Harrison Law - February 2020

February 2020 Te Contractor’s Advantage

www.HarrisonLawGroup.com (410) 832-0000 jwyatt@harrisonlawgroup.com

Of Presidents and Groundhogs

Not long ago, I read biographies on several of the Founding Fathers of the United States. I read about some who became president and others who did not, but all of them still made a significant impact on the development of the country and its many parts. Every February, we recognize past presidents with Presidents Day. It’s a day that at one time recognized George Washington’s birthday but eventually came to honor all who have served as president. Also in February is Groundhog Dog, a day centered around a peculiar ritual where people watch on as a groundhog emerges from its burrow to see its shadow — or not — and predict the next several weeks of weather. Of course, many people also associate Groundhog Day with the 1993 Bill Murray movie of the same name. Murray’s character becomes trapped in a day, which repeats ad nauseam. As such, Groundhog Day has come to colloquially mean “getting stuck in a highly repetitive routine.” What’s interesting is that when you look at the Founding Fathers and the politics of the 1700s and compare them to the politics of today, you’ll see many similarities. There’s divisiveness, mudslinging, and general resentment from one side to the other. It’s reflective of how people like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton engaged with one another and their political opponents. Jefferson and Hamilton were entirely at odds with one another when the Constitution was written and in the

with Congress or get Congressional approval, which technically was required by law. Instead, Jefferson made the deal, then passed it to Congress. He basically told Congress to ratify the deal and pay for it. Today, we see leaders overstepping their bounds of office and making decisions the other side doesn’t approve of, and vice versa. It’s almost like we're living in our own “Groundhog Day” as the American people. But there is no question we’ve come a long way as a country since the 1700s, even if some things have stayed the same.

1790s when leaders were deciding whether or not to implement a centralized banking system. While we ultimately did implement a central bank, Jefferson said it was an overly broad exercise of federal power. Hamilton was doing everything he could to make it a reality. He said it would lead to a robust and lasting economy, and he was right. We use pretty much the same system Hamilton fought to establish — and it’s not just a system used by the U.S., but by most of the world too. Whoever is in power has a different view of the world than those who are not. As president, Jefferson had a very different outlook than when he was fighting Hamilton on the federal bank. One good example is the Louisiana Purchase, a purchase that effectively doubled the size of the land controlled by the U.S. What’s not as well-known is the fact that President Jefferson did not have the power to make the purchase, yet he did it anyway. He didn’t consult

-Jeremy Wyatt

jwyatt@harrisonlawgroup.com | www.HarrisonLawGroup.com | 1

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