Government Money and Intentional Poverty
What if you discovered that your husband, who is a garbage collector, had $12 Million in a hidden bank account that you couldn’t get your hands on and all you had to live on was his paycheck from Caddo Parish? You ask him about it and he says the paycheck is the family’s operating budget and the other money is for a rainy day. He explains that you have to stay on budget.
You have three kids. All of you stay with your mama and your husband is talking crazy. What do you do?
What do you do if you discover that Caddo Parish thinks like you husband? The operating budget shows that there is only about $21 Million to make ends meet, but there are accounts with say $213 Million or perhaps even a great deal more, which are protected by laws and policies so you can’t touch it.
What if you discovered that the City of Shreveport and the State of Louisiana do this and that there are other areas within the state with orchards of money trees marked “private – no admittance”?
“But that’s government money,” you say. “That’s my money.”
“We’re saving this for a rainy day,” they say. “We have to keep a budget for the public good.”
A government’s operating budget is out front, in your face. The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report hides money in plain sight – lots of big words, categories and subcategories.
Feel like an NBA star who never learned to read? It’s happening all over the country.
Rarely does a politician like Caddo Parish Commissioner Stephanie Lynch refuse to go along with the program. Like little David, standing before Goliath, she is trying to stop the Caddo Commission from gifting – not loaning -- $7.5 Million of your government money to Elio Motors, the company with the 3-wheeled car. The company offered no startup money and no guarantee of the promised 1500 jobs.
The parish’s lawyer, Dannye Malone, argued that Lynch could not prove that she personally would be harmed irreparably if the money were given away. See. She filed her petition as a citizen, not a commissioner, meaning she used her own money. As David had no army, Lynch had no lawyer. Malone had two or three people passing him prompting notes.
Ms. Lynch admitted that she had not been harmed, but from where I stand, she was. Her trust in the parish government had been destroyed, causing the lawsuit.
The fight isn’t over, by the way. Look forward to a town hall meeting.
Okay. “Are you all right?” as the preacher says. “You still with me?” Pray. Pray in gratitude for the Lynches of the world. Be grateful that you understand that your vote was not intended to give someone a key to the jailhouse of poverty so that they could hold you hostage. Be grateful that you understand that all of that money is yours. Be grateful that you understand that immoral laws can be changed. Slavery was legal. Segregation was legal. We have precedents. Everything is coming to light. No more hiding behind laws that protect officials while they systematically maintain a population enslaved by poverty.
If you could go a step further, then pray for the hardened hearts of government officials.
Cool heads, intelligence, and prayer are what is needed. Think anger is more powerful than prayer? Within and without, the United States is the most fortified country on the planet, but none of it can penetrate the power of collective prayer. Ask your grandmama.
See you at the meeting.