Engler: Honoring Abraham Lincoln and His Economic Leadership

By February 12, 2009General

NAM President John Engler offers his thoughts on the bicentennial of President Abraham Lincoln’s birth in this special commentary. For the audio version, please click here.

America marks the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth this week, honoring a man whose leadership preserved the union and helped end slavery.

Lincoln deserves honor as more than just a great President in a time of Civil War. As Congress debates legislation to help revive the economy, let’s also remember Abraham Lincoln’s economic leadership.

President Lincoln promoted and signed the Homestead Act, bringing tens of thousands of settlers to the Great Plains. In today’s terms, he encouraged private sector investment – with a minimum of government regulation.

Lincoln signed The Morrill Act, creating Land Grant institutions that offered agricultural and technical education – the exact skills America needed to grow.

And Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act, which included land grants and financing for construction of the transcontinental railway, infrastructure that helped make America an economic giant.

Private investment, education and training, public support of infrastructure: These were all keys to building a great nation, and a great economy in the 1860s. They’re still just as important, just as key, today.

So let’s honor President Lincoln upon the bicentennial this week as a President whose economic leadership still provides guidance, 200 years after his birth.


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