Some Sunday morning quotes from those “Founding Fathers”

I notice that Dollar Bill and his fellow looters are fond of referring to the men who created this country but never quote their actual wrings. Now, why is that?

Here are s few for the Mr. Bills to mull over with their oatmeal.

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”
-Benjamin Franklin

An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.

John Marshall, McCullough v. Maryland, 1819

A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.

Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, February 12, 1779

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.

Noah Webster, An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, 1787

Redistribution of wealth?  Yeah, they saw that danger too.

“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”- Thomas Jefferson 


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11 responses to “Some Sunday morning quotes from those “Founding Fathers”

  1. Demmerkrat Patriot

    Now you’re doing quote bites? At least give Jefferson the courtesy of providing the whole quotation

    To this a single observation shall yet be added. Whether property alone, and the whole of what each citizen possesses, shall be subject to contribution, or only its surplus after satisfying his first wants, or whether the faculties of body and mind shall contribute also from their annual earnings, is a question to be decided. But, when decided, and the principle settled, it is to be equally and fairly applied to all. To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers’ has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, ” the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it “. If the overgrown wealth of an individual be deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree ; and the better, as this enforces a law of nature, while extra-taxation violates it. — NOTE IN DESTUTT TRACY’S POLITICAL ECONOMY, vi, 573. (1816.)

  2. DollarBill

    CF: You want to play the tendentious game of dueling quotes on the Founding Fathers and those who created our country, we can play dueling quotes. I’m game. I can quote their actual writings. Here goes…

    The new United States, as James Madison had noted, needed to become more equal, through laws that, “without violating the rights of property, reduce extreme wealth towards a state of mediocrity, and raise extreme indigence toward a state of comfort.” (That’s James Madison).

    in a 1785 letter to James Madison, “Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise.” (That’s Thomas Jefferson)

    You want more, CF, I got more…

    “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights.”. That’s Abraham Lincoln (you want to call him a Marxist, be my guest, CF!)

    In 1832, President Andrew Jackson would place his opposition to rechartering a national bank squarely in the Jeffersonian tradition. “It is to be regretted,” Jackson, “that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.” (Another fuzzy-headed leftist, that Andrew Jackson, right CF?)

    Aristocracy, pronounced the utopian-minded William Leggett in the 1830s, served to “concentrate all wealth and privilege in the hands of a few.” “In monarchies and aristocracies,” pronounced a far more conservative New Jersey Whig, Congressman Joseph Fitz Randolph a few years later, “there are classes of the very wealthy and of the very poor; in a Republic both extremes are avoided.”

    There, that took me all of about two minutes to pull up those quotes. I could have pulled up more, but why bother? Point is: you can quote the FFs or anyone to any effect. Doesn’t prove a damn thing. Except to prove my point that the Tea Party is a bogus movement that is completely self-serving, and an apologia for the rich and well-connected. Precisely what the OWS movement has said is killing our democracy. OWS happens to be right, and they also happen to be in the best American tradition of opposing concentration of wealth and power.. As usual, you’re on the wrong side of history, CF, but that’s your loss not America’s.

  3. Inagua

    DP – Jefferson oppossed primogeniture. So what? Your expansion of the quote is as unedifying as the original. Jefferson’s paper considered three forms of taxation — income, consumption and property — and the quotes are from the property section of the paper only. Very misleading by both Chris and you.

    Also, Jefferson was an economic illiterate who should never be quoted as an expert on anything pertaining to finance. As president he adopted the dumbest economic measure ever tried by this country, an embargo on trade with our two largest trading partners. Personally, he was even worse. He lived in extreme luxury on the the labor of 200 slaves, was perpetually insolvent, and died so broke that everything he owned, including his house, had to be sold at auction. His heirs got only the few crumbs he could divert from his creditors before his death.

  4. Nathan Hale

    And perhaps Mr. Jefferson could explain himself with regard to his own slaves.

    • Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Boy, Nathan, you sure caught the stench of fraud there! Now we can reject American exceptionalis amd look to Russia, Cuba and Zimbabwe as examples of how we wish to be governed because, after all, everything’s relative. Good catch.

  5. Georgie

    DB—I do respect that you are such a devoted reader to this blog. I, too, like to watch and read the other side and perspective of an issue—and sometimes move from a position. I must say, however, your posts continually represent the left (far left I might add) so I guess you just like to live a tortured life?

  6. DollarBill

    If quoting Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Jackson represents a “left” position, and Thomas Jefferson is described as a “fraud,” then I know the readers on this blog are so far right that they make Goldwater look like George McGovern.

  7. Hu Nhu?

    Nothing in Billy’s quotes proves anything about the motives of any movement or party. Since when must a party or movement abandon
    It’s own self-interests in order to maintain legitimacy? What drivel.

  8. I have to take DollarBil’s side in this debate. After all, in opposing British rule, our Founding Fathers used similar tactics to those employed today by OWS. Perhaps, our Founding Fathers would even approve of OWS.

  9. Libertarian Advocate

    DB: “It is to be regretted,” Jackson [said], “that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.”

    Do you mean the rich and the powerful like, say, George Soros, Warren Buffet, Lloyd Blankfein and that wonderful Goldman Sachs Alum, all around skank and soon to be indicted former Senator and Governor of New Joisey, [… drum roll …] Jon Corzine?

    Wanna remind me which corrupt political party these men are associated with?

  10. Dude

    JRH and D$, thanks for providing the rebuttals. Without them, this blog would merely be an echo chamber, ala Fox News, Drudge/Newmax, G.Reynolds….with occasional RE musings, and of course CF’s clever, if not infuriating, wit.