07.01.2008 0

Florida Lawmaker Follows Phony Treasure Map

  • On: 07/20/2008 17:08:13
  • In: Fiscal Responsibility
  • As the world’s most eminent archaeologist returns to the silver screen this summer, he may have some advice for Florida State House Representative Juan Zapata (R-Miami).

    Looking for new ways to balance the budget, Mr. Zapata had an unconventional proposal:

    “With the state desperate for cash to balance its budget, one lawmaker has come up with a solution worthy of Blackbeard or Captain Kidd.

    “Rep. Juan Zapata wants to plunder Florida’s booty.

    “One of the world’s largest publicly owned collections of Spanish treasure – doubloons and other coins, some gold and silver ingots and chains – belongs to the state.

    “’We have some interesting goodies in the closet,’ said the Miami Republican. ‘Why not have an interesting garage sale, put them out there and see what we can get for them?’”

    Among the many problems with Mr. Zapata’s proposal, one stands out above the others – namely, the gold he wanted to sell is not even owned by the State:

    “Zapata’s raid on the state’s treasure, though, fizzled Wednesday. Unaware of exactly what the state has in its treasure chest, he offered an amendment to require selling off artifacts from one of Florida’s most famous wrecks: the Nuestra Senora de Atocha, recovered off the Marquesas keys where it sank in 1622.

    “The problem is Florida doesn’t have any Atocha booty. Salvor Mel Fisher fought efforts by the state and federal governments to seize the treasure and won his case in the U.S. Supreme Court.”

    So, let’s set the record straight here: we now have yet another government official who has no concept of property rights. He has no idea what’s going on around him. And his only solution to his own (and his colleagues’) profligate spending is to rip off the taxpaying public.

    To paraphrase Indy, “You lawmakers belong in a museum!”

    ALG Perspective:
    Big Government is apparently so starved for revenue that lawmakers are willing to sell off priceless artifacts to meet a one-year budget shortfall. Alternate suggestion: cut spending and keep your clams off the heirlooms.

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