Saturday, February 21, 2009

Historical Figures look at the Stimulus Bill

Given that the $800 Billion “Economic Stimulus Bill” is so controversial, as someone with a master’s degree in history, I naturally wondered what some of the great figure of history would have to say about the bill. So I asked them. Here are their responses.

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. –Plato

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. --Thomas Jefferson

Since a politician never believes what he says, he is surprised when others believe him. –Charles DeGaulle

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them. --Frederick Douglass

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. --H.L. Mencken

Laws are like sausages. You sleep far better the less you know about how they are made. --Otto Von Bismark

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. Sir Alex Fraser Tytler (Editor’s note: I had a bad connection, so can’t be sure it was actually Sir Alex I was speaking with.)

We must all live so that our children do not have to pay for our deeds. --Andrejs Upits

Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual). --Ayn Rand

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. --Thomas Jefferson

The flood of money that gushes into politics today is a pollution of democracy. --Theodore H. White

Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions - it only guarantees equality of opportunity. --Irving Kristol

In a democracy the people get what the majority deserves. --James Davidson

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. --Ronald Reagan

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. –Thomas Jefferson

Every time that we try to lift a problem from our own shoulders, and shift that problem to the hands of the government, to the same extent we are sacrificing the liberties of our people. --John F. Kennedy

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be lead to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. --H.L. Mencken

The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination. - Ronald Reagan

Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread. --Thomas Jefferson

Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder. –Arnold Toynbee

The laws of economics tell us that the expansion of the central state can't go on forever. Its limit is reached when the looted turn on the looters. --Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr

All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree." --James Madison

I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious. --Thomas Jefferson

The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help. - Ronald Reagan

If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there'd be a shortage of sand. --Milton Freidman

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money. --Margaret Thatcher

We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. --Thomas Jefferson

It is vain to do with more what can be done with less. --William of Occam

If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy. --Thomas Jefferson

In America, the President reigns for four years, and journalism governs for ever and ever. –Oscar Wilde

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. Winston Churchill

I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that ‘all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.’ To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition. —Thomas Jefferson

So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot. –George Orwell

Luxury ruins republics; poverty, monarchies. -- Charles De Montesquieu

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

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.--George Bernard Shaw

Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. --Frederic Bastiat, French Economist

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.--Edward Langley, Artist

At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is 'not done'... Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. --George Orwell

Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it. --Woodrow Wilson

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. --Thomas Jefferson

No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session. --Judge Gideon J. Tucker, 1866

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. --Winston Churchill

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. ---Mark Twain

In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. –Voltaire

Put not your trust in princes, nor in any human power, for there is no help in them. --Psalm 146.

There you have it folks. The ink is hardly dry, and the corrupt have hardly wet their beaks in the biggest boondoggle in history—but we already know what history thinks!


  1. We all need to review this at least once a week to remind us that WE are the government and they work for us. We should also send this to our representatives once a week w/cc to Obama. Thanks for sharing.

    Donna Telley, Monticello, GA

  2. With this much commonsense and historical perspective, you have to be a Marine!

    I think even those historians who "responded" would be shocked at how the citizens of this US of A have so conveniently provided the "ammunition" with which their country will be destroyed. Some time back, I suggested that Americans form clubs called "Masochists Anonymous." Maybe it is not too late to congregate in these clubs and examine why we are willingly inflicting such harm on our country.

    Like you....I am tired.

  3. It feels good to have my feelings validated !

  4. Sad to say that the present times are awaking many Partiots, it's good to hear from them.
    I thought I'd share another quote from a great person, you have done your homework. I will be back to visit your blog, Thank You

    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
    -Thomas Jefferson

  5. Thank you for your service to our country and for speaking out on behalf of us conservatives who feel lost in a sea of liberalism.

  6. No matter how high minded the purpose of a government spending program it will be allocated in such a way as to insure re-election. Vote against all incumbents.

  7. So, with all the critique, all the negativity, what would be your solution? I too am reeling from the amount of money being spent. I too am angry as hell when I hear of all this cash going into CEO's pockets, and the complaints go on... But my question to you, and to all that come here....

    What other solutions do you have? and why aren't you trying to get those solutions to the idiots in office?

    Instead of complaining, whining, or getting pissed, let's spend some time trying to find alternative solutions. and I will be the first to say that for the most part I am without suggestions.

    But to do nothing would be infinitely worse than trying something....

  8. Re: "A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have"......Thomas Jefferson

    Everything I can find on that quote indicates it was said by President Gerald Ford, not Jefferson. He said it during a Presidential address to a joint session of Congress (12 August 1974). He apparently said something similar decades before that, as it was included in a book published in 1960.

    Paul North

  9. AMEN!!!!!
    Glad to hear a "voice in the wilderness", and a voice of reason in these harrowing times.
    I'm tired, too, but, even worse, I'm scared---for my son and daughters, for my grandkids. They will inherit an indebtedness that's undeserved, unfair, and unconcionable.
    If we got here via greed, then, as a country, maybe we need a bunch of humility and economic hard times to re-teach us the basic tenets that made this country great.
    Keep the faith, and keep up the good work.
    And Thank Yoou for your service to our country.

  10. After reading this, I see my work not as a vote but talking to my neighbor! Blessings to you sir...

  11. A response I accidentally deleted. Long day.~Bob

    Shari G has left a new comment on your post "Historical Figures look at the Stimulus Bill":

    AMEN to all the above. Now we need to pass term limits for all legislatures. After all what is good for the president should be better for Senators & Representatives, both Federal and State.

  12. Something that stuck with me that I read over forty years ago is even truer today:

    "When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion -
    "When you see that in order to produce, you need permission from men who produce nothing -
    "When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors -
    "When you see that men get richer by graft and pull than by hard work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you -
    "When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming self-sacrifice -
    "You may know your society is doomed."
    -- Atlas Shrugged -- Ayn Rand

    I foresee our kids being involved in either a full-on internal war, or submitting to a feudal dictatorship. God save America!

  13. I love history - it is so prophetic! One post said what can we do? Educate ourselves - don't depend on a school system designed to "dumb down" the next generation of voters. Discuss - don't rant - debate - don't argue - use facts - don't sling mud. Your "I'm tired blog" was sent out to my email. I am a peer and a fan and now a follower.


  15. IT has gotten so scary. It used to be a person could work an average and actually pay the rent, utilities, groceries and maybe even have a little left. Now you work and work and can barely make ends meet. I have watched my kids take twenty years to be able to keep up with a decent living with both working full time jobs. What in the world will it be for our grandkids??? It is time to pray that the Lord will come soon. Thank you for your service to our country and I would love to personally be able to thank all our wonderful men and women that give so much for our country!!!

  16. I had "I'm Tired" with a link to your blog sent to me by a friend. I am twenty years younger than you, but Your words ring true to my sentiments. Some of what you say in many of your posts have been my exact words. I hope your blog reaches people who need some reality infused in them to help in decision making, voting, and simply living as Americans. Thank you for taking time to provoke realistic grounded thought in others.

  17. We too, at 76 and 73, are tired. Tired of all the same things you so eloquently and concisely wrote about. I personally believe that tolerance perpetuates continued bad behavior.
    "When in Rome...." We too are happy to be at the end of our years and are saddened by the thought of all those that paid the price for our fredoms and look how we are treating their sacrifice. In one stroke of the pen at election time we have signed away AMERICA away in blood.
    My husband sirved as a Marine in the Korean war. We have seen them come and go but this BO
    will take America straight to hell. OBAMA!

  18. Obama’s 50 day Flight of Fantasy ~~~

    WELCOME all to the destruction of the American Dream headlined by none other than the infamous O-bomination elected by the ignorant, complacent ,“I want the government to take care of me” populace. Watch as this Mess-iah of the people spends the United States into nothing but a few bits of CHANGE as he promised.

    Yes, he will save you, too, as his friend, Oprah, one of the wealthiest women on this planet, teaches you how to live Meagerly. Why, you ask? So Obama and his merry little cohorts - Ol’Harry and Nancy who sail the ship of Fools, our great Congress, the granters of all spending wishes, want you, the American people, to be intrigued as they are about the smell of pigs, tattoo removal, new cars for the Federal Government, and money for people who didn't pay taxes. Yee-Haw !

    Now get your crayons out cuz they gave $50 MILLION to the National Endowment for the Arts.

    They also gave $400 MILLION to study climate change - Hey, isn't that what climate is supposed to do??CHANGE - just like Obama promised. See - he is keeping his word.

    Big ‘O’ is going to spend $1.1 BILLION to allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a board that will ration health care services to you all. Yes, you asked for Universal Health Care- now get in line, just like they do in Canada and Germany!

    He also generously gave $88 MILLION to the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker. Hey I thought we were trying to save the ice from breaking up.

    Now for all of you a little worried about terrorism, the Man is going to give $448 million to construct the Department of Homeland Security headquarters. Doesn't that make you feel warm, cozy and SAFE while he brings our Troops home and then plans to sit down and make friends with the Taliban?? Oh, and he is going to furnish the place with $248 MILLION in furniture.

    For all of you out of work - don’t worry - head on down to the Corporation for National and Community Service and donate your time. They have been given $160 MILLION for “paid volunteers”. By the way, PAID VOLUNTEER, is an oxymoron.

    This is a little weird, though - Obama, Harry and Pelosi want to give $5.5 MILLION for ‘energy efficiency initiatives’ to the Department of Veterans Affairs NATIONAL CEMETERY Administration. What are they thinking >>> solar-powered cremation, golf-cart backhoes???

    This is my favorite part. Obama is going to spend $125 MILLION on the Washington sewer system - - all this SHIT has to go somewhere doesn’t it??

    Now, children, we need to remember that Obama did say that being President would be a learning experience for him. This is why he needs his TelePrompTer so he doesn’t ‘uhhhh’ ‘uhhhh’ us all into the doldrums like his Communication specialist, Robert Gibbs. And, really, can Obama help it if the people he tries to hire haven’t paid their taxes??

    Of course, Obama might have been too busy still pandering for votes to his devoted public to have a proper meeting with one of our closest allies, England, represented by the British Prime Minister Brown and maybe Obama misunderstood the gift exchange. Apparently, Obama thought there was a $25 spending limit!! How embarrassing...For some reason, a lot of the newsmedia didn't tell you about this. Did you know the Prime Minister gave Mr Obama an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet? The unique present apparently delighted Obama because oak from the Gannet's sister ship, HMS Resolute, was carved to make a desk that has sat in the Oval Office in the White House since 1880. Mr Brown also handed over a framed commission for HMS Resolute and a first edition of the seven-volume biography of Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert. In addition, Mr Brown and his wife showered gifts on the Obama children giving Sasha and Malia an outfit each from Topshop and six children's books by British authors which are shortly to be published in America. The Obamas gave the Browns 25 DVDs of American movies all of which cannot be played on English DVD players because they have a different configuration. Now wasn't that thoughtful and oh, so, meaningful.... You do know that Obama and the Ship of Fools also gave a $246 MILLION tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film. Gee, do you think Obama has his eyes set on Hollywood??? He is going to have to find something to do when this term is over. I know -- He can move on up to Hollywood and continue his Flight of Fantasy because, really, doesn't this all just belong in a movie???

    "When we spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody!” This was BO’s response to ‘Joe the plumber’ responding to a question about his tax plan. Yes, Obama certainly is spreading your wealth. WATCH OUT, FOLKS here comes another PORKULUS bill today with over 8,500 special little projects from the Ship of Fools spending $410 BILLION!!
    Wisconsin is going to get $1.3 MILLION to survey Chronic Wasting Disease - seems to be an epidemic on the Ship of Fools.
    Illinois is going to get $1.5 MILLION to study the Emerald Ash (ass) borer - yes, sir, we are getting reamed.
    Utah and Nevada are each going to get $1.2 MILLION to study the Mormon Cricket (that polygamous Jiminy ! who knew??)
    $2.6 MILLION to Florida to study Climate Forecasting (Thought that was the Farmer's Almanac - been right so far)
    $1.4 MILLION to Texas on how to Design Foods for Health - isn't that what fruit and vegetables are for??
    $4.8 MILLION to Arkansas, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee and New York to figure out how to use wood!
    $2.5 MILLION to the University of Mississippi to train judges and prosecutors on electronic and computer crime.
    $1.7 MILLION to Thunder Bay, Michigan, for the completion of permanent displays to the Visitor Center. You can read all about these and MORE in the 696 page 'brief here

    Don't you just LOVE how Obama has rolled his sleeves up and is going line by line through the federal budget in order to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs??? People, welcome to the world of BIG GOVERNMENT !!!

    Please call President Obama at 202-456-1111 and let him know just how much you have enjoyed his 50 day Flight of Fantasy !!

    Go to to contact your government representative in the Ship of Fools and let them know just how happy you are about them SPREADING YOUR WEALTH !!

  19. I enjoyed reading your compilation of quotes.

  20. Amazing - I read your "I'm Tired" post and this one. I whole heartedly believe and agree with you on these subjects.

    I spoke with a couple who with shame told me they voted for Obama not becuase they believed in him - but becuase he was defferent and unexperienced so they hoped for something defferent.

    They now hate everything he has done and are ashamed they voted for him and [ i say to lazy ] that they didn't do thier homework.