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Public money for charity isn't in Constitution

Date published: 8/18/2014

Public money for charity isn't in Constitution

We usually think of Davy Crockett as a raccoon-tail-capped pioneer who died at the Alamo. But he was also a respected member of the U.S. House of Representatives who came to believe that charity should be paid with your own money, not someone else's.

Once, while Congress was in session, a nearby fire consumed a number of houses, leaving many people destitute. A bill was passed by Congress appropriating money for the victims. Davy voted "yea."

Later, when Davy was campaigning, he met a farmer who told him that he would not vote for him again. Why? He said he believed that for the Constitution to mean anything, it must be held sacred and strictly observed.

As for the bill for the fire victims, where do you find in the Constitution the authority to give away public money for charity? If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; the power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power of all--you are at liberty to give to any and everything that you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and in any amount you want.

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.

How often do your legislators, at any level, vote from that point of view?

Sue Long