Does Anyone Have Property Rights?
How would you feel if the government told you that the land on which you built, on which you paid taxes and on which you have a clear legal title, is not really yours? How would you feel if you built a house, deck, garage or boat dock with a valid building permit, and you were told you could only have the use of it if you leased it back from the shoreline management company every year? How would you feel if environmentalists in Washington D.C. wanted to turn your lake back into a wilderness and fight those who seek to make improvements?
That is happening right now to the owners of over 4,000 structures at the Lake of the Ozarks.
The Lake of the Ozarks has existed since the 1930s when a developer came up with an idea that would dam up the Osage River to make it into a lake while also benefitting the citizens with a way to generate electricity. When the Bagnell Dam was built, it created the largest man-made lake in the world. Even though the idea started with one developer, it became Union Electric’s project.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC) is at the heart of the problem and is operated by non-elected bureaucrats. FERC regulates about 1,600 hydroelectric projects and has control over AmerenUE. FERC can change the rules at any time without any congressional or presidential oversight. To put it in simple terms, FERC told Ameren to get rid of everything within so many feet of the shoreline. Instead of fighting for the residents, Ameren is passing on the message from this large bureaucratic agency. With nobody looking out for the best interests the people or their constitutional rights, it is up to the citizens to stand up for themselves and wage this battle to protect their property.
The Lake of the Ozarks is privately owned and should not be under national control or regulation. The only reason for the national government’s involvement is because the lake is owned by a nationally regulated utility—Ameren—a privately owned, for profit, company that manages and owns a hydroelectric dam. The Federal Power Act allows FERC to issue Ameren their license to operate the dam, so it is understandable that Ameren wants to please this national agency, but truthfully, the national government has no business interfering with a private arrangement between Ameren and the land owners.
The threat of forcing people to tear down their homes, decks, gazebos, walkways, etc. amounts to “taking” without compensation and changing the rules after the sale. Karl Marx said, “The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property.” What is happening at the Lake of the Ozarks is an outrageous story of innocent citizens who are being faced with losing their houses, boat docks, gazebos, sheds and any other structure within 662 feet of the shoreline. These people complied with every requirement government demanded of them and are now being victimized by an effort to take their property from them. The goal has nothing to do with flooding—it has to do with an anti-development philosophy.
The actions of FERC are based upon a new philosophy that the power of the national government trumps private ownership, despite the fact that some homeowners had deeds showing their property going to the middle of the lake. Some are proposing that the land owner can keep his structure if he pays to lease it back. To read more about this travesty, click here: Article
People should expect their legislators to protect them from government.
If you step back from the specifics and look at the big picture, several important themes emerge:
1.) Some legislators presume that every crisis calls for passing more laws. This is the wrong approach. We don’t need more laws—we just need to live within the laws we already have. While some of the congressional delegation is filing bills, the right answer is for the non-elected bureaucrats to be restrained to a limited capacity that fits within our constitutional framework.
2.) The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States already says, “No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Check mate! You don’t even have to be a lawyer to understand this. We should demand that the government go before a judge and jury made up of the peers—others who own land at the Lake of the Ozarks and have each case tried individually with the government having to pay all the costs before anyone can be denied any portion of his land.
3.) We must not allow unelected bureaucracies to make laws. Lawmaking functions belong strictly to elected bodies and should always to be reserved for the legislators alone. When congress passes laws to allow non-elected officials to make up their own rules, we have just opened the door for tyranny with no recourse.
Even if you don’t live in the Lake of the Ozarks area, you need to know what is happening to our fellow citizens. This overreaching of big government is already infecting other communities in other states. This article shows that bigger government and more laws are the problem, not the solution. Article
The Lake of the Ozarks is referred to as one of the finest playgrounds in our state. You can be assured that as the Lt. Governor, I would fight this with the full weight of my office. We should not allow the national government to come in and confiscate our property or our prosperity from our innocent Missouri citizens anywhere! It is time to rise up and defend ourselves from this effort to hurt our people. When Washington DC starts to act like a big bully, we must all come to the rescue and demonstrate that we really are “The Show Me State”!
A Little Bit of Humor…
Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes.
That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes. ~Author Unknown