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RISE OF EMPIRE: THE ANCIENT DESIGN: II

On the next height lies control of the public purse. Until the people have recovered that they cannot tame Executive Government. Passing laws to control or restrain it is of no avail whatever. The only way to reason with it is to cut it off at the pockets. Until the Roosevelt Revolution, even from colonial days until then, no popular prerogative was so jealously guarded as this one. The colonists insisted on paying the royal governors out of colonial funds, because if they were paid by the British Treasury they would be too independent. And when it came to setting up the American government, the Constitution said that control of the purse should be in the hands of the House of Representatives because that was the popular side of Congress.

The people have not always managed the purse well. They have sometimes stuffed it with bad money; they have sometimes flung its contents around in a reckless manner. But there is this difference, that no matter how badly the people may manage the public purse it cannot control them, whereas in the hands of the government control of the purse becomes the single most powerful instrument of executive policy touching the lives of the people.

RISE OF EMPIRE: THE ANCIENT DESIGN: II

RISE OF EMPIRE: THE LOST TERRAIN: IV