In Governor Beebe's Address last week he explained the dire straits of Arkansas's poor children and seniors in regard to getting sufficient food. Beebe stated that some mysterious "we" believed that they "could invest public and private funds wisely and make the most of the available resources to get the best value for [their] efforts."
There could not be anyone in Arkansas who could be any more concerned about the hunger of children and seniors than I, especially as I happen to be one of the latter.
In his address Beebe stated "No child, senior citizen, man, or woman deserves to go without food any day, not just holidays.". How does the word "deserve" play into this issue? However, more importantly, how does their "deserving" cause the government to be responsible for providing sustenance of any nature to anyone.
When I was in school sixty-five years ago we were taught how Congressman Davy Crockett was held in very low esteem by his Tennessee constituents because, Congressman Crockett had voted taxpayer funds to help victims of a huge home burning fire.
Crockett was subjected to substantial criticism for his vote - the people of Tennessee told Crockett that if they wanted to contribute to help the needful that they would do so themselves out of their own pockets, individually, not through their elected public servants. Crockett was motivated to make a public apology, promising to never make such a vote again, and was thereupon re-elected. During his second term a similar bill was introduced to give $10,000 to a military hero widow. The Bill was assured of easy passage until Crockett spoke against the government's authority to spend government money for such socialistic purpose, whereupon the Bill was defeated. During his argument Crockett had stated all the members had authority to contribute their own money; Crockett pledged one week of his Congressional remuneration. When the collection was counted the amount contributed from their own pockets amounted to one week of Crockett’s pay.
Likewise, there is no proper authority for Governor Beebe to take taxpayer money from one group and give it to another, no matter how needful or deserving they might be.
Our society has been consistently recognized as being the most giving that could be expected, that is why we have the Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries and the hundreds of churches in Arkansas. It is NOT the duty or responsibility nor a proper use of the authority of Governor Beebe to use taxpayer funds forcefully extracted from the people of Arkansas, to finance such socialistic endeavors!
It is NOT socialistic for private entities and private individuals to voluntarily contribute to help the needful.
In his address Beebe calls upon the generosity and compassion of "our entire population", I totally agree, however I totally disagree that one cent of government money may be properly contributed to this effort. Every government in this Federation is in financial straits - partially because of improper socialistic expenditures such as this.
Eric Williams, Yellville