Constitutional Emergency

An Oklahoma Democrat in 1956 sounding like a t-party conservative in 2011.

This article has exploded in my inbox today and I thought I would put it here for those that have not seen it.

An Oklahoma Democrat in 1956 sounding like a t-party conservative in 2011.

Victor Wickersham, http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=w000439

1956 speech at University of Oklahoma, "Can The U.S. Spend Itself To Death?"

Last portion of speech:

History has shown us that where men walk in freedom and dignity -- tyranny and slavery threaten under one guise or another.

 We, the Congress, and We, the People, must eliminate the frills of government and reduce the costs of the non-essential agencies.

 The future holds a dual challenge. First, we must build up and equip our armed forces. Second, and of equal importance, we must keep our domestic economy strong by assuring an adequate flow of consumer goods for civilian use. We must apply sound and tested business practices to the business of National Defense. When we increase our stocks in terms of defense, we must decrease our overhead and inventory in items of other nature. Otherwise we may become bankrupt but our shelves full of guns, and tanks, and battleships. And the larder empty of food, and clothes and shelter in our internal economy.

 We must recognize the danger of spending ourselves to death, -- and then take measures to prevent that danger.

 First -- We must eliminate government spending on all save the essential. We can do this in a number of ways. By curtailing government services and functions in many fields. By returning to the several States functions that could be more economically handled on a local level. By temporarily abandoning activities that are contemplated, outside the Defense Effort, which compete for material and manpower with the civilian economy. We must eliminate waste in all agencies of government including the Armed Forces. This waste is a challenge to ALL government employees who oversee the expenditure of materials in any quantity whatever. Be it no more than a pencil or paperclip. We must eliminate graft and corrupt officials wherever they exist. It has been estimated that if ever person paid his fair share of the taxes the tax load could be reduced by half.

Second -- We must enlist and have the active support of every citizen. Honestly and honorable to pay his just share of the taxes, to accept the sacrifice of less government services, to save his excess capital and not buy goods he doesn't need. We must find our real goal, a reduction in government expenditures, a balanced budget, with pay-as-you-go the watchword, and reduction of the National Debt. Each of us, in and out of government, must shoulder a share of the burden.  We cannot run to the extremes and lose the progress of the last seventeen years. We cannot lose the economic vigor of our country by ill-advised or complete withdrawal of government programs which support and control the nation's economy and business. It has been demonstrated that unfettered business will lead the economy into depression and prosperity, with everyone suffering loss, except a very few at the top.

 

From Victor Wickersham, Your Best Friend, Bob Burke (Oklahoma Statesmen Series) 2001, 128-131.

 

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