Quotes from our forefathers

A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.  — Thomas Jefferson

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere. – Thomas Jefferson (1743-1846), U.S. President, Letter to Abigail Adams, 22 February 1787

When all government, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the Center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated. – Thomas Jefferson

I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That “all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.”  To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.  – Thomas Jefferson

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Government at its best is a necessary evil, and at its worst, an intolerant one.  — Thomas Paine

Government ought to be as much open to improvement as anything which appertains to man, instead of which it has been monopolized from age to age, by the most ignorant and vicious of the human race. Need we any other proof of their wretched management, than the excess of debts and taxes with which every nation groans, and the quarrels into which they have precipitated the world? – Thomas Paine

It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government. – Thomas Paine

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They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

No nation was ever ruined by trade. – Benjamin Franklin

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There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation. – James Madison

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood, if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be like tomorrow. – James Madison, Federalist Paper #62

The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted. – James Madison

I cannot undertake to lay my finger upon an article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents. – James Madison

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