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Davy Crockett and The Great Shutdown of ’13

October 1st, 2013 - 7:39 pm

On the other hand, once upon a time when Davy Crockett was in Congress, a bill came up to award a pension to the widow of a universally admired military man.  It was about to pass when Crockett spoke:

Mr. Speaker — I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it.

We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him. This government can owe no debts but for services rendered, and at a stipulated price. If it is a debt, how much is it? Has it been audited, and the amount due ascertained? If it is a debt, this is not the place to present it for payment, or to have its merits examined. If it is a debt, we owe more than we can ever hope to pay, for we owe the widow of every soldier who fought in the War of 1812 precisely the same amount.

There is a woman in my neighborhood, the widow of as gallant a man as ever shouldered a musket. He fell in battle. She is as good in every respect as this lady, and is as poor. She is earning her daily bread by her daily labor; but if I were to introduce a bill to appropriate five or ten thousand dollars for her benefit, I should be laughed at, and my bill would not get five votes in this House. There are thousands of widows in the country just such as the one I have spoken of, but we never hear of any of these large debts to them. Sir, this is no debt.

The government did not owe it to the deceased when he was alive; it could not contract it after he died. I do not wish to be rude, but I must be plain. Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity.

Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much of our own money as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week’s pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.

I don’t have anything to add.

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Top Rated Comments   
Michael Ledeen,

You out do yourself here. Well remembered and well said. Stay healthy and keep sharing your thoughts with us. We need your unpolluted words in these perilous times.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
The rise of Western Civilization coincided with the rise of the notion that government was merely a means to the end of social harmony. The people did not exist for the benefit and amusement of their rulers.

Our current problems stem I think from the modern rejection of that notion. Government and governing has become an end in itself. The value of the common folk is that of being lab rats for the social science experiments of the "best and brightest" among us. Its time to put the modern nobility in their place and reduce them to standing at street corners with signs reading "Will micro-manage your life for food."
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (31)
All Comments   (31)
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my Aunty Kennedy recently got Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Sedan just by working from a macbook air. . .......:>WWW.JOBS60.ℂOM
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is great, far as it goes. The big problem is that it assumes the theft from the people is somehow justified for other things. If some people wish to "delegate" any powers or their property to government, I have no objection. But they can't delegate anything for me. They can't justify the theft of my property or the subjugation of my life by any means.

Just how many people would opt for any government if they could only speak for themselves, and there was no money involved except what they and those who agreed with them put into it personally? How many would even go through the motions if there was zero opportunity to gain control of the lives and property of others against their will? I think very few...
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
When our country was being created circa 1787 physician Benjamin Rush made this comment regarding government interference of healthcare. "The Constitution of this Republic shall make special provision for medical freedom.... To restrict the art of healing to one class... All such laws are un-American and despotic.... The time will come when medicine will organize into a dictatorship...
This is exactly what is happening today. He foresaw this 226 years ago.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
my Aunty Isabelle recently got an almost new yellow Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan just by some part-time working online from home... . .......:> w­w­w.j­o­b­s­6­0.c­o­m
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Those words, by Davy Crockett, will be second guessed by those who are second guessed.

In the end, more politics results in more destruction.

27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
my friend's mother-in-law makes $77 hourly on the computer. She has been laid off for seven months but last month her income was $13884 just working on the computer for a few hours. Check This Out.....> WWW.Rush64.COM
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
speaking of Davy Crockett some of yoiu may recall the story of the "Sockdollager"
http://personalliberty.com/2010/04/09/sockdolager-a-tale-of-davy-crockett-charity-and-congress/

as you may recall from the story Horatio Bunce inquired of Col. Crockett as to where government largess would be ended.

we might well reconsider that question.

what's next? a free house for everyone ? and meals ? a car?

28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is not one word in our Declaration of Independence or our Constitution concerning individual Welfare, unemployment checks or government debit cards.
Then why do we give Foreign Aid to other countries and all kinds of BS to our own citizens. This is all wealth stolen from he who earned it.
If I came to your house and robbed you of your property, I would be arrested as a thief and prosecuted and jailed for my crime. Yet we have a government agent come to your house and rob you of your property so he can give it to some other person. And that robbery is not illegal......
Obama told all of those who voted for him, I will steal the wealth of those with wealth and redistribute it to you who have nothing and they voted for him and we allowed this person to not only be elected by a crooked vote, but we let him steal the wealth of millions and redistribute it to million of those who did not earn it....... This is how Obama has lived his entire life.......
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Where are wise men like Crockett today?

Government is a necessary evil at best. When it becomes bloated and all-encompassing it is a monster that needs killing.

I've devoted 37 years of my life to public service working for a small town in Ohio. We can still run our town somewhat like a business. Even at this level there are those who think it is their job to run the lives of others. As you climb up the gubmint ladder each successive step becomes fatter and less responsive. Under the union thugs and Chicago mobsters running the show right now the federal gubmint is a real monster.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is an entire world of people who know no government, they are called criminals. We pay men to confront and pursue these worthless monsters daily. You people, just like the left, trivialize they very people we depend on. Shame on you, shame on you for the dead and the living.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
The greatest number of criminals occupy government buildings and costumes all over the country. I can and will defend myself against the ordinary thief or mugger, but I am almost certain to die if I defend myself against government theft and aggression.

The worthless monsters are usually those who pretend to "protect" us, and wind up consuming our lives and property.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
On this very date in 1835, the battle of Gonzales began, escalating and leading to the Alamo and San Jacinto a few months later.

The "Come and Take It" flag is merely a symbol, but some symbols still retain power. Let's hope it's enough to sustain us through the dark days ahead.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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