Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson, (1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President

Thomas Jefferson Quote

“Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.”

Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson
~ Thomas Jefferson

Ratings and Comments

me again, Your Town,USA

This is true.We sure could use a few Thomas Jeffersons in our government today.

Joe, Rochester, MI

It makes me sad to see how corrupt our government is.

Michael, Houston, TX

Surely Jefferson is not implying that we are responsible for our own welfare is he? How unAmerican is that ? (Reston, wherever you are--heads up! If we use Jefferson--and I know you liberals love to use his one out of context statement in a letter on Church/State as Constitutional law--how about this one--a real comment on the real Constitution?)

David L Rosenthal

Is this not a bit self-evident? ;-)

Bob, Eugene, OR

Thomas Jefferson, -the last sensible Democrat!

E Archer, NYC

Who needs to remember this more -- Congress or the People? BTW, Jefferson was a member of the Democratic-Republican party. (And he despised political parties in general.)

Ken, Allyn, WA

I couldn't disagree more. Congress is all-powerful to pass legislation on anything they say is the general welfare. That is because they have usurped that power from the people and act outside the Constitutional limits. It's not right, but it is so.

anonomous, Ok

It is time "we the people", let the slimey politicians know why, "we the people" were given the second amendment to the constitution!

Mike Thamarus, Fairfield, PA

I think it is sad that most of "we the people" do not understand that the general welfare is limited by the specific powers granted to the Federal Government and the 10th Amendment. The government is no longer "Federal" but "National"

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Publius    12/29/10

Archer...Today's Democratic Party claims to trace their origins to Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party. It is said to be the same party after a name change. But you are correct, Jefferson was a conservative that once said that bad government comes from too much government, which is far from the belief of today's Democrats. I don't believe Jefferson despised political parties (Washington sure did). TJ once said that it was natural for society and government to be split into two parties, one attempting to limit the power of the government while to other attempts to expand it. Also, the first two political parties in America originated from the contest between Jefferson and Hamiliton.

Mike, Norwalk

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." (James Madison) Another quote by Jefferson clarifying what the 'General Welfare' is. "To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, 'to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare. For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please, but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union."

J Allen, Arlington, Va

Unfortunately the liberal judges feel they are allowed to ignore the intent and reinterpret as they see fit. In effect rewriting the constitution from the bench without a constitutional amendment nor a vote of the people.

jim k, Austin,Tx

From one of the smartest men who ever lived.

J Carlton, Calgary

It may have started with Hamilton and his Bank of the United States, (the original Fed) when he bastardized the Commerce Clause to mean whatever he damned well pleased for the profit of himself and his rich friends...things haven't changed much since then. Abolish the Fed.

jimmy joe, Wichita,Kansas

There Are But These Rights."the right to life,liberty,and the pursuit of happiness"All others must learn to catch up.(Ben Franklin)Jimmy Joe"The Liarfryer",Wichita Kansas

Carol, Georgia

One of our Republican House members has initiated a way to stop or curtail the flagrant spending by an irresponsible congress, (over and above being returned as a majority by the People), that any bill to be put before congress for a vote must pass muster by being proven Constitutional. It may be Michelle Bachmann, but I'm not sure. Whoever it is, has found a way to put on the brakes, because we have RINO's to contend with even though there will be a Republican majority in the House.

GunnyCee, Durham

This is just another case of the philosophy of liberalism where A is not A, it can be anything they want it to be. They somehow read into the Constittution that we must be a welfare (socialist) State, when it was obviously not the intent as proved by T. Jefferson's statement.

cal, Lewisville, Texas

Now all those on these unconstitutional federal welfare programs feels entitled.

Patrick Henry, Red Hill

The ultimate constraint on the aggrandizement of the power of the ravening State is the Virtue informed self government of the Sovereign Individual.

TonyL, Silver Spring, Md

The term general welfare is the term most abused by those wishing to grow government power.


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