"I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood."
by:
Grover Cleveland
(1837-1908) 22nd & 24th US President
Source:
February 16, 1887, vetoing a bill to appropriate money to provide seeds to drought-stricken counties of Texas
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Reader comments about this quote:
YES ! This alone would eliminate the ridiculous interpretation of the commerce clause and the vast majority of the statist theocracy that infests this land.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The veto was once used to protect the People from the usurpations of the government, not to control what shape the usurpations would take.
     -- Justin, Elkland     
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    Sounds good but how would this statement be construed duiing an epedemic of a contagious disease or Katrina, oil spills etc. Do not economic and natural disasters, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, and huuricanes amount only to individual suffering, excetp when there are enough individuals involved most of the non-suffering including goverment get on board to help them. It is unnatural that government should act cold and non-compassionate when it is composed of human beings who are warm and compassionate. Cleveland and Hoover being a few of the exceptions.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    That there will be individual suffering is one of the basic laws of nature. When possible such suffering should be dealt with by local community...not massive "big brother" government, as it is too corrupt to run even itself responsibly.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Waffler, Are you talking about the warm and compassionate incompetents that botched the humanitarian response to Katrina, the ones preventing the cleanup of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, or the ones at the IRS? Perhaps you mean the ones running the post office into the ground? Or the ones that raided Social Security or Medicare? You will have to be more specific. Which compassionate bureaucratic malcontents do you mean?
     -- Justin, Elkland     
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    There was a time when this kind of thinking among politicians was not so rare (if not extinct). Imagine it! A politician who's actions are actually limited by a Constitution! Of course we don't have politicians so much as dictators anymore. My, we are 'Progressing'.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    Bravo!
     -- Abigail, Newport     
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    And the people helped one another. That is the history. We are soon to be discouraged from helping for the tax deduction for charities will be reduced or eliminated. This is by design! Why is that so difficult to see?
     -- Abigail     
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    It really is the president's job to make sure Congress does not pass rules or allocate funds that the Constitution does not authorize. Once a President is elected in order to secure the transfer of government funds into the coffers of his party, the idea of Constitutional government and checks and balances is over. Only a stupid and desperate public would vote for such promises.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Waffler~ you need to have more faith in human kind and less in the government. Just look at floods in Tenn...people helping people works WAY better than people standing around waiting for the government to step in and help (as in Katrina). People naturally want to help their neighbors and fight for causes they believe in...when the government takes a chunk to do it themselves it just makes people have the Scrooge attitude that people in need will be taken care of and they feel they don't need to help anymore than that.
     -- Jennifer, Lovettsville, VA     
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    Hey J. Carlton - Calgary: " A government is measured by what they do for the least able of their citizens." What kind of a Canadian are you? Don't answer I think I know. You've been "Right-washed" like all the other minions in your contemptible town. What happens when the local community has no resources remaining? Because their resources have been constantly and continuously stripped from them? This is a continuous and insidious trend. It's not just Health Care that is under attack - it is our whole society. If you truly believe what you wrote you better wake up and start doing some real service for your community or there will be nothing left. People have been unemployed and under employed, abused and bankrupted by a system that now caters to the wealthy; sold an idea that one day they will somehow "make it" , but they won't and they never will. And neither will you. "We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off." Tyler Derden - Fight Club; Universal Pictures (1999)
     -- QA Man, Edmonton, AB, Canada     
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    Jennifer, government is composed of people. Jim K the IRS is not supposed to be compassionate, it is suppsed to apply the law. Abigail if people actually gave all of the money they claim to have given on theier tax forms this would be a great boon to charitable organizations. There are some who would like to do away with the Income Tax. In your logic it would then follow that charitable giving would be eliminated. If people like J from Austin and Carlton, Mike, and Archer would stop their constant harping, and wasting energy berating government and acutally do something maybe even in concert with government what a great place this all might be.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    To secure these rights. He obviously did not care.Sided with the federalist and the democratic party. If it had been his backyard perhaps he would have thought different
     -- Ron, Salem     
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    I bet his lawn looked beautiful.....
     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
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    Sustainability in a given area. Farmers have been rolling the dice sense the beginning of time. Just as people have a choice on where to live. Towns come and they go. Throughout history, natural disaster or manmade, migration is a way of life. Sedentary vs migratory. Some never want to face reality. The well will never run dry, or the storm will never come. During slow economic times, work dries up, never receiving a government hand out, did not stop survival. You get by on less. Yes, you might even have to move, or live in a tent, as many now days do. Manipulation of the masses by a corrupt overbearing gov and banking system. The playing field was level a long time ago, it is anything but that now.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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     -- jim k, Austin      
     
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