limited government

James Madison on the “General Welfare” Clause of the Constitution

Quote Posted on

James Madison“If Congress can apply money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may establish teachers in every State, county, and parish, and pay them out of the public Treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post roads.  In short, every thing, from the highest object of State legislation, down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress; for every object I have mentioned would admit the application of money, and might be called, if Congress pleased, provisions for the general welfare.”

James Madison, on the House floor during debates on a Cod Fishery bill [February 1792]

Liberty Quotation: Edward Bennett Williams on Civil Liberties

Quote Posted on Updated on

200px-Edward_Bennett_Williams“Civil liberties are a great heritage for Americans.  They are not rights that the government gives to the people, they are the rights that the people carved out for themselves when they created the government.”

Edward Bennett Williams


Liberty Quotation of the Day: James Madison on the Great Difficulty of Self-Government

Quote Posted on Updated on

James Madison“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

James Madison (writing as “Publius”), No. 51 of The Federalist Papers [Feb. 6, 1788]