Today I’m reminded of this quote from David Crockett;
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 not the 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. 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.
Representative David Crockett (TN)
Those are the words of a real man. I don’t know specifically who it was he was referencing. That’s not the point. If you want to help a veteran, by all means help a veteran. That’s your job. Personally. Don’t try to make a federal case out of it. Our military exists, ostensibly, to defend liberty, see. If we set up system of coercive redistribution to “honor” veterans, we’ve just insulted the hell out of them by contradicting everything they supposedly fought for. Hmm? So what side are we really on?