Rep. Charles Taylor (R-NC), chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Interior Department has blocked millions in funding for a Flight 93 memorial project and has expressed opposition to funding it when it comes before his committee again on May 3 (AP). The White House has requested $5 million for the project; the victims’ families want $10 million and, of course, are crying “patriotism” to try and get Rep. Taylor to support their project.

Here’s a thought…instead of using taxpayer dollars to fund the memorial, why not ask Congressmen and women to donate from their own pockets? The “rank and file” members of Congress make $165,200 per year; the Speaker of the House makes $212,100 per year while the House Majority Leader and the House Minority Leaders both make $183,500; in the Senate, the Majority and Minority Leaders also make $183,500. Let’s not even talk about how much more that is than what my husband and I bring home combined, but we still manage to give at least 10% of our yearly income to charity. If each member of Congress pitched in, say, 5% of their yearly income to this cause, the group would end up with $3,640,405. Ten percent would give them $7,280,810. Of course, I certainly wouldn’t ask them to give a full ten percent, but you see my point.

It’s always easier to spend someone else’s money – it shows no great amount of character to allocate taxpayer dollars to some cause. What would really be telling is if some (preferably all) of these Congressmen would donate their own money. Then we would see who is really “patriotic.”

I encourage you to read (or re-read) my earlier post, “A Reminder in this Congressional Election Year”. Like the one to which Rep. Crockett refers, this is a worthy cause, but it is not the job of our Congress to fund it with tax dollars.

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