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Public-Private Ventures Violate Public Trust


In "Love, Happiness and Higher Taxes" (Cover Story, July 9), Washington and Lee University economics professor Arthur H. Goldsmith is quoted, "We can't have a conversation about public-private partnership. ?Ý when we spend all of our time on the notion of, ?~Is any government spending good or bad?'"

Please, let us not have any more public-private partnership experiments to further violate the public trust and erode private progress. All public money comes from private citizens. Whether we are talking about tax increases or tax credits, our money is being taken away from us. With tax credits we are permitted to keep more of our own money to permit government to provide services that we did not want and that we could have better provided for ourselves.

All we need to do, when examining public-private partnerships to see how they work (or don't work), is to look at the Postal Service and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Now the government is talking about borrowing from itself to save Freddie and Fannie. Every time the government raids funds that were in the public trust, as is done with the Social Security trust fund, we are reminded that, when it comes to security, we had better trust ourselves. We either trust the integrity of our internal intuition or the Internal Revenue Service. We have confidence in our own hard-earned credit or the easier tax credits government teases us with and "gives us."

Which code do we trust, that of the IRS or our own? Do we count on our own savings accounts and bank examiners who monitor them or public trust funds and politicians who pillage them? In the end, when it comes to "trust," we always are talking about integrity. Survival of the fittest wins every time.

Elizabeth H. White


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