Public funds and charity....there is a difference:
Davy Crockett and Public Money From the Desk of Harold Poole
In the early 1800s Congress was considering a bill to appropriate tax dollars for the widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in support of this bill. It seemed that everyone in the House favored it. The Speaker of the House was just about to put the question to a vote, when Davy Crockett, famous frontiersman and then Congressman from Tennessee, rose to his feet.Mr. Speaker, I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living 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 to so 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. Sir, this is no 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. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one weeks pay, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.There was silence on the floor of the House as Crockett took his seat. When the bill was put to a vote, instead of passing unanimously as had been expected, it received only a few votes. The next day a friend approached Crockett and asked why he spoken against a bill for such a worthy cause. In reply, Crockett related the following story:
Just a few years before, he had voted to spend $20,000.00 of public money to help the victims of a terrible fire in Georgetown. When the legislative session was over, Crockett made a trip back home to do some campaigning for his re-election. In his travels he encountered one of his constituents, a man by the name of Horatio Bunce. Mr. Bunce bluntly informed Crockett, I voted for you the last time. I shall not vote for you again.
Crockett, feeling he had served his constituents well, was stunned. He inquired as to what he had done to so offend Mr. Bunce. Bunce replied, You gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. The Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions.I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000.00 to some sufferers by a fire. Well, Colonel, where do you find in the Constitution any authority to give away public money in charity? 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.
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. You have violated the Constitution in what I consider to be 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 could not answer him,said Crockett. I was so fully convinced that he was right.I said to him, Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. If you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law, I wish I may be shot.
After finishing the story, Crockett said, Now sir, you know why I made that speech yesterday. There is one thing now to which I will call your attention. You remember that I proposed to give a weeks pay? There are in that House many very wealthy men, men who think nothing of spending a weeks pay, or a dozen of them, for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of these same men made beautiful speeches upon the debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased, 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.
The worst police layoff probably in history was NYPD in 1975 and that was still a small percentage of the force. That would hardly compare with laying off an entire large corporation's workforce.
Here in Portland, businesses have closed laying off 1500+ workers in one day several times I know of. Freightliner is closing here next year and they will lay off several hundred. They laid off a couple of hundred about two years ago. That's not unheard of in private industry, but rare in any government agency.
Police will take pay cuts and benefits will go down, but you know as well as I do that there will always be police. Every city, county, state, etc had adequate police all during the depression. You gotta have cops.
Every city of any size, every county and every state maintained police depts during the depression. Even the railroad had RR police. Sure, maybe a handful of cops will get laid off, but it will be a tiny, tiny percentage that will actually be unemployed. A few agencies with 3 or 4 cops may close down, that will hardly be a pimple on the state of LE employment. You can't reasonably compare it to the private sector if the economy goes down the tube by any stretch.
As I keep saying, you'll lose pay and some benefits, but you'll have a check still coming in. They may well have to cut pay in order to keep the minimum number of police out there, but they have to have police. The people on my dept back in the 30's worked 6 day weeks for a flat salary, no overtime. But they kept their jobs.
I agree with much of what Retdetsgt says. Years ago, if you wanted a house, you saved for it and when you had enough to buy one, you bought what you could afford. Then, as your family and income grew, so did your house. Now, everyone wants a McMansion and thinks it is a right to have one. I too see a lot of people that I know living in multi-hundred-thousand dollar homes, and they are lucky if they could afford a 10-year-old double wide. Then they have a boat, a motorcycle, a couple of ATVs, and every toy imaginable.I find it hard to feel sorry for them when the bottom falls out.