"As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate."
George Washington
(1732-1799) Founding Father, 1st US President, 'Father of the Country'
George Washington's Farewell Address, September 19, 1796
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Al, DC      
How far we have strayed. GW talks about debt "in war time only" and we now have it in every budget.
 -- cal, lewisville, tx     
    Bailouts, foreign aid, welfare, drug wars, etc., no wonder that our country is so far in debt that we can't even pay the interest on the national debt. And the hacks running things in Washington want to spend more and more. To say they spend like drunken sailors is an insult to drunken sailors.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
  • 1
    An accurate fiscal law description from a great man in a foreign country, alien to the statist theocracy now infesting this land. Each note of non-cherished public credit now used as real money violates the reality and essence of the above quote.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    When gold and silver dollars were used as the lawful medium of exchange, the 'debts' were IOUs for gold and silver. Debts were repaid in those days -- if a government defaulted, well let's just say it would be in BIG trouble. The trick has been to put the debt upon the backs of the people themselves instead of the government corporation. If the corporation goes bankrupt, the people simply dissolved it -- the losers would be those holding the promises-to-pay from the government -- not forcing all the people to keep paying interest forever. Our representatives have bankrupted the country, and the ignorance of those citizens that continue to demand more services from a government that already is in so much debt that it is on the verge of collapsing are as much to blame as the representatives. We cannot ignore the laws of economy. By borrowing from the next generation to pay for our basic needs of today is a losing game. We must reduce our demand on government as much as the government must reduce its demand upon us. We would fair better to look after ourselves as is the way of nature -- we would not only survive but we would flourish for nature abundantly provides for us if we will but live up to our responsibilities to take care of ourselves. We must produce -- we cannot remain a consumer nation -- we must produce more than what we consume in order to trade and export. That is the way to prosperity, not government regulation and game fixing -- they cannot be trusted with such power.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
     -- Charles, Ludlow      
    The " We the People " have been so far removed from our Liberty, it is but a dim light down a long tunnel. A rigged game of blinding the public by way of induced superficial needs. " The poor you have with you always " is a known factor of natural law. To openly oppress those in need, subjecting them to undue burden, knowingly raising the bar, is to purge a fruit bearing tree, till it is unable to produce. Then plucked up and thrown away. Of course the individual must limit their burden upon government assistance, but there again it is a rigged game, pushing the boulder up the hill. Life in itself is a short time span. Which generation will knowingly fight for the lost Liberty, has been the question ask behind closed doors sense slavery began. Moses comes to mind. And the children went across on dry ground, is of great importance. Just as our Liberty is high dry ground, without respect of persons. Mike, Norwalk, states it very well. As also Jim k, and his dry, but very accurate assessment.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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