Thomas Jefferson

“I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable. But the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too may devices for subdividing property, only taking care to let their subdivisions go hand in hand with the natural affections of the human mind…. another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise.”
-Thomas Jefferson 1785

"Be assured that it gives much more pain to the mind to be in debt, than to do without any article whatever which we may seem to want."
-Thomas Jefferson, 1787

“The accumulation of debts is a most fearful evil.”
-Thomas Jefferson, 1787


"Tho’ much an enemy to the system of borrowing, yet I feel strongly the necessity of preserving the power to borrow. Without this we might be overwhelmed by another nation merely by the forces of it’s credit."
-Thomas Jefferson, 1788


Jefferson’s scheme to acquire Native American lands:
“…and by being so essentially useful to the Indians we should of course become objects of affection to them. There is perhaps no method more irresistable of obtaining lands from them than by letting them get in debt, which when too heavy to be paid, they are always willing to lop off by a cession of lands”
-Thomas Jefferson, 1802

“The probable accumulation of the surplusses of revenue, beyond what can be applied to the paiment of the public debt, whenever the freedom & safety of our commerce shall be restored, merits the consideration of Congress. shall it lie unproductive in the public vaults? shall the revenue be reduced? or shall it not rather be appropriated to the improvements of roads, canals rivers, education, and other great foundations of prosperity & union, under the powers which Congress may already possess, or such amendment of the constitution as may be approved by the states?”
-Thomas Jefferson, 1808

“I, however, place economy among the first and most important of republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.”
-Thomas Jefferson, 1816 

“I consider a permanent public debt as a canker inevitably fatal.”
-Thomas Jefferson, 1816

“If there be anything amiss therefore in the present state of our affairs, as the formidable deficit lately unfolded to us indicates, I ascribe it to the inattention of Congress to it’s duties, to their unwise dissipation & waste of the public contributions. They seemed, some little while ago to be at a loss for objects whereon to throw away the supposed fathomless funds of the treasury.”
-Thomas Jefferson, 1820

“There does not exist an engine so corruptive of the government and so demoralising of the nation as a public debt.” 
-Thomas Jefferson, 1821

Jefferson’s personal debt:
“In a single unguarded moment of my life, I did what is likely to draw a cloud over all my remaining days.”
-Thomas Jefferson, 1822