October 03, 2013

James Madison on "Holding the Government Hostage"

Federalist 58:

The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose, the supplies requisite for the support of government. They, in a word, hold the purse that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British Constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.
Thanks to Tom Elia who saw it on a Facebook thread.

I think the thing that pisses me off the most about the federal government's partial shutdown is something a reader pointed out to me the other day: We're not actually going to save any money with this because when the federal employees get back to work they'll be paid for the time they spent sitting on their asses and getting free popcorn at theaters.

This isn't a government shutdown. It's a paid vacation.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:12 AM | Comments |