A satire taken from the story of Davy
Crockett, “It’s Not Yours To Give”
It was a fine sunny day for ride in the Tennessee countryside, as Barack Obama was out on the campaign trail engaged in his primary occupation as a political candidate. Long gone were the days of serving his country as a social worker - uh… “Community Organizer,” an occupation crafted by Communist writer, Saul Alinsky.
As his motorcade rolled up a rural country road, suddenly Jessie Jackson, sitting next to the Messiah, noticed a man plowing his field along side of the road. He told the driver to slow down and come to a stop to time his arrival with the farmer as he reached the end of the row by the fence. Then he suggested that Barack should get out of the car and make a try for the man’s vote. Obama got out of the limo and began: “My fellow countryman, I am one of those great and famous people called candidates and---”
"Yes I know you; you are Barack Obama,” said the farmer. “I have seen you before, and would have voted against you the last time you were elected had I been in your state. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I will not vote for you."
Barack was shocked, thinking himself to be loved by everyone. He begged the man to tell him what was the matter - “But I don’t understand,” said the anointed one, “I am the ONE you’ve been waiting for,” he said to the man.
"Well Senator Obama, my name is Horatio Bunce, and it is hardly worthwhile to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you cast many votes during your 143 days in the chamber of the U.S. Senate which show that either you have not the capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting you or wounding you.”
“Excuse me Sir,” replied Obama, “but I don’t think my Senate voting record should be a part of this discussion anymore than should be my past business associations or my pastor. I think we should keep this conversation free of personal attacks.”
“Forgive me, Senator, I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said; that I believe you not to be honest, but only vastly inexperienced, naïve and lacking in good judgment in matters of government, as well as in the associations you have kept in the course of your young life,” said Bunce.
“I don’t think my wife, my grandmother, and my Muslim family in Kenya have any place in this discussion, Mr. Bunce,” snapped Obama.
“I didn’t bring up your wife, your grandmother, or your Muslim family in Kenya, Mr. Obama,” Bunce calmly retorted.
“Well just in case you were going to mention that next, I just want you to know that I will not permit my family to be brought into this discussion,” was Obama’s reply.
I won’t talk about your family, Mr. Hussein… sorry, I mean Mr. Obama,” said Bunce, “but an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is.”
“But I have not misinterpreted the Constitution,” Obama argued back, “I have done nothing that has not been common practice in Washington for many decades. I have always followed the example that has been set by senior senators who have served in Congress for many years more than I have. Certainly, procedures have been established over the years that enable us to do our job in Congress without excessive restrictions, and I have always adhered to those procedures.”
“I admit the truth of all you say,” replied Bunce,” but there must be some mistake. Though I live in the backwoods and seldom go far from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say you propose raising taxes and using the taxpayers‘ money for healthcare; welfare to those who refuse to work, illegal aliens, and 3rd world countries; college tuitions; job training; public housing; $1000 cash handouts if elected; alternate energy technology and biofuels; untold millions to environmental lobbyists; etc, etc. Is that true?”
“Well, uh, my doubting friend,” Obama replied, “I uh… yes, that is all a part of my plan. You have got me there… uh... but it’s all authorized in the Constitution under the ‘general welfare’ clause which says that we can make laws as we deem appropriate and use any power at our disposal for the good of the country. Certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours cannot afford another $500 billion added to the budget to give everyone a home, food on the table, and an affordable car, or to help the poor, and the suffering women and children that are invisible to the Bush Administration. I am sure, if you could see the country from my perspective, you would do just the same as I would. And by the way… uh… you should be planting corn for ethanol to fight global warming, and so then you could get in on my entitlement programs too.”
"It is not the amount or the purpose that I complain of,” said Bunce. “It is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. 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 tax and 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 see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. When you talk of taxing only the rich, and by your own definition of rich, you refer only to income tax but ignore all the other dozens of federal taxes hidden from view and applied to everyone. You overlook the fact that ‘the rich’ applies to small business owners, and the taxes you would impose on them will be passed on to the low and middle income consumer. You would take from everyone to give to your special interests and that is what I cannot condone.”
“Special interests?” screamed Obama, “But isn’t giving money to provide for the poor, helping the environment, and fighting against global warming in everybody’s best interests?” Why shouldn’t public money be used for such noble causes?
“If you have the right to give anything,” replied Bunce, “the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you have as much right to give $5 trillion as $500 billion. If you have the right to give at all; and as the Constitution neither defines entitlements nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a worthy cause and to any amount you may think proper. 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. No, Senator, Congress has no right to give charity or entitlements to anyone from the public trust.”
“So then, you’re trying to tell me that Congress has limits on how they can spend money?,” queried Obama. “This is the first time I have ever heard anyone suggest such a radical idea. Obviously, you have never been to Washington.”
“Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please,” answered Bunce, “ but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this country’s fires as were flooded by Katrina, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. But politicians and media made it a political issue and you and others in your Congress couldn’t start writing checks with public money fast enough, but how many of you gave of your own earnings to help the Katrina victims?
There are about five hundred and thirty five members of Congress. If they would shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing one week's pay each to a charity fund, they could help out a lot of our people who they profess to care about. There are plenty of wealthy men around Washington whom could give $2,000 a month without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life.
The congressmen and senators choose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt applaud you for assisting them in giving what is 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 this is usurpation of the Constitution.”
“And just where in the Constitution do you find this ridiculous restriction, Mr. Bunce?,” asked Obama.
“You’ll find it all laid out and specified in Article 1, Section 8, and the 10th Amendment which reserves those powers to the states and to the people Mr. Obama.”
Well,” said Obama, “I’ve read that and it says right in the first sentence that we in Congress, have the power to levy taxes and to provide for the general welfare and the common defense of the country, and that’s all I need to know.”
“Actually it isn’t, Senator,” replied Bunce, “If you would read it more carefully and understand the intent of those men who wrote it, you would see that the enumerated power in the first sentence of Article 1, Section 8 is taxation and only taxation. The rest of that sentence defines the power of taxation. Did you bother to read the items that followed where specific powers of Congress are enumerated and the constitutional use of tax money is defined?
You might also want to familiarize yourself with the 10th Amendment where it states that all other powers not defined by this Constitution are reserved to the states and the people. For with federal money given for programs comes federal control, and with federal control comes power. These are the powers you would take away from the states and from the people and grant to the federal government. The states should have known better than to enslave themselves to this federal money that the Congress has been passing out, but those in charge of the states seem to have no better an understanding of their freedom and of the Constitution than you do.
So you see, Mr. Obama, you have violated, and will continue to violate 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 have acted in harmony with your political party and many others in Congress, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you and your party are personally concerned, and so you see that I cannot vote for you.”
Obama answered with; “Well uh… uh, I uh… uh, I have a dream… no-no, uh, you see, uh…, where’s my G D teleprompter? Oh I think I understand now, you‘re just one of those radical, right wing extremists; a Bush-McCain rubber stamp; who thinks the Constitution should be taken literally, and not considered as a living document. You probably also think it’s okay to shoot people in Iraq but not okay to allow women to kill their newborn and unborn babies! We should all respect a woman’s right to choose, as long as she doesn’t choose to run for president or vice president of the United States. I am the wave of the future and you are a relic of the past.”
“And you, Sir,” remarked Bunce, “are a traitor to your country and the principles upon which it was founded. I shall do everything in my power to oppose you. I wish you well in whatever occupation you may choose to pursue in the future, but now I must say goodbye and return to my work.”
As Obama walked back to his SUV, he shouted back to Bunce: “And you’ll be hearing from the ACLU and the NAACP for your racist and bigoted comments!” He got back into his motorcade and drove off, leaving his carbon footprint behind. Horatio Bunce went back to his plowing, shaking his head in disbelief at what has become of his country and the arrogance and ignorance of those who want to lead it.
Horatio Bunce was an early 19th century Tennessee farmer, student of American Politics and the U.S. Constitution, and a brilliant patriot who was encountered by Congressman Davy Crockett one day on the campaign trail when he was running for reelection to Congress where he served from 1827 to 1833. Bunce was responsible for teaching Crockett the lesson portrayed above. His story is told in
It’s Not Yours To Give from which this article was taken and modified to fit a current, 2008 presidential candidate.