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The Presidents On Money, Governance and Wealth

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted February 18, 2011



founding fathers



In honor of President’s Day here are the words from a few of them on money, governance, and wealth…..


John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson:

 “All the perplexities, confusion and distresses in America arise not from defects in the constitution or confederation, nor from want of honor or virtue, as much from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.”


Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816:

 “I sincerely believe … that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”


George Washington, in letter to  J. Bowen, Rhode Island, Jan. 9, 1787 :

“Paper money has had the effect in your state that it will ever have, to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice.”


Andrew Jackson, To a delegation of bankers discussing the Bank Renewal Bill, 1832:

 “You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out.”


Andrew Jackson:

“I am one of those who do not believe that a national debt is a national blessing, but rather a curse to a republic; inasmuch as it is calculated to raise around the administration a moneyed aristocracy dangerous to the liberties of the country.”


James A. Garfield:

“Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce.”


Woodrow Wilson, upon passage of the Federal Reserve Act 1913:

“I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country.”

Abraham Lincoln:

“The money power preys upon the nation in time of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me, and causes me to tremble for the safety of our country.

Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the republic is destroyed. “


James Madison:

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”


John Tyler:

“Wealth can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and the savings of frugality.”


Gerald Ford:

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”


Franklin D. Roosevelt:

“Government run by organized money is the same as government run by the organized mob”


Theodore Roosevelt

“The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life.

Ronald Reagan:

Government always finds a need for whatever money it gets.”


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