesn't matter to Poe.

It is acceptable for one government entity to stick a gun in our face and take our money. But if another government entity resorts to "cooking" the books to get some of that loot, it is doing something wrong. With this kind of double standard, it is little wonder that conservatives aren't being taken seriously. Until conservatives can stand on principle and oppose all forms of government initiated coercion, they will continue to present no meaningful opposition to the Leftists.

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