Saturday, February 13, 2016


As Presidents Day approaches, Rose finds herself wondering what Presidents of other eras would think of us today. You can get a sense of things from some of their own words,  which I share with you now:

James Madison: "I go on the principle that public debt is a public curse."
Andrew Jackson: "I... do not believe that a national debt is a national blessing, inasmuch as it is calculated to raise around the administration a moneyed aristocracy dangerous to the liberties of the country."
Grover Cleveland: "The harpy of Public Extravagance devours the (treasury) surplus and impudently calls upon its staggering victims to bring still larger supplies within the reach of its insatiable appetites."
Calvin Coolidge: "No thing is easier than spending the public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody; the temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody."
Franklin Roosevelt: "If the nation is living within its income, its credit is good... But if, like the spendthrift, it throws discretion to the winds (and) extends its taxing up to the limit of the people's power to pay and continues to pile up deficits, it is on the road to bankruptcy."
Dwight Eisenhower: "As quickly as you start opening federal money in large amounts, it looks like free money."
Ronald Reagan: "Government is now---(in the early 1980s as he faced a serious, inherited recession and deficit)---spending more on interest (on the national debt) than on all its education, nutrition and medical programs combined."
Andrew Johnson: "The goal to strive for is a poor government but a rich people."
Calvin Coolidge: "The power to tax is the power to destroy... "
Warren Harding: "I can't make a d--- thing out of this tax problem. I listen to one side and they seem to be right, and then...I talk to the other side and they seem just as right..."
Herbert Hoover: "That the government takes up to 50% of profits from professional earnings or business transactions, while the individual takes all the risks, is intensely discouraging to initiative."
Andrew Jackson: "The wisdom of man never yet contrived a system of taxation that would operate with perfect equality.
Lyndon Johnson: "In 1790, the nation which had fought a revolution against taxation without representation discovered that some of its citizens weren't much happier about taxation WITH representation."
Ronald Reagan: "If you've been wondering why you don't seem as well off as you were a few years back, it's because Government makes a profit on inflation. It gets an automatic increase without having to vote on it."
Harry Truman: "You can rest assured that, as long as I am president, the gentlemen of Wall Street are not to control the operations of the International Bank."
Thomas Jefferson: I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."
Herbert Hoover: "Men are not justified in deliberately making a profit on the losses of other people."
Theodore Roosevelt: "There is no moral difference between gambling at cards and gambling in the stock market."
Woodrow Wilson: "Every man who takes office in Washington either grows or swells, and when I give a man an office, I watch him carefully to see whether he is growing or swelling. The mischief of it is that, when they swell, they do not swell enough to burst."
Calvin Coolidge: "(Unfortunately) I have to appoint human beings to office."
Dwight Eisenhower: "There are a lot of things wrong with Washington. One of them is that everyone has been too long away from home."
Herbert Hoover: "(It) must be built upon a cult of work, not a cult of leisure."
Franklin Roosevelt: "We can afford all that we need, but we cannot afford all that we want."
Abraham Lincoln: "The legitimate object of the government is to do for the people what needs to be done, but which they cannot by individual effort do, or do so well for themselves."
Benjamin Harrison: "Wealth and commerce are timid creatures; they must be assured that the nest will be safe before they will build."
Herbert Hoover: "The moment government participates, it becomes a competitor with the people... at once a tyranny in whatever direction it might touch... "
Herbert Hoover: "Free speech does not live many hours after free industry and free commerce die."
Franklin Roosevelt: "Private enterprise is ceasing to be free enterprise."
Lyndon Johnson: "No political party can be the friend of the American people which is not a friend of American business."
Ronald Reagan: "Free enterprise is a rough and competitive game, (but) it is a h--- of a lot better than a government monopoly."
Abraham Lincoln: "It has long been a grave question whether any government, not too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain its existence in great emergencies."

These words are a sampling; there's no room for more. But in my casual research, I found the words were echos-in-reverse; cautionary notes that seem to underline that history does repeat itself in many ways.  ---Rose Moore (NOT for president)