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Rob the poor to pay the rich

by pete on January 26, 2010

                                  ROB THE POOR TO PAY THE RICH

     First the Belgrade News and then the Bozeman Chronicle have come out with articles praising the “Open Lands” program.

     What they do not tell you is what is going on behind the scenes of the county’s dirty little game.  While they pay the rich they continue to invent more rules and regulations to rob the smaller landowners not only of their tax dollars to pay the rich but also of the smaller landowners rights to profit from the fruits of their labors.  In some cases even regulating citizens to the point their land becomes worthless.  I know because I am one of them and I have been in the thick of it with our 3-D county bureaucrats (dishonest, dishonorable and despicable) for almost 5 years.

     In several of these cases (like Skinners) they collected over 1 million dollars of our taxpayer money to not develop land that could never have been developed anyway under the new and abusive regulations they  invented to impose on the rest of us.  In virtually every case that I am aware of these payments have been made to many of the oldest and wealthiest families in the county and those whose successful farms and ranches were least likely to be sold to developers in the first place.  As Sherwin Leep was quoted “It has such a rich family history for us.”  These people might say they would consider selling to a developer to get your tax dollars to get to keep what they were going to keep either way.  However, I seriously doubt that without your money they would sell to a developer because these families have been on the land so long because they love THE LAND.  I am not totally against open space provided our tax dollars are spent on land that all of us have access to enjoy.  But I have a serious problem with tax money being paid to the wealthiest landowners while simultaneously creating a “regulatory taking” scheme to deprive the rest of us of any ability to even survive much less profit from our investments and our land.

     I have always questioned the morality and ethics of this scheme to make the poor support the rich and lately, through my research, I have come to seriously question the legality of not only this open space debacle, but also the whole county “regulatory taking” scheme.  Following is a portion of an article out of the magazine “America’s First Freedom” put out by the NRA that I found quite interesting.  The article was related to gun legislation that is going on but it also opened my eyes even further to the corruption in our county government.  It says:  The second clause in the 14th amendment mandates “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.  The principle of “due process of law” as understood by the framers of the 14th amendment and by Americans all the way back to James Madison, included some substantive limitations on government power.  For example, if a government passed a law that said “All people with last names beginning with “A” or “B” must pay $500.00 each to the government, and the money will be redistributed to persons whose last names begin with “x”, “y”,or “z” that law would be a violation of the DUE PROCESS clause.  Even if the law had been passed with proper procedures—such as a recorded vote by the legislature following a public hearing—the law would be void because it would be beyond the legitimate powers of government.

     Starting in 1895, the Supreme Court began to use the 14th amendment’s due process clause to make some provisions of the Bill of Rights enforceable against state  governments.  Because local governments derive power from the states, a constitutional restriction on state governments automatically applies to local governments also.

     In light of this “open space” program I think that the example they used was quite enlightening.  I do not know about you, but it sure makes me wonder about our elected county officials and who is looking out for the little guy?

     This thing seems very familiar – where have I seen it before???  Oh yes, the bank bailout – rob the poor to pay the rich and then make MORE regulations to destroy the poor.  Sadly it has become THE AMERICAN WAY!

Peter Rothing

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