To promote good health and save on transportation costs, individuals might decide to bicycle or walk -- rather than drive -- to work or to shopping venues. Other people save money by carpooling or taking the bus.
But those ought to be matters of free personal choice and not of federal government subsidies and incentives.
And yet the Chattanooga area is expected to receive approximately half a million dollars in federal funding that will furnish area residents with prizes and a variety of discounts "for walking, biking, using transit or carpooling rather than driving alone each day to work or on errands," the Times Free Press reported recently.
Why is it the federal government's job to redistribute income from one group of Americans to another group for the purpose of promoting walking, bicycling, carpooling or using public transit to get to work, stores and so forth? There's certainly nothing in the Constitution permitting that.
Many Americans do not even live close enough to their jobs or to shopping facilities to have the option to walk or bicycle to those locations, and carpooling and buses are not feasible for everyone, either. Why should they be forced to pay with their tax dollars for prizes for people who do have those options?
Of course, many of the people who take part in this new program of federally funded rewards may be those who were already engaged in walking, bicycling, carpooling and taking buses. They'll simply get to cash in for something they were doing anyway.
There is already far too much federal meddling in what should be personal, individual decisions. That meddling is part of what has created our $14.9 trillion national debt.
This latest program is one more misguided example of that.