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Not Yours To Give

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Government monies, the people's monies are not to be used for bailouts of utilities, airlines, or railroads. The people's monies are not to be used as charitable contributions no matter how poignant or emotional the cause. It is not the Government's business to be funding pork projects from the study of fleas mating habits in Georgia or hundred thousand dollar toilets in a national park. It also is not the business of government to be subsidizing 72% of legislators health plans with citizens monies. Nor is it the business of government to be subsidizing able bodied people on drugs, alcoholics or persons in need for whatever their chosen lifestyles. Government also should not be in the business of picking up the tab for the Supreme Court Justices in their jaunts around the world and legislators on their 'fact finding missions' which has they and their families visiting exotic lands at taxpayers expense. Government has no business in spending the people's monies subsidizing corporations through loopholed tax breaks, write-offs or relocating abroad.

In the horrific aftermath of 9-11 Congress is appropriating some billions to compensate families and businesses. As tragic as this is and as unpatriotic as some might claim, no, the Government has no right or authority to compensate the victims or any victims for such events and tragedies. The Government can't seem to adequately fund the care and needs of veterans yet they quite liberally take this country into deeper and deeper debt throwing money at the entire world... borrowed money that is. Money that our children and children's children will not be able to pay off.

I have worked with the homeless, the alcoholic, the drug addict, the mentally-ill thrown out of institutions onto our nation's streets. I am of the opinion that welfare as it is known... and that includes the billions not usually spoken of corporate welfare, is one of the gravest miscarriages of justice perpetuated on a people. I saw nothing but the grossest of abuses on every level in this system, from outright fraud to duplicity and subterfuge, on what agencies said they were doing for people. Welfare as I saw it did nothing but trap people in a vicious cycle of dependency and penalized if they tried to better themselves and break free. Drug dependency? We the American taxpayers paid for that crack smoked, for the heroin needed daily, the cocaine and everything in between. We with our tax dollars paid for food stamps that were cashed in at for fifty cents or seventy-five cents on the dollar at certain stores. This money and city welfare money was then used to buy drugs cheap in the city and turn a hefty profit selling the drugs in the suburbs. No favor was done keeping people zombified and crazed on drugs. Paying billions for a nonsensical drug war and buying drugs for those addicted with no programs to help people break free is and was insanity. We paid again and again as drug addicts having to feed $300 a day habits robbed, assaulted and murdered to get the needed money! The truly needy, for not all homeless as presented in the media are lazy ne'er-do-wells and addicts, suffered in the midst of this and were many times the victims. But even these monies are minuscule to the billions in corporate welfare with billionaires paying little to no taxes and getting refunds! Billions in subsidies written into law with the help of ever-ready corporate lobbyists running the show.

And so over the years generation after generation found themselves in ghetto tenements trapped in the welfare cycle, under educated and with no job skills. It was deliberate and purposed in my opinion to degrade and humiliate a whole race of people. With jobs scarce in the South there was an exodus to the cities in the North with men getting jobs in the mills and on assembly lines. When corporate America saw that profits could be much higher by moving plants to Mexico or Third World countries paying minuscule slave wages and no regulations to worry about they abandoned the plants here and moved from country to country leaving poisoned people and lands behind. We supported this carnage and dehumanized the peoples of the world by buying the designer clothes, the designer sneakers, the VCRs, TVs, automobiles, and plastic junk. Our ever consuming rampage from aluminum trees, tapestry rugs, to fancy ski equipment, and water sports toys, to naivety sets made in China! enslaved millions to lives of unimaginable abuse, and suffering. Meanwhile with mills and factories closed welfare became the only solution for those needing to survive in tenement hovels. Drugs poured in from every direction and the young saw easy money, a way to acquire those things that TV told them exemplified the good life. There were just so many service industry jobs to go around as stores don't locate in ghetto neighborhoods. If you've never been poor, Black, or lived in a rat infested tenement with no heat don't pontificate on what you would do. With drugs and drug wars over turf and stabbings and shootings the proud Black family of the South quickly disintegrated. I know I was there and listened to their stories. They begged city officials and police to help them rid their neighborhoods of this plague with little to no response. And so the despair grew and the young were killed or locked up. And so today instead of mills, foundries, auto assembly lines we have haunted desperate streets, decaying schools and children planning their own funerals. Our replacement for decent paying jobs is now a prison industry, a Wal-Marts, a Staples, a Home Depot, Manpower (day jobs), McJobs and casinos. Meanwhile Black leadership in the person of a Jesse Jackson goes about in his fancy car, camper, and clothes doing his insane mini-rap buffoonery to those in need! No Jesse doesn't live in the ghetto. Jesse hob-nobs with the corporate hucksters threatening to call a boycott if they don't pay up.

The people's money? Davy Crockett said it best in an article "Not Yours to Give".
One day in the House of Representative a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose: "Mr. Speaker... I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, if there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for part of the living, 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 not the power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member on 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 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 ever heard that the government was in arrears to him. 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 charity. Mr.Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own 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". The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, it received few votes and was lost.

Later Crockett was asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation. Crockett replied; "One evening I was standing on the steps of the Capitol and was attracted by a large fire in Georgetown. Many houses were burned and many families left homeless. The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We rushed it through. The next summer, when it was time to think about election I concluded that would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I saw a man in a field plowing and spoke to the man. I began, I am one of those unfortunate beings called a candidate and....."Yes I know you, I voted for you once before, I shall not vote for you again. You gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not the capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. The papers from Washington say you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by fire in Georgetown. It is not the amount that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means.

What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you can see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off. You will easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing people on the other. No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members can give as much as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had burned in this country as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. The Congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt applauded you for relieving them from necessity of 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 that is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution. So you see Colonel you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. 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. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned and you see that I cannot vote for you."

Note: Colonel Crockett apologized to Mr. Brunce the plowman and to all the voters of the district for making such an error. He was reelected. Crockett later remarked to this same friend on the incident; "You remember that I proposed to give a week's pay. There are many in that House many very wealthy men — men who think nothing of spending a week's pay, or a dozen of them, for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it."

Colonel Crockett could be speaking these same words today... "Money is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people." Billions gone missing, given away to favored corporations, people in high places, et al. And yet, you would think from the railings on TV, that those whom were encouraged and enslaved by a welfare system, and just as crudely cut off, with jobs gone overseas, except the do nothing work programs; of cleaning sidewalks and toilets; were the sole reason for billions upon billions gone missing. and trillions of dollars in debt! The fact is that welfare accounts for less than 1% of the budget and most of that is squandered on administration costs.

The horror of a 9-11/Oklahoma loss should be met by the churches, various charitable and civic organizations, and private citizens. There were approximately 2,800 terrible deaths. Insurance, and millions upon millions, which the Red Cross and United Way had some problems giving out, and other sources should see to these families. I don't recall that the citizens of Oklahoma were compensated? We should as charitable people take care of our own... we always have. It wouldn't be a bad idea for each of our Representatives, Senators, Supreme Court Justices, the Cabinet, Defense and Agency Directors to donate a week of their salaries for the victims. We the people have already sent in our millions. Government messing with the churches? Besides the Ten Commandments it won't be long before they'll be 6 million rules, regulations and laws to go along with them. It's debatable whether these people have a 'true' calling for politics, I don't think I'll get much argument that not many of us feel they've had a calling from God to help us all out here in our sinful ways! It is a time for citizens to demand accountability for millions-billions-trillions that have disappeared!

9-24-2002