"The system of banking we have both equally and ever reprobated. I contemplate it as a blot left in all our constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction, which is already hit by the gamblers in corruption, and is sweeping away in its progress the fortunes and morals of our citizens. Funding I consider as limited, rightfully, to a redemption of the debt within the lives of a majority of the generation contracting it; every generation coming equally, by the laws of the Creator of the world, to the free possession of the earth he made for their subsistence, unincumbered by their predecessors, who, like them, were but tenants for life."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 11 (Correspondence and Papers 1808-1816) > TO JOHN TAYLOR > paragraph 790
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Mike, Norwalk      
 -- Bruno, Paris      
Jefferson was smarter than Pelosi, Reed, Franks and the rest of the scoundrels in the congress put together. In Jeffersons time we had statesmen, now we have hacks . We have a few good ones left , such as Ron Paul.
 -- jim k, austin     
  • 3
    Amen Mr. Jefferson. Now that we have another Democrat in the White House maybe we can return to the sanity of good old Tom the first Democrat. Hell the Republicans have fallen so far from his tree that Dick Cheney says, "Deficits don't matter."
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
  • 1
    If deficits are so important why isn't there any main party politician knocking the debt money system we're using to survive with? If it wasn't for this evil system Cheyney's line could have had a different meaning. Deficits don't matter because we don't have any.
     -- Anon     
  • 1
    Wow, Jefferson couldn't be clearer. Imagine Congress never borrowing more than can be paid back in their lifetimes (let's say 30 years). Hah! Now our entire currency supply has been borrowed and can never be paid back -- and we pay interest on the privilege. In other words if there is 3 trillion dollars in circulation, then interest on 3 trillion dollars is being paid on it to the banking establishment -- and that money didn't exist until the banks turned your promise to pay into currency. We are all debt slaves now. Watch the Democrats 'deficit spend' us into oblivion! This is the last rape of the baby boomers before they die -- most will die in debt and whatever they do still possess, 50% will be taken in death taxes. What a ride!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 2
    It would be nice, wise, fair and well-balanced for all to listen to the Great Thomas Jefferson better, wouldn't it? His vision was nice, wise, fair and well-balanced; can anyone deny?
     -- Elisabeth, Astoria, NY     
  • 3
    As of Dec 2007 there was $829 billion in circulation and the majority is in use abroad that is overseas. Amount has increased significantly in recent years because of the demand for it abroad. Archer was off by something over 70%. Come to think of it that still might be the most accurate thing Archer has ever said.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
  • 2 2
    I agree but how about speaking in plain English
     -- RBESRQ     
  • 1
    Waffler - I don't think you understand just how diametrically opposed Obama is to Jefferson. Jefferson vehemently opposed saddling our posterity with debt. Obama is determined to saddle debt onto several generations into the future. Jefferson was nothing like today's Democrats. Not even close. The only people today that fully support Jefferson are Conservatives and some Libertarians. It is on purpose that I left out Republicans as the party has become the Democrats of 20 years ago and the Democrats ceased being the party of Jefferson over 100 years ago.
     -- Abbey Normal, Kansas City, MO     
  • 4
    Was Thomas trying to say "Pay as you go" ?
     -- Bobble, No. Ferrisburgh, VT     
  • 1
    Our greatest president.
     -- cal, Lewisville , TX     
    Waffler has no conception of money. If there are only 829 billion dollars in circulation, how will a debt of 15 trillion ever be paid? There is only as much money in circulation as has been 'borrowed.' QE 1,2,3,4 'printed up' a couple trillion dollars just to buy all the toxic debts that the big banks had bundled together to prop up the stock market. Money includes not just paper bills, but check book money, debit cards, credit cards (which create money on-the-fly whenever you buy something and destroys money as soon as the bank is paid) -- most of the money/debt in circulation is in the form of bank balances, there would be no way to convert all the money to 'cash'. This is what Jefferson eludes to -- speculation using the nation's currency "sweeping away in its progress the fortunes and morals of our citizens" into the hands of the banking cartel. It happens over and over and over -- as long as the same system is put in place after every crash.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    " When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the Checks Provided of one government on another, and will become venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated. " Thomas Jefferson.
    The first party system, and its beginning. Classical Republicanism has been the mainstay of our nations Independence from birth. Those pesky federalist ( socialist ) right from the start, wanting centralized power and a " national government "
    " Elections and separation of power will not suffice ,If, the government could judge its own case regarding constitutionality." T. J. The " Principles of '98, what a great piece of work by Jefferson and Madison, Kentucky and Virgina Resolutions. The Right of the States to Nullify unconstitutional laws. Unconstitutional acts of Congress must be Check. The case for Constructive Fraud against Congress and the IRS. Which brings me to " Popular Sovereignty " Moral- Natural law, natural right, of moral responsibility to oneself. Self ownership. Lucius Junius Brutus and Collatinus would agree, Being the founders of the first Roman Republic. An oath to oppose the monarchy and there so-called divine right of rule ( centralizing power ). Physiocracy, from the Greek for, Government of Nature, embraced by our founding fathers instilling the source of true value, spiritual and physical wealth. The fist well developed theory of Honest Economics. Returns us to our Agrarian Wholesome roots, which should be guarded for posterity sake, at all cost. Truest Republicans, those little farmers, were called by Jefferson. Jeffersonian democracy in support of the Republican form of government in opposition against the Wafflers of the world !
     -- Ronw13, Logsden     
    We all know Jefferson is right and just.
     -- Elizabeth, Queens, NY     
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