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

Thomas Jefferson Quote

“[I]f we can but prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy.”

Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson
~ Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, November 29, 1802

Ratings and Comments

Steve Kennedy, Gulf Shores, AL

He has provided us with the lasting liberty we enjoy today.

Thom Pantazi, Jacksonville, Florida

The problem is Americans are too lazy to read what the founding fathers said so they miss out on seeing their wisdom. All of their "wisdom" is spoon fed to them through the television or the liberal education system.

Pastor HR Eldridge, Graysville, Ohio

This country is too biblically illiterate! Consider the words of Solomon in Proverbs 6:6-11; Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard ? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. AKJV 1611

John Kizer, Tempe, Az

The Democrat party of today is wasting our labor in a pretense of taking care of us -- especially minorities. The liberals are more dangerous to America than all the terrorists combined. Terrorist will steal our life if we ignore them -- liberals will steal the heart and soul of America if we ignore them.

Jim Gries, Brooksville, Fl.

What better quote to describe present day Social Security

Anonymous, Detroit MI

This is why the patriot act, the FCC and drug laws are such bullshit, we the people are able to take care of ourself without the government telling us what is right and wrong.

camrie, California

I completely agree. Our Founding Fathers never intended the government to get so financially involved in the pulic's welfare.

Dougmcr8, Springfield, VA

This is why I love the Founding Fathers. And agree with Pastor Eldridge. My own little saying is "There are no new lessons, only new generations to learn them."

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Why is it that the people who can take care of themselves the best wish to provide for their children and grandchildren a welfare handout (inheritance) so that their children will not have to take care of themselves at all. "Inheritance is welfare for your sweet and beautiful children and grandchildren you care about", "Welfare is a hand out to greedy poor and ugly children that you don't care about." Are not those who are living on their parents money the ones who are wasting their labor. Look around folks, and observe the number of billionaries and how it is increasing and the number of Philanthropic Foundations and how they are increasing and then look at Uncle Sam under Reagan, Bush the I, and Bush the Worst, and how the Fed debt has grown to 9 trillion. Get the connection. Wake up!

J Carlton, Calgary

If only we would listen. Not only are we over taxed...we are subject to illegal seizure...well it should be illegal. So much waste.

Mike, Norwalk

I've mentioned this before: there was a time in my young married life that I lost everything and didn't have enough where-with-all to feed my family (literally) and we didn't have as much as a car to sleep in. My children learned character from the experience as we would not take from the stolen booty (fica, income tax, etc.) that was available to us through the government. It is not within government's job description to feed, clothe, or house 'We The People'. 'We' have not delegated that ability to government, nor do we have the right to do so. It is the right and moral prerogative of the individual and, obligation of the many churches to take care of the poor, hungry, and naked. AND, for those atheists and socialists that have made government their ultimate church, government employees their clergy, and the gestalt thereof their moral expositor, they have gravely erred and lawfully giving-up that right to have their church take care of the poor.

  • Reply
Anon    1/1/08

Paula, Michigan

He's right on!

E Archer, NYC

It is dangerous to empower the government to take care of us -- it isn't long after that we come to expect it as a right. There is no freedom without responsibility. As far as inheritance goes, it is not welfare -- it is the sum total savings of a person's labor. To eliminate inheritance is one of the 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto. I think Waffler is the one that needs to wake up.

Judith, Corrales, NM

You all sound pretty far right to me. While finishing nursing school on grants and loans, I qualified for food stamps because my CPA ex-husband had a a better attorney and I did. I only needed them for six months, and had certainly paid it back in my taxes over the last 40 years. It was a life-saver to me. To call welfare children ugly and greedy is very cruel, and ignorant. If businesses would pay their employees a fair wage rather than pay CEO's annual salaries of millions then maybe people could survive on one job, or even two jobs. Maybe he is talking about the war that we are being taxed to perpetuate. We do not need this war, and it is doing nothing to protect our shores, as illegal immigrants flow continuously without government surveillance. The tax money for the war should be going to protect our shores, ports, and borders. The government is wasting our labors by spending our money carelessly. It does not hurt to help the poor. Studies have shown that people generally do not use welfare any longer than they need it and there are not many that are welfare generations. We must take care of ourselves but darn, I paid into social security because I was required to and I expect to get every cent back plus interest. So don't bash my lawfully earned social security. The stock market is a terrible place to invest for retirement, and inflation due to the Federal Reserve printing worthless pieces of paper will not get you any security for your old age. In fact the US currentcy will be extinguished and you will be spending Ameros before you know it. Your scope is very narrow, and to use religion to explain government is propheltizing.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

I agree with you Judith. I only used the terms "sweet and beautiful" and "greedy poor and ugly" to point out a glaring falaicy. The children of wealth don't have to work and they farewell thank you very much but is anyone complaining about them being lazy and on welfare, their parents and grandparents welfare but welfare just the same. Yet the same folks who defend may ignore those lazy people attack the poor who may need a little assistance. Not trying to start a class war because there are many responsible and thinking billionaires, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates for example. If you want to learn about responsible wealth go to Responsible and read about these people. I still submit that a nation of billionaries and billonarie foundations within a bankrupt nation ain't quite right and we have Reagan, and the Bushes to thank for it. Thank goodness even the Republicans running this year are talking like Democrats. We are finally out of the Bush leagues.

Mike, Norwalk

Judith, just because you have chosen to participate in a non-required, unlawful, and unconstitutional social security system that is a pyramid ponzi scheme where you will get out more than you put in and an immoral system of larceny colored over by the name of tax doesn't make it moral, lawful or right. There is a huge difference between 'natural law' or 'lawful' and legal. The, 'more', that you speak of, that you are going to get back was and will be stolen from the fruits of other noble laborers. To blame a bad husband, or his choice of an attorney, on your participation (past, present, and future) in an unlawful booty doesn't make it right or lawful. I received no loans, grants or family help to put me through college. I have a son, that I'm very close to, in college, married with children (his wife doesn't work) that has struggled and paid his entire way without a grant, loan, or otherwise subsidy from family or government. He learned at a young age to be responsible, respectful of others (including giving charitably of his time, labor, and funds), and what it takes to be lawfully free. You underestimated my scope, it is very very narrow. I will not participate in, condone, or otherwise justify theft or government's otherwise unconstitutionally or unlawfully gotten booty to finance my life style, education, or make life easier.

  • Reply
Anonymous    1/1/08

just stay off the government roads Mike, city, county, state, and federal and then we will grant you one vote of sincerity about your refusal to use government services to enhance your life style, oh yeah and also refuse Air Traffic Controller services.

Mike, Norwalk

Anonymous, thanks for another voice of ignorance. I'm not anti-tax. Actually, the roads are mine as much as they are anyone individual or group of individuals (not an alien government's) and, I gladly pay my road tax so the roads can be maintained, increased, and improved. When I fly a pay a tax specifically to pay the controllers, airline companies, the airport, etc. Constitutional taxes more than pay for all the government services I lawfully require, deserve, or want. AND for the religious fanatics proselytizing socialism, you can not lawfully grant me anything that the Constitution hasn't already recognized mine as a faculty of sovereign birth by guaranteeing a Republic, not a Democracy. Contrary to those of you educated in a government school and believed the minister's propaganda, 'one person one vote' in these states United means A. a Republic = the voted in servants find ways to best represent and protect the rights of the individual sovereign. B not a Democracy = the voted in master represents the state (the state declaring inherent right as the voice of the majority).

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

I am sorry I thought you were against taking the fruit of the noble laborer. Are not sales taxes and gas taxes from the fruit of the noble laborer just as much as income tax.

Judith, Corrales

Sorry, Mike, but to make your children sleep in a car because you are too proud to accept assistance that is available sounds like child neglect or abuse. Maybe you should have turned them over to the church to care for until you were able to find gainful employment to care for them yourself. To make your children suffer was not a good lesson for them. There are many lessons in life but they do not have to be taught in a cruel manner. Incidentally, as long as I have been gainfully employed, often in two jobs at once, sometimes to care for my children as many people do now and then, social security was a required deduction, not voluntary. I am not going to play the game with the federal government about whether my taxes are legal. The consequences are more than I want to pay as most people do not win, so my taxes have been paid in full every year. No games to avoid paying them. Listen, I do not get away with anything. Got pregnant the first time I had sex. I was eighteen and engaged at the time, but what a lesson in 1961 when it was not fashionable to be single and pregnant. WE all have our experiences of difficulty but to deny assistance and condemn a loan that I paid in full, and scholarships for studying hard and getting good grades is not a condemnable act.

Mike, Norwalk

Judith, thank you. Your thoughts and actions, though different than mine, can be explained and understood from a needful, fearful or maybe even from an intelligent perspective. It wasn't pride that guided my actions, it was an unwavering love of freedom and an innate need for honesty and I did receive some assistance from a church (of course those that believe the state is the actual owner of all minor children would call it neglect or abuse, my children, all old enough to know what was going on, thought of it as play and a new adventure). Anonymous on the other hand, gives new meaning to what a college professor once told me, "he doesn't know his asymptote from a hole in his X axis" ;-). Anonymous, the answer to your question is no. To pay for something I receive, like a postage stamp, is not the same as theft. As a slave, having to give 2 or 3 of every 5 day's labor, under duress, to a Democratic Oligarchy is not the same as paying for the roads I use or planes I fly in a Republic.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Mike would probably prefer to return to Colonial times when parents owned their children and had virtual right of life and death over them. Lets not get into the right or wrong of that but lets move on. Today your children are not yours, they belong to "God" or to themselves, you are just a care take, so take care. As far as taxes rant and rave all you want to but the national debt belongs to us and like all debts we have to pay it. Some of us like the debt because it pays us a nice rate of interest. Some of us who may be millionaires or billionaries get hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars of interest each year, Life is good real good and our children can pay off the debt later! So you are sticking it to your children again hey Mike? Why is receiving a handout from a church any better than receiving a handout from a car dealer, a large corporation, a national foundation, a state, or a nation. A handout is a handout. From the recipients point of view he is still getting a handout. Judith paid hers back. Did you pay the church back, Mike? As far as churches go some can be very conservative until it is time to pass the plate and then they ask every one to be very liberal.

warren, olathe

We all want to get back our social security bucks but somebody is going to be left holding the bag. It is not possible for a system to pay every one back with interest when it consumes 75% of the dollars colleted just for the administration costs. Let alone that any excess money taken in is automatically put towards the debt run up by other expenditures by the government. It will not be long before it will not be possible for the working people to earn enough to pay for the people receiving entitlements. SS is the best example of what Thomas was talking about. Unless it can be totally privatized and we are weaned off of the government dole the system will ultimately collapse.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, I agree that I willingly entered into a stewardship of raising children. Further, I could not pay the church back, it was a gift. What I received came joyfully and willingly from non-forced charitable givers. I did however, within a short time, give far more of a monetary nature to the church than I received (that was given freely, unsolicited, and from my heart). As for a difference of where funds or property comes from, hmmm really weak. If you willingly receive stolen property, you become an accomplice to the crime and go to jail. Though I wouldn't go to jail for receiving stolen money from an alien government (not of 'We The People' but, one that derives some of its booty from 2 to 3 days out of 5 forced labor) the moral implication and honest act is the same. I refuse to be the recipient of ill gotten gain.

watchman 13, USA

It does take a strong constitution to take a ( stand ) for your independence. Knowing if you are right or wrong is the question. Most people do not know of the forced compliance that took place in 1937 and the tens of thousands put in jail to further this machine called socialism. My parents came from horse and buggy days, oil lamps and wood burning stoves. You got your water from a well. An orchard on one side the smoke house out back. Food crops were the most important, then a small cash crop. Husbandry, barrowing dulls the tip.
This will be a year of summary for all independents who hold this position in truth. It has been my observation as an independent growing up in this land which was once ours to observe first hand the best of behavior and the worst from individuals and the government. My forefathers were rugged individualist wanting to build a home ( farm ) for themselves and there families, and they did ! Now we must labor in which ever field one can find. Gods grace ( unmerited favor ) goes hand in hand with our God given rights under natural law. Carve out for yourself a place for you and yours, with respect for your neighbor. Middle men seem to always come between you and your pay. Wanting something for nothing like those on the hill. This is still a nation under grace, and God is able to make all grace abound toward you. Taking a stand , and not to compromise on you position, you will see the favor granted by the God of nature. There is great responsibility of testimony under these conditions. 14 is the number of hope and I pray as we enter into this year 2014 many things will be reveled to instill hope to the believer of liberty and freedom.
There is nothing hid that shall not be reveled. As far as forced compliance goes, They show their true intent and agenda of enslavement of the people. So more knowledge must come out from behind closed doors. Stand fast and be of good courage all those that believe in the God of nature and his ability to meet our needs by his grace. Keep the faith !

George Hollister, Comptche

I can not find this quote from TJ anywhere. What is the source?

Editor, Liberty Quotes

Thank you, George. The quote's source and exact words have been updated. Cheers.


Get a Quote-a-Day!

Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box daily.