Word For It. . .

2Chronicles7:14-“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

The Jefferson of Our Time

Posted by wordforit on January 10, 2008

Enjoy an excerpt of one of many well-written articles by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland.  (citations and links below)


 …In reality, Grover Cleveland was the last American president who actually believed in Jeffersonian principles of government and was even moderately successful in implementing them (he vetoed literally hundreds of pieces of legislation). It’s been almost 120 years since a genuine Jeffersonian has been a major candidate for the highest office in the land, but we finally have in our midst the genuine item – the real deal – in the person of Ron Paul.

Ron Paul also calls for a dramatic reduction in government debt by abolishing unnecessary and harmful government bureaucracies, such as the U.S. Department of Education, as well as a foreign policy that defends America instead of attempting to centrally plan and police the entire planet. (emphasis added wfi) It was Jefferson who argued that the federal government’s debt was only legitimate in emergencies, such as a defensive war, and even then it should never exist for more than 19 years. He believed it was immoral for one generation to incur debt – even in a defensive war – that would financially burden future generations. “I consider the fortunes of our republic,” he wrote, “as depending, in an eminent degree, on the extinguishment of the public debt.” As president, his party abolished all of Hamilton’s (and the Federalists’) excise taxes and reduced the government debt from $83 million to $57 million.

Hamilton, on the other hand, wanted a large national debt because it would tie the affluent of the country to the government, just as welfare ties the poor to the government today. The affluent would be the government bondholders, he argued, and would therefore provide political support for all the tax increases he had in mind to assure that they would be paid their principal and interest. He called the national debt a “blessing.” The Jeffersonian view of government debt prevailed, more or less, until the Woodrow Wilson administration, after which Hamiltonian Keynesianism became the order of the day. Today the U.S. government is in debt to the tune of some $70 trillion if one includes all the unfunded Social Security, Medicare, and government pension liabilities. Ron Paul wants to reverse the economically devastating and immoral policy of rampant government debt accumulation…

Jefferson advocated a modest foreign policy, unlike his nemesis Hamilton, the original Neocon, who wanted to invade France and become an imperialistic power. “[P]eace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none,” was his foreign policy philosophy (from the first inaugural).

Jefferson understood that war is the mother of the state, and did everything he could to avoid it. When the British began confiscating American ships and kidnapping American sailors, he imposed an economically destructive trade embargo rather than risk an even more economically destructive war with England. Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate in memory to espouse the wisdom of Jefferson and Washington when it comes to foreign policy.

The dominance of the Hamiltonian, Big Government philosophy, and the marginalization of Jefferson and his ideas, is the fundamental source of America’s biggest problems, including a foreign policy that has run amok; a tax system that treats citizens like medieval serfs; an arrogant and unresponsive central government; the evisceration of the states as independent political sovereignties; the economic boom-and-bust cycle that is generated by “the Fed”; the eagerness of Washington politicians to strip away more and more of our civil liberties; and the infantilization of America that has been created by a gargantuan welfare state. Ron Paul is the only national politician who is devoted to reversing all of these dangerous trends. All other candidates propose either minor tinkering at the margins, or an expansion of the same failed policies. He is the Jefferson of our time, and our true hope of returning to the guiding principles of the founding fathers. We can take this road, or we can continue along on the road to serfdom.

Entire Article: The Jefferson of Our Time

January 7, 2008

Thomas J. DiLorenzo [send him mail] professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the author of The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War, (Three Rivers Press/Random House). His latest book is Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe (Crown Forum/Random House).

Copyright © 2008 LewRockwell.com

Thomas DiLorenzo Archives at LRC

Thomas DiLorenzo Archives at Mises.org

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One Response to “The Jefferson of Our Time”

  1. The only problem I know regarding the Ron Paul campaign is that we’ve never really heard of him! All we get in Europe is Obama/Clinton… then if you search harder… you might get something about McCain, Mitt, Rudi & Huckabee… or sometimes Edwards. Then (if you are a really focused European) you might be able to find a sentence about Chris Dodd (“The guy with the white hair” and fly-on-head?) or… that Hispanic chap who got grilled on a feminist show about homosexual couples.

    I’ll be posting my article on the election on Monday, (I have to wait until it is published in the newspaper before I can upload it to the internet) so do take a look if you’re interested in a British Commentary!

    Anyway, back to Ron Paul, not to criticise too harshly, but we’ve had the “reduce bureaucracy” rhetoric for years now coming from the Conservative Party. Realistically, their sums just don’t add up. Also, I have to say that abolishing the Department of Education…. well, it doesn’t help with the Stupid-American stereotype does it? (Kidding!)

    Hi, Hadleigh! I looked to see if you had a site the other day so I could visit, but couldn’t click on your name. Now it appears possible so I will definitely be over!

    Uh, the links in my sidebar are “from the horse’s mouth” Ron Paul information, as well as the other candidates. You don’t really think we all glean knowledge from the mainstream media, do you? Kinda puts a different light on the “stupid-American” stereotype if others aren’t doing the same…

    As you know, “stupidity is not discriminatory” and I don’t see how “ignorance is bliss”…believe it, the “dumbing down” is not exclusive to American culture.

    Until a few months ago, I was not aware of Ron Paul’s ideas and efforts, but I began to see his name and educated myself on who he is, his proposals and all that he’s worked toward. (He’s known as “Dr. No” b/c he doesn’t approve nonsense that’s unConstitutional). As far as abolishing certain entities and programs, I hope no one is deluded to think that it will be an easy task to try and regain ground as citizens and give certain responsibilities back to individual states, but he’s the only one (left) willing to step up to the plate. The federal gov’t should not be entrenched in our schools as it is now, to begin with. I invite/implore you and everyone else to read his articles, letters, speeches and stance on issues: http://www.ronpaullibrary.org/http://www.ronpaul2008.com/issues/.

    Dr. Paul has taken a lot of undue flak and his supporters are denigrated with the title “Paultards” while, not unlike circumstances in similar arenas, his platform is about following the Constitution and regaining our freedoms. As far as the ridiculous argument that he blames Americans for 9-11, I understand (from my perspective/experience) what he’s trying to convey and that’s another argument that’s been twisted. For one, 9-11 has a looooong, convoluted history.

    My formative years were spent overseas (I was born in Frankfurt and came to the states permanently as a teenager) and I saw how arrogant some Americans behaved. (emphasis on some) Conversely, I also saw “Yankee Go Home” painted in highly visible places and felt the superior, arrogant attitudes of others in certain countries. When I was a youngster, Americans were being poisoned through their air conditioning units in an area of a South American country where we lived. (Give us your military protection and your money, but we do not want to be your friend.) I heard “Big Brother” from an early age (predictions of a future just like we’re experiencing) and understood that we were ambassadors for our country (and family) from the time I can remember. That’s what I understand Ron Paul to be trying to get across in a world gone awry from basic values and respectful behaviors (not playing ‘footsy’, either!)

    Americans, as a whole, do not deserve the stereotype of the ignoramuses, but that’s what happens. Ron Paul could make a difference in the external quality of life for Americans and will most assuredly be a profoundly more desirable example.

    I realize this does not begin to cover what could be an extensive response but I hope you get my drift!!

    I’ll be checking in with you if I can get through. I enjoy our ‘discussions’, Hadleigh, and look forward to reading your commentary!

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