Wednesday, April 13, Thomas Jefferson would be celebrating his 273rd birthday. If he were alive and could see the condition of the country he and his fellow comrades founded, [I] know what he’d wish for this birthday.
With April 15 (Tax Day) fast approaching, I believe Jefferson’s first birthday wish would be to abolish the Internal Revenue Service and reduce taxes to a minimum, like replacing it with a Fair or flat tax.
The founders did not penalize productivity through taxes the way we do today. They had no Internal Revenue Service. They believed in minimal taxation.
They did not pay income taxes, which were prohibited by the Constitution;
They did not pay export taxes, which were also prohibited by the Constitution;
But they did tax imports. The Founders believed in free trade within our own borders and a system of tariffs on imported goods.
As Thomas Jefferson shared with Gouverneur Morris in 1793, “It must be observed that our revenues are raised almost wholly on imported goods.”
Jefferson’s second birthday wish would be that the federal government reduce its insane amount of spending and gargantuan national debt.
About eight years after his two terms of president, Jefferson wrote:
“We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses, and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers.”
That is exactly what has happened!
For the record, Jefferson’s administration witnessed the reduction of the national deficit during his eight-year tenure in office (1801-1809), from roughly $83,038,050.80 to $57,023,192.09, despite America’s war with the Barbary States during the same period.
Jefferson’s third birthday wish would be to shrink the size of government.
Jefferson would be absolutely abhorred by the size of government. If he were alive, Jefferson would easily reduce our national debt and taxes because Jefferson would radically reduce the size of government at the same time.
The Miller Center at the University of Virginia put it well:
“In Thomas Jefferson’s mind, the first order of business for him as President was the establishment of a ‘wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another’ but which would otherwise leave them alone to regulate their own affairs. He wanted a government that would respect the authority of individual states, operate with a smaller bureaucracy, and cut its debts.”
Jefferson’s fourth birthday wish would be that everyone (especially the federal government) would quit stifling, strangulating and regulating our freedoms and liberties.
The government’s growth and overreach has turned Americans’ Bill of Rights on its head, clamping down and restricting our rights to bear arms, educate our children and exercise our own religion.
Thomas Jefferson wrote, “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government should refuse or rest on inference.”
For example, consider our Second Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Could 27 words be any clearer or simpler, and do they really need any further explanation or regulation?
The founders didn’t have gun-free zones and didn’t need concealed weapon permits to bear arms where they wanted and when they wanted. That is why Jefferson encouraged his young nephew, Peter Carr, “Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.”
Regarding freedom in education, one has to look no further than Jefferson’s own founding of the University of Virginia. He would allow and permit topics and subjects that would be suppressed today by secular progressives and the politically correct crowds as deplorable. (That suppression is also at the heart of the new April film, “God’s Not Dead 2.”)
On Dec. 27, 1820, Thomas Jefferson wrote about his vision for the University of Virginia (chartered in 1819): “This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error as long as reason is left free to combat it.”
Jefferson even espoused that proofs for God’s existence and other forms of religious education be taught in the University of Virginia, though it not be placed under a traditional professor of divinity as done in other denominational universities of the day. In his own words, “the proofs of the being of a God – the Creator, Preserver, and Supreme Ruler of the Universe – the Author of all the relations of morality and of the laws and obligations these infer – will be within the province of the Professor of Ethics.”
In addition, rather than a single school of divinity, Jefferson espoused:
“We suggest the expediency of encouraging the different religious sects to establish, each for itself, a professorship of their own tenets on the confines of the university so near as that their students may attend the lectures there and have the free use of our library and every other accommodation we can give them. … [B]y bringing the sects [denominations] together and mixing them with the mass of other students, we shall soften their asperities [harshness], liberalize and neutralize their prejudices [prejudgment without an examination of the facts], and make the general religion a religion of peace, reason, and morality.”
Jefferson not only ensured study about God at the university, but he also made provision for the students to worship God there. He allocated rooms at the university be used for religious practice or worship, and that “the students of the University will be free and expected to attend.”
The fact is, Thomas Jefferson, who is regarded today by so many as the “great separatist,” was opposed to separating religious education from public education. He was against stifling Americans’ freedom of speech, including religious expression and education. (That is, after all, precisely what America’s Founders, including Thomas Jefferson, were seeking to protect in the First Amendment.)
As I wrote in my New York Times best-seller, “Black Belt Patriotism,” further proof that Jefferson was not trying to rid government of religious influence comes also from the fact that he endorsed using government buildings for church meetings, signed a treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians that allotted federal money to support the building of a Catholic church and to pay the salary of the church’s priests, and repeatedly renewed legislation that gave land to the United Brethren to help their missionary activities among the Indians.
Some might be completely surprised to discover that just two days after Jefferson wrote his famous letter citing the “wall of separation between Church and State,” he attended church in the place where he always had as president: the U.S. Capitol. The very seat of our nation’s government was used for sacred purposes.
As the Library of Congress website notes, “It is no exaggeration to say that on Sundays in Washington during the administrations of Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) and of James Madison (1809-1817) the state became the church.”
Can you imagine what would happen today if any U.S. congressman proposed that the Capitol be used for regular Sunday church services?
Read more by Chuck Norris HERE!