Magog: Unguarded
Magog: Unguarded
Swarming Around... cats living with dogs... total chaos.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Fiscal Conservatives, Where Art Thou?

A lot of talk lately about fiscal conservatism vis-a-vis the relief of (particularly) New Orleans in the wake of Hurrican Katrina. I ran across this column by Walter Williams, which contains some startling quotes from former presidents. Read the whole thing, but I have to excerpt the quote from Grover Cleveland, which is stunning in its clarity. Can anyone imagine a contemporary president, Democrat or Republican, saying something like this:

"I find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and the duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit."

The reference he makes is to drought-stricken farmers in Texas in 1887. True, they didn't have Willie Nelson to give concerts in those days, but a president today would be unforgiven for saying such a thing. My favorite part, though, is this:

"Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood."

Emphasis added. I fear the days of true fiscal conservatism will be impossible to regain.

posted by the wolf | 4:41 PM
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