Posts Tagged ‘James Madison’


“There is not a more important and fundamental principle in legislation, than that the ways and means ought always to face the public engagements; that our appropriations should ever go hand in hand with our promises. To say that the United States should be answerable for twenty-five millions of dollars without knowing whether the ways and means can be provided, and without knowing whether those who are to succeed us will think with us on the subject, would be rash and unjustifiable. Sir, in my opinion, it would be hazarding the public faith in a manner contrary to every idea of prudence.”


“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.” – James Madison

“The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over a member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.” – British philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

“Disregard Barack Obama’s rhetorical cotton candy about aspiring to be transformative. He is just another practitioner of reactionary liberalism and champion of a government unchastened by its multiplying failures. The word ‘entitlements’ was absent from his nearly 7,000-word State of the Union address — a $183 million speech that meandered for 61 minutes as the nation’s debt grew $3 million a minute.” – columnist George Will

“America is on a path to bankruptcy. It’s easy to get bogged down arguing about lots of small cuts, but we’ll only make progress by abolishing whole departments and entire missions. I hope the public understands it has to be done.” – columnist John Stossel


With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.

James Madison (1751-1836), Father of the Constitution, 4th US President