Then And Now

“… and yet I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan, as proposed by this bill, to indulge a benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds for that purpose. I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of the individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public servant or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard this limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the Government the Government should not support the people.

The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.”

George W. Bush?


Ronald Regan?

No--not him.

Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh?

No, no--neither of them.

One of the myriad of people that tried to stand up to the avalanche of Congressmen and Senators that wanted their share of the “Oops-I-blew-it” pie during the recent series of bailouts or perhaps one of the pulpit speeches swirling around Capitol Hill while they try to approve a budget?


It was President Grover Cleveland addressing Congress on February 16, 1887. He had just vetoed a bill that proposed to give $10,000 in seed to farmers who had been affected by drought in Texas.

The insightfulness of his words ring so loudly.

I find only these words appropriate.

I wish to thank all those founding fathers that built the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, who withheld their personal gains, stuck to their beliefs and sacrificed so much to be sure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness would always be a guarantee of the citizenship of this great country. I apologize to them for the way their replacements have so sloppily and carelessly handled the jobs they were given. I am sorry integrity has become a commodity and that the things that made pride matter have all been tromped upon like so many autumn leaves.

I think this budget debate is a travesty and I think any attempt to make it into anything other than a show of complete incompetence is a lie.

To all those who “represent” me in Washington: Shame on you.

Ron Ciancutti is the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at