We take it for granted these days that politicians will always suck up to voters. Even appointed officials feel compelled to flatter the electorate. But once upon a time, political leaders felt a bit freer to speak their minds. Consider the words of U.S. Treasury Secretary Ogden Mills in 1931, trying to explain why taxes were high and going higher:
- Of course, the people are in large measure themselves to blame. They have not only tolerated but given encouragement to an ever-expanding cost of government. The spenders were the ones elected to office; and bond issues voted with cheerful alacrity.
One thing's for sure, though: voters get the last word. So much for speaking truth to power.