Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What He Said: ReaganagaeR on Government Borrowing

The problem, the consequences, and the solution as he saw it in his 1981 Inaugural Address ... eerily applicable again today (especially in light of this and this type of thing):

You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why then should we think that collectively, as a nation, we are not bound by that same limitation?

... For decades we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children’s future for the temporary convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals.

Inflation ... distorts our economic decisions, penalizes thrift, and crushes the struggling young and the fixed-income elderly alike. It threatens to shatter the lives of millions of our people. Idle industries have cast workers into unemployment, human misery and personal indignity.

We are a nation that has a government -- not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the earth. Our Government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.


Oh, and looking back a bit further to 1964:

This is the issue: ... Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves ... No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size.


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