by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
Congratulations to JLF Senior Fellow Garland Tucker. His beautifully written piece about “The Lost Art of Saying No, is published at nationalreview.com today. Tucker laments that today’s elected officials aren’t able to say no to the vast array of interest that seek federal funding and intervention, as President Calvin Coolidge was able to do. Just look at the $1.3 trillion budget bill that is now law.
As a politician, Coolidge practiced the art of saying “No” to constituents when it was not in the best interest of the country as a whole or contrary to the constraints of constitutional government. Surprisingly, he was able to deliver this message consistently while racking up a long string of electoral successes. He based his adherence to economy in government on both practicality — business-like discipline of balanced budgets — and also on morality. He believed well-meaning progressive programs that were designed to assist voters ultimately would lead to debilitating dependency. Somehow people really believed Coolidge when he said, “I am for economy in government — not to save money, but to save people.”
It’s a great piece. Hope you read the whole thing and share it with your friends.