It was in 1916, just three years after the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment on the direct Income Tax, that a Presbyterian Minister, William J. H. Boetcker, published his oft quoted Ten Cannots, which are usually erroneously attributed to Abraham Lincoln. These maxims should have called our government and We the People to retrospection, but they did not. They are listed here with some commentary on how their disregarded by our elected representatives has been to the detriment of We the People’s Liberty and our Constitutional Republic.
1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
Since 1913 the federal government has implemented tax laws on We the People that tax our income and then tax the interest We the People earn on our thrift (savings and investments). Even when the government allows for deferment (401K), they tax our thrift when We the People determine to use our savings in retirement. They even have passed laws to tell us when we must use it (beginning at age 70) so it can be taxed and not pass untaxed to our beneficiaries.
2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
It was Jefferson who said, “A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”
3. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
The progressive Income Tax, a plank in the Communist Manifesto, violates this cannot. The more you make the more the government “steals” from you. The only fair tax is a “Flat Tax” similar to a tithe or 10% of one’s increase. This is how our federal income tax started. We the People became a nation because we had taxation without representation. Now We the People simply have heavy and progressive taxation without hesitation! It was Jefferson who said, “If we can prevent the Government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy.”
4. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
The progressive, socialist Democrats play the race card every chance they get to destroy the great melting pot and the unity of We the People. It is interesting that those on the Left seem to always fall back to using the “Class Warfare Card” or “Race Card” anytime they cannot win the debate of an issue on its merits. They do this in an attempt to intimidate their opponents and cower them into silence. It is their belief that if they can make a person feel that he or she will appear as a racist or bigot, they can silence them. If they can silence them, they strengthen their position and win the debate. Freedom loving citizens must not let this happen. If We the People are to preserve and restore our Constitutional Republic and our inalienable rights to Life, Liberty and Property, we must stay engaged in the debate.
5. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.
Most of the Left’s policies of the New Deal, Fair Deal, New Frontier, Great Society, and Winning the Future have been more of a handout rather than a hand up. They were designed to make citizens dependent upon the federal government and to keep the Left in power rather than to lift the less fortunate out of poverty to self-sufficiency.
6. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
It was Lincoln who said, “When one starts poor, as most do in this race of life, free society is such that he knows he can better his condition: he knows that there is no fixed condition of labor for his whole life. I want every man to have a chance — in which he can better his condition; when he may look forward and hope to be hired laborer this year and the next, work for himself afterward and finally to hire men to work for him.”
7. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
Here again the federal tax laws destroy the industry of the entrepreneur and prevent business expansion. Employees join Unions and go on strike for a “bigger piece of the pie” when they agreed to their wages when they were hired. They were told however that they were entitled although they assumed none of the risks of starting or staying in business.
8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
The National Debt continues to spiral out of control because Congress refuses to balance the budget, give to We the People a Balance Budget Amendment or to give a Line Item Veto to the President. It was Jefferson who said, “I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.”
9. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
Much of the National debt has been financed on borrowed money. The truth is We the People cannot afford the social justice programs that make slaves of We the People on the federal plantation. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.
10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.
Government cannot and should not do everything! When government makes it easier to be on the dole than to work and to strive, they destroy the dignity and liberty of man. They also destroy charity out of a pure heart between neighbors because charity can never be forced and government can only give to one citizen what it has taken (stolen) from another citizen.
A final thought, the majority of our citizenry lives in some degree of affluency when compared to the rest of the world. Why is it then that, We the People have seemingly lost our way? Where are the fervor and zeal of our Founding Fathers and those of our patriotic ancestors who established our Constitutional Republic as a bastion of Liberty? There must be some cause, some good reason, why our Founding Fathers and our patriotic ancestors were so eager for Liberty then, and now We the People are eager for the servitude (slavery) of Socialism.
It is interesting that those who struggled so long to be free of the chains of their ancestors have now chosen a path that will lead them back to the chains of slavery on a federal plantation. Free citizens are self-reliant and live in a Constitutional Republic protected by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Citizens of a Welfare Socialist State are slaves dependant on the State. Those who desire a Welfare Socialist State should consider the following: Any government that has the power to redistribute wealth under the guise of assisting the less fortunate, by plundering rather than protecting the property rights of its citizens, can and will eventually redistribute every citizens wealth – even your wealth. Why? Because there is always someone less fortunate than you! And as Margaret Thatcher taught, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
May God Bless and Save the United States of America —
Our Constitutional Republic !