Taking Hamilton’s name in vain

Far be it from me to defend Treasury Secretary John Snow or the Bush Administration.  Consider, however, Brad DeLong’s recent observation:

Does John Snow really have no clue that Hamilton believed that a big, activist government–regulating the financial system, supporting science and industry, encouraging manufactures, assuming the national debt–was essential for the health of the American economy? Is it really the case that nobody in John Snow’s entourage knows that Hamilton was always on the “big government” side in his fights with Jefferson? That Jefferson believed that a big government was a threat to liberty, but that Hamilton did no–Hamilton was not interested in either big government or small government per se but rather in effective government?

I look forward to Professor DeLong’s demonstration that Alexander Hamilton would have approved of the size of the federal government we have now, its current level of control over the economy, the level of current taxation, and the abandoning of the principle of government by enumerated powers.

There’s big government and BIG GOVERNMENT.

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