Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fabulous History Lesson

Rep. David Crockett vs. a Farmer. The article is titled "Charity and the good ol' Constitution" and it is an excellent read!!!!

180 years ago, Davey Crocket related this story between himself and Horatio Bunce, a farmer who told Crockett he would not vote for Crockett again because Crockett had voted for a bill that gave federal funds to charity.
But Horatio Bunce, a one-man "Tea Party" of his day, was having none of it. Rather than be hornswoggled by Crockett's attempt to deflect the argument away from the Constitution, he circled right back to it:

"In the first place," he said, the Government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man... [W]hile you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive, what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose."

Now, how this applies to health care is quite simple. There's no difference between giving money to individual citizens because they have lost their house in a fire or giving money to citizens because they have fallen ill. It is, to use Horatio Bunce's word, "charity." It is, thus, not surprising that the recipients of this government-funded charity, who would number in the millions, have taken to acting as if they are entitled to health-care assistance, whatever you wish to call it.

Likewise, the victims of the fire who were the beneficiaries of Congress' generosity with other people's money were happy to have it, and so were the average and well-to-do citizens who might otherwise have been asked to contribute to a fire-relief fund. Bunce lectured Crockett accordingly:

"The people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution."

The well-spoken farmer concluded his presentation thusly: "It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people."

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