A persistent and foolish belief in America is that if the federal government funds something there is no cost involved and the money is like the twenty-dollar bill in the Christmas card from your old maiden aunt Matilda. I've even heard people express a misguided relief when a federal aid program replaces a state or local funding requirement. Do people really believe this?
The fundamental, irrefutable truth is that no government has a dime. None. They do not produce a product or make a profit, hence the only money which they can disburse is the money they receive from us, the taxpayers. It doesn't matter if it is federal, state or local government. To pay for any government spending there must first be a contribution from the citizens. You can pull aunt Matilda's money out of your front pocket, your back pocket, your shirt pocket or the elastic of your left sock. It's still aunt Matilda's money and without the Christmas card you don't have a dime.
So, how about this promotion of the General Welfare:
Firefighter Grants Promote the Fine Feats of Firemen
The fire station is a municipal fixture. The firemen and women, aka firepersons, work for your city or town. They might, in a rural area work for a county or a fire protection district. They might even be participants in a community volunteer firefighters program. They aren't federal and hence should not be dependent upon federal funds. As Cato so properly points out, why send the money to Washington to be counted, weighed, balanced and redistributed when it can be promptly, efficiently and without interference be spent right here in town?
But, it is impossible to ignore the conundrum of the once-conservative Congress-critter. Who is willing to stand up in the public view and say that they voted against sending some money from Washington to those brave men and women who guard our lives and property?
We're simply too stupid to know that it is our money in the first place.