"When more of the people's sustenance is exacted through the form of taxation than is necessary to meet the just obligations of government, such exaction becomes ruthless extortion and a violation of the fundamental principles of a free government."
Grover Cleveland
(1837-1908) 22nd & 24th US President
Second Annual Message, December 1886
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Reader comments about this quote:
Ruthless is the key word here. The wolf in sheeps clothing ruthlessly tearing at the natural rights of the individual protected by our Constitution so to sate his appetite for power and control over the sheep.
 -- Anon
This was absolutely true pre 1913. It is exponentially borne out with greater array in today's Nazi style theocratic socialism. A second thought, can anybody show me where the Constitution specifically authorizes a bail out, a buy in, or stimulus of private industry as a just obligation of government or a fundamental principle of free government? hmmm In conjunction with Jefferson being spot on concerning central banks, Cleveland was dead right about the ruthless extortion and violations of free government's fundamental principles when taxation is used to meet unjust / unconstitutional (government) obligations
 -- Mike, Norwalk
Right on Mike and Anon. If memory serves,1913 was the year that we got the Marxist progressive income tax and the Federal Reserve Act. Things started downhill after 1913 and we have reached bottom with the current crowd in D.C.
 -- jim k, austin
I wish someone would say this in Washington today.
 -- M. Brown, Florida
Thank God it has never happened here. Obviously enough sustenance has not been extracted or we would not be 10 trillion dollars in debt. Why can not honest and honorable men and women admit that the American People owe a debt from the general fund (income tax fund) to 1. Social Security Fund 1.5 trillion, 2. Chineese 1 trillion, 3. To public holds of Fed Bonds 1 trillion, 4. Russia 800 billion, etcetera. All figures are estimates but I hope you all get the picture. We have been sending our children to die in the Middle East and have borrowed the money to pay for the associated costs. Just how dishonorable can we be. Let us stand up and demand this immorality stop and let us pay our debt off and then cut taxes.
 -- Waffler, Smith
We can cut the debt and taxes by reducing spending. It is a paradigm shift we need, one of not trying to accomplish all things through the government.
 -- Blue
 -- warren, olathe
I just read that ACORN is going to be involved in the census. I thought the 2 billion ACORN got from the “stimulus” package was a pay off of the stuffing of ballot boxes in the past. I guess they needed it to beef up for the stuffing of congress with Obama lackeys in the future. We will now have a rigged census to go along with the rigged elections. Liberal areas will be disproportionately represented in congress and conservative areas will be under represented. No doubt that we will only be aware of 2% of the underhanded deals that will have made so that Obama and his henchmen will not be removed. How long till we get that amendment to remove term limits on the president I wonder? Perhaps just increase the terms to 6 or 8 years! Of course that would have to be temporary. There has to be some way that we can keep this scoundrel in office till there is no recognizable America left.
 -- warren, olathe
Waffler, your statement seems to be a lie, fundamentally, on its face, and in all ways. What should I thank God for? Are you saying that all the unconstitutional acts by the executive, legislature and judiciary are not funded in part by taxes (among other things, making paper and debt equal to intrinsically valued money)? Are you saying there is a shadow free government (acting as a servant to the people instead a slave master) in hiding somewhere that only exists within its constitutional limits? Are you saying that governmental larceny (funny money, theft of the laborer's fruit, civil penalties replacing criminal punishments - making crime pay, etc.) is nothing more than a 'Matrix' illusion? Are you saying that if more sustenance were extracted from us, corrupt government, inept business, liars, thieves, and murderers would cease to exist? Why honest, honorable, and I might add knowledgeable men and women won't admit that the American People owe a debt from the general fund is because one of the original principles, upon which the Constitutional Republic was founded was, that the federal government could not enslave its individual sovereign(s) through debt (as individuals were buffered, by the wall of its primary sovereign representative - the State, from all debts incurred by the United States) Social Security and other unconstitutional reasons for borrowing would not, could not, encumber the individual sovereign. Surprisingly, you are right though about borrowing to fund the killing and maiming of our's and liberty's sons and daughters.
 -- Mike, Norwalk
Well said again Mike. Waffler, if we are forced to borrow to to keep our business employers IN business so we can pay taxes on more debt, will you explain to me how it will ever be possible to pay off the debt and balance the books? I notice you didn't say pay it off but only cut the debt. But even then, if spending is reduced, it would have to be reduced to spending nothing to have any effect, and of course, stealing and spending the peoples money is our governments heart, soul, and bread and butter in this day and age. Your solution makes me laugh. I wish the government felt the same way when it comes to "not trying to accomplish all things through the government." Problem is they don't see it that way and in reality believe quite the opposite.
 -- Anon
Anon if income tax collections were increased by a combination of rate hikes, increased enforcement to close the 300 billion dollar tax gap (the estimated amount that The Treasury is cheated out of each year) and spending cuts then The Treasury could pay off the bond holders. After all many of the bond holders are just folks that received large tax cuts under Bush and then bought interest paying Government Bonds instead. It is just a transfer payment Anon Use the increase in taxes to pay off the bonds. As far as the economy is concerned it is a neutral transaction, 1 dollar of tax, pays off 1 of bond. The big difference is that the Treasury no longer has to pay interest and we will no longer be beholden to China, Russia and the rich.
 -- Waffler, Smith
Mike I am saying what I am saying and nothing more or nothing less. All the crap you tried to add or infere is in the labryinth of your twisted conspiratorial brain.
 -- Waffler, Smith
Waffler, the 300 billion tax cheat point you have brought up before and I called you on it and never received a reply. Do you have the proof as in links that point out these tax cheats to us. You see, whatever the figure you come up with to blame on the taxpayer you cannot back it up because if you could these tax cheats would be in commercial law courts paying for their crimes. IF your figure COULD be proved, it's just another example of an inept administration in action that "lost" 2 trillion back in 01 just before the atrocity of 9/11. We still have no explanation as to what happened to it and will never get one. Your post is just more Keynosian clap trap to confuse and deceive. Bonds are as much a part of the debt owed to the Fed and its controllers as our money is. As to China and the rest, they are playing their role according to plan and we will see a lot more of these people in the future.
 -- Anon
Anon I did respond to your inquiry about the Tax Gap. I an sorry you missed it. I even gave you a site. If you would google "Tax Gap" you should be able to find it very easily. Our government is very open and transparent to those who are interested. You may also go to "Bureau of the Public Debt". Under Bush the budget has grown to 3 trillion dollars. The taxes have been bringing in about 2.7 trillion. The tax gap is therefore about 10 percent. More enforcement action could narrow this amount. I am being straight with you Anon, google this and research it and you will find it to be true. You are correct that bond purchasers be it you and I, the public, or foreign governments are stepping in and filling the need for Uncle Sam to borrow cash. He has to stop borrowing and acquire the cash in the only correct way for any self respecting Government to do so. That is by taxation.
 -- Waffler, Smith
No doubt that if Waffler were to have what he believed to be a deep thought it would easily fit on a bumper sticker.
 -- warren, olathe
I consider Grover Cleveland to be one of the great presidents. He was one of the last who would veto a bill simply because the constitution did not authorize it. In fact he vetoed a great many bills because they were unconstitutional, unlike presidents today who actively promote unconstitutional laws or at the very least depend upon a court to overturn them. The just obligations of the government are specifically stated in the constitution. Any more than that is usurpation and unjust.
 -- Ken, Allyn, WA
I suggest that everybody read The People's History of the United States. Here is another quote from Cleveland's reassurance to the railroad maganates (who had been given the best land near the new lines and who had received other corporate welfare besides. He is talking about regulation of the railroads: "The commission.. is or can be of great use to the railroads. It satisfies the popular clamor for government supervision of railroads, at the same time that the supervision is almost entirely nominal.. The part of wisdom is not to destroy the Commission, but to utilize it." Just like having an SEC but not funding it enough so that it could do its job; or giving Elizabeth Warren the task of setting up consumer safe guards but not the authority. Set up watchdogs but don't let them get in the way of corporate greed which has always gone by the name of capitalism.
 -- Sara M. Porter, Midway, Ky
We crossed that line long ago...now your tax dolars go to pay the interest on loans (out of thin air) from the Non Federal (No) Reserve Bank and fatten the up the wealth of Elitist Bankers.
Guess who really runs the country? Not your elected officials, that's for sure...
 -- J Carlton, Calgary
Warren, a small bumper sticker at that.
 -- jim k, Austin, Tx
Well, said, Mike and Anon. Yeah those missing billions and trillions are never addressed, no commission ever appointed to investigate, no effort at all to find the crooks who took the money.

I will try to explain simply one more time: because ALL the money in circulation has been borrowed at interest (money is created when it is borrowed and is destroyed when the 'loan' is paid back -- that is how our money system works) there is no way to pay off our debts without all the money disappearing. Even if every dollar in circulation (notes, checks, deposits) was paid back, we would still owe more and there would be no money even to pay with. This system is designed to keep rivers of interest flowing to the bankers while the rest of us are kept on the plantation completely in debt to our 'masters.' The government lies, lies, lies. After every boom (a huge influx of newly created money 'loaned' into circulation) and bust (contraction of the money supply when more loans are paid back than are taken out), property used as collateral is transferred to the banks and then 'rented' back to us -- but not until more new money is created (which has to be paid back) and the process repeats again. It is a system of theft and servitude. I repeat, the money the banks are 'loaning' to us DID NOT EXIST UNTIL WE BORROWED IT.

The creation of the Federal Reserve System removed the last check on government: the refusal of Americans to loan the government money for projects they do not support. With the ability now to load up the American people with unpayable debt in order to buy our submission, there is NOTHING we can do -- if we revolt, they turn off the spigot and we starve. We have given away our power and responsibilities. Of course the government employees (Waffler) always remain on top and are ever parroting the party line that the government is honest and transparent (!!) and is doing all this for our own good.
 -- E Archer, NYC
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