Thomas Jefferson for 2010

‘A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned — this is the sum of good government.’

Translation for 2010: The purpose of government is not to spread the wealth. The purpose of government is to protect people from those who would otherwise take their wealth, their liberty or their lives.

‘Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.’

Translation for 2010: Businesses have something to sell and must persuade you to buy it. Politicians are in the business of coercion, not voluntary persuasion. Trust capitalism over any politician, other than that rare politician who actually seeks to leave people free.

‘All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.’

Translation for 2010: Dare to disagree with the Establishment. The Establishment consists of those career politician Democrats and Republicans who view government as a business of redistribution for their own benefit. Tyranny, like cancer, grows gradually and counts on the ignorance or cowardice of the people who refuse to call it what it is. A new Tea Party is exactly what we’ll need, and this will mean the end of the Establishment and of government as we have come to know it.

‘He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.’

Translation for 2010: Barack may sound eloquent and brilliant, at least to some. But he’s wrong about essentially everything. In practice, his errors have led to an economy and a society even worse off than the one he encountered when taking office. No amount of eloquence (real or imagined) can save any self-anointed leader from the real-life impact of his errors.

‘I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.’

Translation for 2010: Government is not the solution; government is the problem.

‘I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.’

Translation for 2010: Voting to allow politicians to take from others and give to you is both immoral and impractical. The politician becomes corrupt and giddy with power, power he’s more than happy to turn against you, when it suits him. Whenever you sacrifice your own or another’s liberty, you sacrifice all of liberty.

‘It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.’

Translation for 2010: When you subsidize something, you get more of it. Government subsidizes and rewards error and incompetence, which is why we get more of those things every year. The competent and the capable don’t need government, other than to protect their rights. The incompetent never have it easy, but they’re much worse off in a society where the capable are undercut and terrorized by the government than they would be in a society where the capable were left alone.

‘It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.’

Translation for 2010: Stealing the income of people who won’t be born for another century is not an economic ‘stimulus.’ It’s wrong, uneconomical and will only lead to disaster. Even in the short-run, it hasn’t fixed a thing.