“I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labor and in our amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people, under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.” -Thomas JeffersonThought I might comment on the points made in the quote:
- Economic Virtue: So often we forget that how we use money is indicative of the condition of our national heart.. where our national treasure lies says much about the heart of our nation.
- Perpetual Debt: This phrase sends shivers down my spine. I cannot fathom living my life in such a way that my children would be burdened with my debt when I die.
- Taxing the Essentials: Jefferson certainly did not envision a nation that taxed meat and drink much less comforts and amusements. Somehow our government has gotten so big it needs to tax our necessities.
- Wasting our Labor: This phrase is so graphic. It paints a picture of how the hard labor and sacrifice of citizens is squandered by career politicians who have lost their way and consequentially caused our nation to lose it's way.
- Pretense of Caring: This one just breaks my heart. President Jefferson seemed to have an insight into the nature of the political machine and of uncaring and power hungry career politicians.