Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Inconvenient Debt: The Hockey Stick Effect and What Thomas Jefferson Had to Say About It.

And now for some profundity from TJ (one of the founding fathers):

"But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, 6 September 1789
(Oh, how I wish they'd put that in the constitution!!!)


"The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Shelton Gilliam, 19 June 1808

And you thought this was a new problem...

"I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Cooper, 29 November 1802

and, (drum roll, please) finally...

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."
-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to William Stephens Smith, 13 November 1787)
Reference: Jefferson: Writings, Peterson ed., Library of America (911)

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