Here’s What’s Wrong With America: Not Enough Taxpayer-Funded Urban Fishing Opportunities


Gawd, fishin’ sure is fun! Sittin’ out in the boat with a buddy or two, talkin’ smack, crackin’ open some cold ones…what is really better than that?

Besides, casting for Crappies is in many ways an act of pure patriotism – citizens bankrolling Government, if you will.

Think of the tax revenues just a couple of anglers and one boat can create: You’ve got the boat  registration and license plate fees, the fishing licenses, plus the “sinners penalty” on all the booze and cheap cigars.  And so far you haven’t even rented a cabin. Of course if you do, that’s taxed, not to mention the various “environmental ” user addenda, depending on where you wet your line: There are surcharges on everything from your equipment to the type of prey you’re trying to land. It’s a bureaucratic bonanza!

Not that you have any right to complain, buster. Some families can’t even afford to fish. Why, with the dwindling value of food stamps and rental assistance these days, how are the underprivileged supposed to join us on our public waterways? I mean, what about the kids?

Don’t worry. Our hard-working administrators have that covered. At least in the President’s home state. From the Illinois Policy Institute (with an assist from the Heritage Foundation), here is proof that Government knows better than you how to address societal ills:

“The Illinois Urban Fishing Program was created ‘in Chicago in 1985 to teach individuals of all ages to fish, to provide better local fishing opportunities, and to give participants an understanding of and a greater appreciation for natural resources.’

“The program provides free summer fishing clinics at stocked ponds and other fishing outreach events. Although the program started in Chicago, it now provides free fishing clinics throughout the state—from Ullin (pop. 6885) in southern Illinois to Belvidere (pop. 26,4066) in northern Illinois.

“Funding for the Urban Fishing Program comes from the Wildlife and Fish Fund, and in 1994, funding for the program was supplemented by a fishing license fee increase. The expenditures for the Urban Fishing Program have increased 28.8 percent from fiscal year 2006 to 2010. But the revenues from hunting and fishing license/permit fees have decreased 6.8 percent between 2006 and 2009.

“The General Assembly recently increased the program’s budget by more than $75,000 for fiscal year 2011, even as the state is experiencing a massive budget deficit.”

So let me see if I can get this straight: A taxpayer-funded program was started over two decades ago by well-intentioned civil servants to help the children of “single-parent” households. The program has more than doubled in cost in just the last five years, has grown way beyond its original intentions, and is losing money at a horrific rate.

The State’s answer to all of this? Hey, lets dump even more cash into this absolute loser of a deal – it’s bound to get better – right?

The Conservatives over at the Policy Institute are of course wasting their time trying to stop this kind of profligate spending. With over 51% of Americans currently paying no federal income tax, why should anyone give a rat’s ass about some stupid program that only wage-earning idiots have to pay for, anyway?

Hey, pass me that beer, OK? Yeah, I know it’s Keystone Light. The Liquor Control Board upped their take – can’t afford the good stuff anymore.

(An audible sigh is heard…then the snap of a can opening, and the plop of a lure hitting the water. Fade to black….)

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