On April 13th every American should raise a Champagne glass to toast the farmer, architect, scholar, revolutionary, and American president born that spring day in 1743: Thomas Jefferson. One of our greatest Founding Fathers, Jefferson carved much of the government and character of his precious gem, America.
Because we possess rights, governments are instituted. Wise government, explains Jefferson, “shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” Government acts only to protect us from acts of force or fraud, apprehending perpetrators who pick our pockets or break our legs; otherwise, it does not regulate or control our lives in any way. Jefferson was “for a government rigorously frugal and simple . . . and not for a multiplication of officers and salaries merely to make partisans . . . ” What would he think of the swarms of agencies, bureaus, commissions, and departments that today swallow more than 40-percent of our national income?