There are a number of reasons to hate it, which results in a varied group of interests coming to the public hearing that was held on Wednesday. It will present security issues at the Mexican border, cleave through the Texan countryside and demolish citizens' property, and will be managed by a foreign company that will be charging us tolls to use it. Now, a libertarian will be the last person to complain that a project is being managed by a private firm rather than the government, but that's assuming we want the project in the first place. And we don't!
The attendance was good; roughly 100 residents of Giddings and the surrounding area showed up to speak their piece - and there was very little peace in the room. Out of the 14 attendees to speak at the microphone, 0 had good things to say about the Corridor. Many pointed out it would destroy their farms, farms that had been in the family for generations. People worried about security. They resented paying a toll for a highway they don't even want. This is, to put it plainly, a brazen trespass on the rights of Texans. Governor Perry is in hot water with his constituents, and 'Republican' has become a dirty word even here in rural Texas.
They were in a mood to listen to someone with a different idea. At the door Matt and I took turns handing out our Badnarik brochure and an accompany flier on eminent domain, getting at least one into the hands of every citizen who attended the hearing. Michael spoke at the mic at the end of the evening, explaining that this is an example of the dangers of big government, and that he and other libertarians will never allow such a violation of property rights if elected. And when it was over and everyone trickled out, we made sure at least half the crowd left with a bumper sticker. All in all, a very satisfying evening.
Mike at the mic, and he did actually manage to keep to the allowed three minutes. Go Michael!
A discussion beforehand with one of the bureaucrats behind this project. That blue streak on the map is no river, that's the proposed swathe of land they'll take to build the highway. Outrageous!
Does the government have a right to your property?
In the dawn of civilization, free men and women came together to form government because to do so was to protect all their material progress. Constantly defending property was tiring, and prevented citizens from the education and hard work that would earn more of it. Government was established as a force that would protect our rights and property for us, thus allowing the people to earn a living. This step unleashed a tremendous potential for advances in human society.
Today, however, government has become a threat to property instead of its guardian. Under the pretext of 'public benefit', governments at the federal, state, and local level have used the threat of overwhelming force to take an individual's home and transfer it to some other, richer, party. You would never allow your neighbor to throw you out of your home and claim it as his own, even if he gave you what he calls a fair amount of money in exchange. The government's actions are no different or better, even dressed up in such language as 'right-of-way acquisitions' or 'eminent domain'. Capitalism is based on a premise of voluntary trade. Being forced to sell is not capitalism, and indeed nothing less than a crime.
What public benefit?
A fancy highway no doubt sounds very attractive to some, but think about the price Texans will have to pay. Do you want to live in a state where the government can steal and demolish your home for the sake of a grand project? The poorest, most wretched countries in the world are not that way because of business and corporations, but because their despotic governments can seize the property of their people at any time. Trade dies off and wealth cannot be created.
Michael Badnarik knows America is better than that; our citizens should be secure in the knowledge that their property will still be theirs in the morning.
Will your home be next?
It's easy to ignore the abuses of eminent domain when it's someone else's home, but once we have allowed the government the power to take our homes then it's a power that can only spread. Your home is your castle, and will be until the day you decide to sell it or leave it to your children. You shouldn't have to worry that the government may try to take it someday.
We have to fight back.
The Supreme Court's disappointing decision in Kelo v. City of New London means it will be up to the people and our representatives to protect our property. The TransTexas Corridor is mostly a state issue, but in D.C. Michael will oppose any federal funding for the project, and give his full support to any Texas Statesman that fights to save our homes. Michael Badnarik believes in your right to keep your property, and in keeping with the original purpose of government, he will protect it.
This message paid for by Badnarik for Congress FEC #C00414615 and approved by the candidate.