Thomas Jefferson on congressional corruption and bloat

“That a system had there been contrived for deluging the states with paper money instead of gold silver, for withdrawing our citizens from the pursuits of commerce, manufactures, buildings, other branches of useful industry, to occupy themselves their capitals in a species of gambling, destructive of morality, which had introduced it’s poison into the government itself. That it was a fact, as certainly known as that he I were then conversing, that particular members of the legislature, while those laws were on the carpet, had feathered their nests with paper, had then voted for the laws, and constantly since lent all the energy of their talents, instrumentality of their offices to the establishment and enlargement of this system: that they had chained it about our necks for a great length of time, in order to keep the game in their hands had from time to time aided in making such legislative constructions of the constitution as made it a very different thing from what the people thought they had submitted to; that they had now brought forward a proposition, far beyond every one ever yet advanced, to which the eyes of many were turned as the decision which was to let us know whether we live under a limited or an unlimited government.”

Excerpt From The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. 1.

1 comment

  1. […] Politicians in the US all too often reward the companies which helped finance their election, even if doing so results in harming the interests of individual citizens or the republic or state at large. Referred to as soft corruption, money in to the system is used to affect purchasing or policy outbound. We see this happen all the time – for example, individuals who used to head the Department of Homeland Security enthusiastically lobbying the DHS to deploy full-body scanners en masse, without disclosing that he is being paid by manufacturers of the devices – and despite the fact that millions of dollars of these devices would wind up being junked. This isn’t new – as I mentioned yesterday, Thomas Jefferson alluded to the same greed-driven, myopic decision making happening 200 years ago. […]