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Goodbye Jesus

James Madison


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"A popular government without popular information

or the means of acquiring it

is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both.

Knowledge will forever govern ignorance:

And a people who mean to be their own Governors,

must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

-- James Madison

(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President

Source: letter to W. T. Barry, August 4, 1822, Ref: Letters and other Writings of James Madison, vol. 3





"If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare,

and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare,

they may take the care of religion into their own hands;

they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish

and pay them out of their public treasury;

they may take into their own hands the education of children,

establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union;

they may assume the provision of the poor;

they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads;

in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation

down to the most minute object of police,

would be thrown under the power of Congress.... Were the power

of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for,

it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature

of the limited Government established by the people of America."

-- James Madison

(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President

Source: referring to a bill to subsidize cod fisherman introduced in the first year of the new Congress




"There is not a more important and fundamental principle in legislation, than that the ways and means ought always to face the public engagements; that our appropriations should ever go hand in hand with our promises. To say that the United States should be answerable for twenty-five millions of dollars without knowing whether the ways and means can be provided, and without knowing whether those who are to succeed us will think with us on the subject, would be rash and unjustifiable. Sir, in my opinion, it would be hazarding the public faith in a manner contrary to every idea of prudence."

-- James Madison

(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President

Source: Speech in Congress, 22 April 1790


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