Thursday, May 28, 2009

Let them be fed cake

Thus Grover Cleveland, anticipating modern wingnuttery:
After a drought had ruined crops in several Texas counties, Congress appropriated $10,000 to purchase seed grain for farmers there.[92] Cleveland vetoed the expenditure. In his veto message, he espoused a theory of limited government: "[...] the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the government, the government should not support the people. The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood."

I.e. the government should let people starve, because to do otherwise would be unjustly to deprive other people of an opportunity to feel good about having been charitable.


Westcott said...

Reminds me a bit of when Walmart was actually one of the biggest relief efforts during Katrina.

Zed said...

Yeah, and we saw how well that worked out...