A New America

When President Truman’s Secretary of State Dean Acheson wrote his memoirs of the crucial years following the Second World War, he entitled them, “Present at the Creation.” Little did he know how true that was. So much of our political world of today was brought into being during the days of the Roosevelt administration. A new national mentality was created by the two Roosevelts who were president. What Teddy set in motion Franklin accentuated. That generation of Americans was present at the creation of a new interpretation of the role of government.
When President Franklin Roosevelt signed what we now call the death tax bill he said, “This is the beginning of the redistribution of the wealth of America.” It ushered in a new creative way of interpreting the role of government. All of today’s entitlement programs are an outgrowth of that philosophy.
Economic stimulus checks, government support of businesses facing potential bankruptcy, federally funded programs that were once part of the business community were not the intent of the founders of our nation. The government cannot give the public anything costing money that they don’t take the money from the people to give. The government has no money. Their money comes from the tax paying public and the government determines how much the tax will be.
As a Congressman Davey Crockett, the lion of Washington in his day, said, “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 appropriate a dollar of the public money.”
It was part of his speech when Congress proposed to give a subsidy to the widow of a navy man. He felt it unconstitutional for the government to give support so instead he offered to personally give a week’s wage to the widow and urged his colleagues each to do the same.
Later in explaining his reasoning he offered this sockdolager, “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.”
A new America was created in the 1930s and 40s. Now another new America is being advocated by some proponents of an even more benevolent government who are poised for election. The new America will be more dramatically different from our present one than ours is from the one of which Crockett spoke.
It will involve government getting more involved in public life and giving away more than ever. To do so they will have to take more than ever from the people. For example there is a proposal that not only will income off savings be taxed but the savings themselves.
One of our founding fathers warned against the day when an unproductive element of society would discover they could vote themselves benefits by electing those disposed to provide them. Thus we were warned of a potential implosion resulting from the more productive element of society being over taxed.
Like Acheson, are we present at the creation?