Framing the Dialogue

The Ten Cannots

There was a news item a few days ago that got very little attention yet was perhaps the story of 2012 less than two weeks into the new year.  It should have been front page above the fold with a bold, red headline.  The total debt of the United States now exceeds our Gross Domestic Product, or

“The 100% mark means that your entire debt is as big as everything you’re producing in your country.”

“Economist Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics says reaching the 100% mark shows ‘the grave need to address our long-term fiscal problems.”

Our debt now exceeds $15,000,000,000,000.00 (15 TRILLION DOLLARS) and is climbing.  In a related story Obama is set to request an increase in his spending limit by $1.2 trillion.  So we have Obama and Congress (including Republicans) literally bragging about cutting spending by $1 trillion OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS while seeking yet another debt ceiling increase that is significantly more than their phantom cuts.  It’s exasperating!

A few years ago I had heard about a conservative lecturer, William Boetcker, who published some of his more famous lectures.  Unfortunately I have never been able to find a copy.  One of his more famous messages was The Ten Cannots.  Originally published nearly one hundred years ago it has some very practical lessons that should be learned, no, should have been learned, NO should be pounded into our heads so that we no longer fall for the lies spread by elected officials and the machine that perpetuates our slanted system. 

The Ten Cannots

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.

You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.

You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.

And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves

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