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posted: 8/16/2012 5:00 AM

Nuggets of wisdom from Jefferson

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John F. Kennedy, our 35th president, held a dinner in the White House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made the statement: "This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

President Kennedy obviously highly respected Thomas Jefferson's intellect. It might be interesting to look at a few salient comments made by Jefferson and perhaps learn from his wisdom:

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• "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and to give to those who would not".

• "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."

• "My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."

• "To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."

Kennedy in 1962 addressed the Economic Club of New York and said, "The final and best means of strengthing demand among consumers and business is to reduce the burden on private income and the deterrents to private initiative which are imposed by our present tax system ... to increase demand and lift the economy, the federal government's most useful role is not to rush into a program of excessive increases but to expand the incentives and opportunities for private expenditures." In short, Kennedy cut taxes and government spending and the American economy soared. We've had 3 years of Obama fiscal policy and anti-Kennedy fiscal policy, and maybe its time for a new direction.

Larry T. O'Neill

Palatine

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