Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Interesting Quotes

Yesterday's installment from Liberty Quotes contained a particularly poignant set which I have reproduced below. The proper use of government force must be guided by moral principles, and it would be improper and incorrect discuss these issues without reference them. Thus, many activities which are good, right and benevolent when performed voluntarily become evil, wrong and cruel when attempted through the initiation of force.

"Every man is, no doubt, by nature, first and principally recommended to his own care; and as he is fitter to take care of himself than of any other person, it is fit and right that it should be so."

-- Adam Smith (1723-1790) Scottish philosopher and economist

"I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity, ..[it] would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded."

-- Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) U.S. President; source: 1854, he vetoed a bill to help the mentally ill

"I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan to indulge in benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds... I find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution."

-- Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) 22nd & 24th US President
Source: In 1887 when vetoing an appropriation to help drought-stricken counties in Texas

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