My fellow Romans, I write to warn you of a grave threat to the Roman economy and way of life. The progressives are at it again in their obsession with raising taxes, this time to pay for their proposed Aqueduct New Deal.

Can you imagine taking wealthy Roman job creators’ hard-earned gold to mandate water accessibility for all? Talk about class warfare! They say Rome is getting too big and running out of freshwater for everyone. They claim Rome is in the middle of a water crisis. But if that’s true, then why do I have a full lead cup of water in my hand right now as I’m writing this scroll?

The progressives promise these aqueducts will bring water from far away rivers to avoid overdrawing the Tiber River while equalizing access to drinking and bathing as a basic human right, but just know that what these progressives really want is to control your life! They want to tell you when you can and can’t have bacchanalian orgies in your private villa pool. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Janus-faced progressives secretly want to take all the water for themselves and their poor constituents. It’s political bribery to buy votes for themselves with free hydration, and they’re too obsessed with everything being free. What are we, Carthage? Don’t fall for this brazen redistribution scheme!

Let me ask all fair-minded Romans this question: Do the poor and all our slaves even deserve public water? I can’t help but think that Jupiter must have a good reason to make the thirsty suffer, and, if anything, thirst is a great motivator for plebeians to pick themselves up by the sandal strap and go get their own water. It could even be a lucrative business for them! They could start their own water-ferrying company, or at least earn a little extra gold on the side. It’s the perfect side hustle for the burgeoning gig economy.

And are progressives considering the damage that public aqueducts will do to the economy? Rome employs thousands of plebeians to walk to the Tiber and bring back buckets of freshwater every day. What will happen to all these jobs? We can’t put all the water-fetchers out of work. Trust me, aqueducts are no revolutionary innovation; they’re an economic Trojan horse! It will decimate the Roman economy, and take away the dignity of water-fetchers everywhere.

So my proposal for the water shortage crisis is more water-fetchers! Let’s get rid of the minimum wage in order to encourage businesses to hire as many water-fetchers as possible. If we can get Rome to full employment/enslavement, the water supply will come roaring back, I guarantee it!

Instead of raising taxes, which are already much too high in Rome, we should actually cut taxes. If aqueducts are as good an idea as the progressives say, why get the government involved to screw it up? Rome’s hardworking taxpayers should have to pay only for the aqueducts that lead directly to their companies or private villas. So instead of a small tax raise making everyone lose money, we can make aqueducts profitable by letting private enterprise build them and charge daily usage fees. And I promise these privately owned aqueducts will trickle down water, and profits, to everyone!

And if we really want to promote a freshwater free market, let’s cut all the bureaucratic red tape and regulations interfering with the agora’s blind wisdom. You don’t want some elitist bureaucrat telling you how much water you can have, and you definitely don’t want the government having the power to plug up your pipes whenever they want! That will lead straight to death panels of corrupt officials deciding who gets to drink and who doesn’t. Believe me, you don’t want that for Grandma and Grandpa! Besides, who better to regulate the public water supply than the people who use the most water? I assure you that irrigation diggers, farmers, and wealthy patricians can and will self-regulate themselves with honor, selflessness, and charity.

So I implore you, my fellow Romans, don’t listen to the progressives. Public water means having no water for anyone, and the state murdering your grandparents! And worst of all, a slight increase in the top marginal tax rates! The Aqueduct New Deal is a bad deal for Rome!

This scroll was paid for by Tribunes for Water Freedom