Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Davey Crockett and the New Deal

"New Deal programs persist," despite the Reagan revolution and its aftermath, says James Galbraith, an economist at the University of Texas in Austin. "They persist because they are largely successful and highly popular."

That quote struck the writer as so important that he accidentally wrote it in twice in this article about how slightly more than half of U.S. citizens now receive significant amounts of tax money from the federal government, whether it's salary, Social Security or Medicare benefits, food stamps or education. It's the fulfillment of the old saw that democracy will last until everyone figures out they can vote themselves a piece of the largesse.

Horatio Bunce is not a name taught in our government training camps, err, schools, but he needs to be remembered.

"If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other."

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