Here at the Goldwater Institute a few staff members work to persuade people to voluntarily contribute to the organization. Since the Institute accepts no government funds, it relies wholly on private individuals and foundations to provide the resources to carry out its work promoting principled policy solutions to challenges facing Arizona. That's how it should be.
Giving privately to organizations and causes we believe in is a long-standing American tradition. Such is not the case with the recently passed Phoenix bond package.
The new bond package will give $1.4 million in tax dollars to the Salvation Army, a group that describes itself as “an evangelical part of the universal Christian church.” The Salvation Army may be a fine organization deserving of support. I’ve even worked for the Salvation Army myself. But that's not for the government to decide.
The Phoenix Zoo (to which I am a paid member) boasts on its website that it does not “receive support from any governmental agency. Not city, county, state, or federal ’" NO tax dollars come our way.” But the bond will give the zoo $2 million in taxpayer money. Some of that should go towards updating their website.
Just as the Goldwater Institute depends on those who donate money to us -and thank you, if you're among them- other organizations should make their case and use persuasion, not government taxation, to raise money to support their missions.