As federal policymakers trip over each other to launch “New Deal II,” I thought I’d share a poignant statement delivered by an obscure Kansas congressman on the House floor in 1932. Congressman Harold McGugin’s career apparently didn’t last too long, and there’s little information on the internet about him. So, should some knowledgeable historian report that the man didn’t like kittens or kept the neighborhood kids’ baseballs when they strayed into his yard, please forgive me. Regardless, I’d like to see more statements like this on the House floor during these heady days of “stimulus.”
I do not believe the obligation is upon the Congress of the United States to solve the financial, social, and economic problems of the individual citizens of this country. The Federal Government was not framed for that purpose…We cannot escape the proposition that every time we appropriate money out of the Public Treasury to solve our troubles, whether they be troubles of the plug hats or of the humble people, we are following socialism. Marxism is sweeping this country, and nowhere it it finding greater hold than in this particular Congress…I know not of a single emergency measure that is not founded upon the proposition of milking the Public Treasury.
My emphasis added.