The Free Press, Mankato, MN

January 25, 2013

Your View: It's what real leaders actually do that counts

By Paul Brandon, Mankato

— In his Your View published Jan. 19, Bob Jentges quotes Thomas Jefferson on the dangers of a national debt. However, when Jefferson had to make a real world decision which had a huge effect on the emergence of the United States as a major power, he acted very differently.

When faced with the opportunity to acquire the Louisiana Territories, Jefferson did not hesitate to incur a debt of $11.4 million (close to $300 million in today's dollars); which was huge at the time.

This purchase led to the United States expanding across the Mississippi and eventually to the Pacific. Without it, Minnesota would not have become a state.

Real leaders may talk hypothetically about general principles -- it's what they actually do that has real results.