Jim Bagwell: Great American Davy Crockett has lesson for our own time
Are our political leaders addicted to spending? We have suffered through the past several years in a recession that has touched everyone except government. I am sure that most politicians would argue that spending will put America back to work.
If spending made a family well when economic hardship arrives, then we all should move up in home size, buy a new car and maybe a toy or two. Unfortunately, in my family it doesn’t work that way.
What have you done in your family? If you have tightened your belt and look at every expenditure twice then you are in the majority.
Do you eat filet mignon or a lesser cut or even hamburger? There are those that were doing fine several years ago that now can’t afford any cut of meat. Regardless of your status, you or your extended family are experiencing some form of hardship from this recession.
When government at any level spends money, they need to consider where the money comes from and what impact does it have on the person it is taken from.
Next they need to look at the benefits of the spending and who derives gain from it. In today’s economic environment I would argue that any spending must be necessary and benefit the vast majority or don’t spend it.
I suggest that we do our collective best to maintain our community, state and nation and not force growth when we can’t sustain it. I would suspect that if you take more from the citizenry now, you simply increase their difficulties.
One of my heroes is Davey Crockett.
No, not because of his bravery but for his ability to see the ramifications of governmental actions.
In a speech before Congress concerning a $10,000 bequeath to a deceased general’s wife, Davey offered a week’s pay and challenged his colleagues to do the same. He summed up his position with this statement:
“There are in that House many very wealthy men – men who think nothing of spending a week’s pay, or a dozen of them, for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased – a debt which could not be paid by money – and the insignificance and worthlessness of money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $10,000, when weighed against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it comes 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.”
Sounds like some political leaders of that time were drunk with power and addicted to spending. Have times changed?
• Jim Bagwell of Carson City is a Vietnam veteran and graduate of the FBI National Academy who worked 31 years in law enforcement. He and his wife Lori own Charley’s Grilled Subs.