In the Oct. 17 Chronicle, an article disclosed New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's efforts to take the government to court because of President Bill Clinton's use of the line-item veto. Giuliani said that the use of this special type of veto was unfair because, in this case, it discriminates against the state of New York (and many of its residents reside in his city).
I read the situation in a different way. This gives notice to all the taxpayers to just how many of their "federal" tax dollars go to states for special perk programs. This is an opportunity for taxpayer groups to sue the U.S. government for breach of the Constitution by using federal appropriation for individual state interests.
If Giuliani wins his lawsuit, then the taxpayer should sue the government for discriminating against the other 49 states that do not get that special kind of perk funding.
Taxpayers should start demanding that federal taxation stay within the authority of appropriation that the Constitution allows. You will not find special perks and social programs within its list of proper federal appropriations described within the body of the document as truly "general welfare."
Here is the list: administration (paying for the work and employees of the three branches of government), criminal justice system, defense spending, foreign aid and policy, and taxation (by amendment) -- that is all. The Tenth Amendment ensures that the states can have social programs and perks to a limited extent but leaves that up to the particular states and does not allow the federal government to delve into such duties unless the U.S. Constitution is changed -- which happens rarely.
So, as if you did not already know, the government has been operating outside its authority, given by the Constitution, for more than 50 years. Now that is a breach of contract with the people -- don't you agree?
Will Tinney, Aiken
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