Friday, March 29, 2013

The Beauty, and Danger of Selective Quoting...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Oops, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) selectively quoted President Abraham Lincoln when speaking of the imposing national debt. Lincoln, back in the days of a significantly more limited government, a much smaller economy, and a smaller population it seems had to deal with fiscal realities similar to those are facing today. Albeit certainly not on such a grand scale.

Although it is done all the time, selective quoting that is, the liberal biased media, in this case the Huffington Post, was quick to point out that Lincoln at the time also called for a tax increase or tariff (revenue enhancement) to balance the books and set the fiscal ship right.

The Huffington Post - House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) quotes Abraham Lincoln in a memo released Thursday as warning of debt, but ignores the former president's call for a tax or tariff.

The messaging to House Republicans quotes Lincoln expressing concern over debt:

"The book Congressman Lincoln by Chris DeRose, which I recently read, includes a chapter focused on Abraham Lincoln’s efforts to help craft a new national agenda. At one point in the book, young Lincoln warns that government debt is “growing with a rapidity fearful to contemplate.”

“[Government debt] is a system not only ruinous while it lasts, but one that must soon fail and leave us destitute,” Lincoln warns his countrymen in Congressman Lincoln. “An individual who undertakes to live by borrowing, soon finds his original means devoured by interest, and next no one left to borrow from –- so must it be with a government.”

Lincoln’s words ring true today, perhaps to a degree greater than ever before."

Lincoln, however, while warning of debt, also said that the debt had been created by the unwillingness to consider new revenue.

"By this means a new national debt has been created, and is still growing on us with a rapidity fearful to contemplate -- a rapidity only reasonably to be expected in time of war. This state of things has been produced by a prevailing unwillingness either to increase the tariff or resort to direct taxation. But the one or the other must come," Lincoln wrote in the Whig Circular in 1843.

Boehner and House Republicans are unwilling to consider revenue to solve the cuts put in place by sequestration. "The president got his tax hikes on January 1. The talk about raising revenue is over. It’s time to deal with the spending problem," the House speaker said in a recent interview with ABC News.

In his writing, Lincoln goes further, calling for a direct tax or tariff. "We repeat, then, that a tariff sufficient for revenue, or a direct tax, must soon be resorted to; and, indeed, we believe this alternative is now denied by no one," he wrote. Lincoln then goes onto debate the various merits and pitfalls of establishing a direct tax versus increasing tariffs. {Read More}

I remain a small government Classical Liberal (that what the founders were) that believe we must act in a fiscally responsible way to keep the fiscal ship solvent and afloat, with a course set to insure prosperity for future generations of United States Citizens.

The rEpublicans need to recognizes that the mess we find ourselves in is one of our own making. The size of the debt and the amount of the annual deficits cannot be reversed and the books balanced by budget cuts alone. Cuts are absolutely necessary, but alone will not carry the nation out of its bone crushing national debt.

Simpson-Bowles had it right, and they were ignored by both parties largely for political reasons. This is unfortunate for the fiscal health of the nations and ultimately for it's people.

Just one more thing. Size and scope of government is, as I've come to understand a relative state. Think about it rEpublicans.

Via: Memeorandum


  1. how small should the government be with over 300 million and growing population?

  2. "Just one more thing. Size and scope of government is, as I've come to understand a relative state. Think about it rEpublicans."

    I pose the above challenge to all who take the time to think, consider, and recognize where the limits of control are at any given time in the continuum of existence.

    History repeats itself largely because of the human inability to LEARN from history.

  3. "Boehner and House Republicans are unwilling to consider revenue to solve the cuts put in place by sequestration."

    Indeed. Their argument is that we are taxed enough, already.

    "The rEpublicans need to recognizes that the mess we find ourselves in is one of our own making."

    Who says they don't recognize that? I've never heard any prominent ones saying that it is not one of our own making. Have you?

    Of course it is of our own making. We allowed politicians of all parties to tell us fairly tales as they picked our pockets and used the money to buy votes and pay off their cronies. We are all to blame.

    I also agree with you that the smart move would have been for everyone to implement Simpson-Bowles.

    No matter how we do it, it will be painful.

  4. Replies
    1. I prefer to call him possibly the nations first full blown statist. Perhaps that is why Lincoln, for political reasons well beyond the freeing of the slaves, which as you know he agonized over is why he was never my favorite president jmj. I am not all surprised if he was your favorite.

    2. Les, "The Real Lincoln" by Thomas DiLorenzo - I haven't read it yet but I've watched some of the youtube videos (DiLorenzo's lectures) and it's quite amazing some of the stuff that we never knew about old "Honest Abe".


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