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"With government money comes government strings"

Printed in the Herald-Times, March 22, 2005

To the editor:

Should the living-wage ordinance cover nonprofit agencies? Whether or not you believe nonprofit agencies that take money from the city should be required to pay a "living wage," there is one thing that should be obvious from this debate. "With government money comes government strings."

When a nonprofit agency takes money from government, they open themselves up to regulations they must abide by as a condition of that money. This goes farther than a "living wage". What if government regulations conflict with the religious beliefs of an organization taking government grants? Should a conservative Christian charity be forced to hire homosexuals? This should serve as a lesson for those who support giving government grants to faith-based charities or vouchers for tuition at private schools.

Twice a year, the city council gives away tens of thousands of dollars to charitable organizations. They make the decision for Bloomington residents what charitable organizations we will donate to. Every year since 1999, pro-life citizens have been forced to subsidize the local branch of Planned Parenthood, America's No. 1 abortion provider.

These controversies would disappear if the city council would eliminate these subsidies and let us choose for ourselves what charities we will support.

Scott Tibbs.