Lord Woodhouselee Quote…

And another one from the Mil-email channels…

A friend sent this to me. Interesting what you discover when you take the time to read about the past and contemplate our history… 

Oh that’s right we don’t need to read ’cause big government will take care of ALL our needs!

I think I’ll continue to read-

Another thought…

While I was an XO on a submarine in Norfolk VA I had to review a case of a young married sailor who was struggling to pay his bills.  When he and the Chief of the Boat came into my stateroom to review and finish the administrative action I had to take, he told me, “XO, my wife and I qualify for food stamps, but we won’t use them. It’s too damn humiliating for us and we’ll make do without ’em.”  I reviewed the budget that had been worked up by his senior enlisted leadership and signed off on it.  I thought about his comment for a minute and then said to him, come back in three months show me you’re taking care of the payments as laid out and I’ll pull the page 13 entry out of your service record.  He said, “Sir, I’ll see you in 3 month to get that page 13 from you.”  After he left the COB said, ” us chiefs have already decided he won’t fail and we’ll make sure that between us and our wives he and his wife have what they need.”  I closed the man’s service record and stuck the page 13 in my desk drawer.  Three months later I handed him back the paper work that had never left my desk.  Six months later we got him Command Advanced to 2nd Class.  Last month while I was visiting COMSUBPAC in Hawaii, a Master Chief stuck his head into the office I was in….seems that young struggling sailor turned out alright without going on food stamps.  Hum…

Enjoy the reading below.



I thought it might be of interest to some, so I share this quote that has been attributed to Lord Woodhouselee. Alexander Fraser Tytler (Lord Woodhouselee) 1747-1813 was a Scottish born British lawyer and writer.
It is frightening how timely these words written hundreds of years ago appear today:

A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

•From bondage to spiritual faith;

•From spiritual faith to great courage;

•From courage to liberty;

•From liberty to abundance;

•From abundance to complacency;

•From complacency to apathy;

•From apathy to dependence;

•From dependence back into bondage.

If you do not see the similarity in sequence to our current situation, you have not been watching.

Some tax facts for you.  The data is from 2009, the most recent set of complete data for the US Federal government.

In 2009, the top-earning 5 percent of taxpayers (AGI equal to or greater than $154,643), paid far more than the lower 95 percent. The top 5 percent earned 31.7 percent of the nation’s adjusted gross income, but paid approximately 58.7 percent of federal individual income taxes.

According to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) 51 percent of all households, which includes filers and non-filers, had either zero, or negative income tax liability for tax year 2009.  The Committee also found that 30 percent of tax filers actually made money off the income tax system for the 2009 tax year.  In other words, people received more back from the IRS than they paid in.

Over the last three years, the number of Americans on food stamps has skyrocketed by two-thirds and stands at a record-high 46 million citizens, or one out of every seven people in the United States.  Despite the historic rise in food stamp use, however, the Obama Administration believes not enough people are receiving food stamps who should be and is offering $75,000 grants to groups who devise “effective strategies” to “increase program participation” among those who have yet to sign up.

Obama has argued that food stamps are an effective form of economic stimulus that puts “people to work” because each time food stamps are used at a grocery store “someone’s got to stock it, shelve it, package it, process it, ship it–all of those are jobs.”  I don’t agree.

In another election year move the Obama administration has redefined the meaning of “poverty”.  For most Americans the word “poverty” suggests near destitution: an inability to provide nutritious food, clothing, and reasonable shelter for one’s family.  Under Obama, poverty can mean a family of four in New York earning $90,000 per year – with healthcare.

Fewer people paying taxes.  A greater number of people receiving more and increasing services for no work.  A welfare system with unlimited benefits that is producing its 6th (or greater) generation, including 42-year old Great Grandmothers (that is not a misprint).  A Congress trying to usher in tens of millions of illegal immigrants as US citizens because it would be “fair”.

I do not know if our future is the unavoidable. I like to think we still control our destiny. But this is certain, if we do not change our direction the words of Lord Woodhouselee will ring true. 

My story is a bit different, I was stationed in the Bay Area in the late 80’s and only had about 10 military folks working for me directly.  This was before they re-aligned Basic Allowance for Subsistance (BAS) and the Variable Housing Allowance (VHA) to accurately reflect local area costs…

I had an E-5 ($1000/mo base pay) and an E-6 ($1200/mo base pay) (both married with young children) come to me separately for counselling due to them not being able to afford to rent any thing approaching a decent place to live, as the base had very little enlisted housing and most of that was sub-standard…

Both were eligible in California to draw food stamps, and I told them to do that to start with.  I also called a friend  and asked his wife (who was a Realtor) if she could find affordable quarters these families could rent.  She did find a big house that they could share and be within their BAS/BHA, but it was an hour drive away.  I talked to both of them and they did ended up deciding to share the house until both families were able to transfer out three years later… and they both collected food stamps until they transferred.  Both ended up completing careers, one as an E-8, the other as an E-9.


Lord Woodhouselee Quote… — 9 Comments

  1. Fort Huachuca had a welfare office. It always had a line.

    I refused to use it, even when I really could have used it. During the leanest time, I was proud that I could get my oldest and me fed on $30 a week. Yeah, it wasn’t haute cuisine, but I wasn’t on welfare.

  2. It’s disgraceful that our military people are doing less well than people on welfare.
    And “4th” generation welfare families? You betcha! The was one living in the apartment building where I stayed with a college buddy when I first moved out to Kaliforniastan in 1980.
    That means her kids (and she had THREE of them) are now FIFTH generation welfare recipients!

  3. I have counseled many low ranking enlisted not to get married due to the difficulties.
    They may think they can make it in Japan but the next assignment may be San Diego.

  4. Those early years were tough.

    We lived in a trailer right at the end of the runway on base.

    Those F-4s would come over about 100 ft off the deck, sideways, and the whole place would rattle and sway.

    Never had more than a spare $10 every payday.

  5. Rev- You, me and a lot of others…

    DB- Lots of folks were that way, I pretty much had to “force” the two families to use it at Moffett…

    drjim- Welcome to the ‘underbelly’ of military pay scales…

    Skip- Good point, I didn’t get married until I was an E-6.

    MSGT- Yep, one does what one has to…

  6. Andy- It’s a captive audience, and can’t legally participate in any campaigns… effectively silenced…

  7. Those early years were tough. We lived in a trailer right at the end of the runway on base. Those F-4s would come over about 100 ft off the deck, sideways, and the whole place would rattle and sway. Never had more than a spare $10 every payday.