David Crockett essay
A Summary on “Not Yours to Take”
Colonel David Crockett’s “Not Yours to Give”, maintains that 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 public money. Crockett was present at the House of Representatives with the rest of the members of Congress. A bill had arisen concerning providing funds to support a deceased naval officer’s widow. Crockett arose to give his opinion on the matter. He goes on to say that Congress does not have the proper authority to take money from our nation’s people and present it to the widow as an act of charity. Crockett adds that he would gladly donate one week of his pay to help support the bills cause and if each member of Congress would do the same, their donations would amount to more than what the bill was asking for. Later, the bill had received a few votes, but ultimately had lost its justifications. Sometime later, an acquaintance of Crockett’s had inquired about his reasoning for opposing the bill. Crockett then began to tell the acquaintance about a chance encounter with a man named Haratio Bunce and their conversation one summer during Crockett’s electioneering rounds. Crockett had approached Bunce in a field that he had been plowing. Bunce then had informed Crockett that he had voted for him the previous year and would not do so again. Bunce had been rubbed the wrong way upon reading the news in a paper about Crockett and his fellow Congressmen passing a bill that would give $20,000 in funds to families in Georgetown that had lost their homes in a large fire. Bunce continues; “Congress has no right to give charity. While Congress is contributing to relieve one, they are drawing it from thousands that are worse off than the one who is receiving the relief. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have...
Cited: Crockett, David. “Not Yours to Give.” www.fee.org. 2009
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