“It is too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object to be pursued.” – James Madison

“Before government hijacked charity in the form of the New Deal and Great Society, compassion and charity began at home. People were to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit prisoners, care for widows and orphans and love their enemies. Those were biblical commands to individuals, not government. Democratic politicians see things differently. Apparently believing there aren’t enough caring people, they want compassion to originate in Washington, depriving it of its true meaning. They define compassion as big and ever-growing government and a guaranteed check forever with no expectation- or requirement- the recipient will ever better his or her circumstances. Traditionally, Republican compassion has encouraged private charity with government picking up the leftovers of what religious and other charitable institutions were unable to do. President Bush, through his ‘faith-based initiative,’ took this one step further by subsidizing religious groups with federal money. This removes the responsibility and privilege from individuals and turns it over to government. When that happens, religious organizations become one more constituency in the never-ending campaign for political support. Once, evangelicals ‘prayed it in’ when they needed money. Now too many of them ask government to ‘send it in’.” – Cal Thomas

“If you establish a democracy, you must in due time reap the fruits of a democracy. You will in due season have great impatience of the public burdens, combined in due season with great increase of the public expenditure. You will in due season have wars entered into from passion and not from reason; and you will in due season submit to peace ignominiously sought and ignominiously obtained, which will diminish your authority and perhaps endanger your independence. You will in due season find your property is less valuable, and your freedom less complete.” – Benjamin Disraeli

“Meanwhile, Oprah seems to be doing somewhat better with the directives she issues to her followers- maybe because, while the church offers only eternal life, Oprah frequently hands out rewards right here on earth. Selected audience members have received college scholarships, houses and brand-new cars. The religion of Oprahism tells people what to eat (healthy food) what to wear (special ‘O bracelets’), how much to sleep (getting enough rest purportedly leads to ‘Intelligence. A better figure. Sex,’ according to O magazine) and even which candidate to vote for (Sen. Barack Obama, naturally). We’re living in a new era. When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn’t believe in nothing. He believes in anything, G. K. Chesterton said. These days, it’s certainly true that many Americans don’t believe in God. Many seem to, however, believe in anything… anything that Oprah tells them to believe in.” – Rich Tucker

“Wouldn’t it be better for the human spirit and for the soul of this Nation to encourage people to accept more responsibility to care for one another, rather than leaving those tasks to paid bureaucrats?” – Ronald Reagan

“Was there any part of the globe, from the Caribbean to the Middle East, from Haiti to North Korea to the Balkans, where Jimmy Carter didn’t cozy up to dictators? Wherever he goes, tyrants smile. The long, dispiriting trail of former President Carter’s overseas travels has been marked by one diplomatic disaster after another. As for Jimmy Carter’s role as a monitor of free-and-fair elections, the low point must have come when he gave his blessings to Robert Mugabe’s takeover in Zimbabwe. Naturally, utter disaster followed. It hasn’t ceased there since. And now Mr. Carter is at it again, [paying] court to just about the bloodiest terrorist leader in the Middle East, which is no mean distinction in those violent parts. He [lent] his ex-presidential presence to terrorist chieftain Khaled Meshaal, who as head of Hamas hides out in Damascus under Syrian aegis. (Let others die for the cause in Gaza; its leader is quite comfortable, thank you.) The only proper greeting for someone like Mr. Meshaal would be, ‘You’re under arrest.’ Instead, saw Jimmy Carter pay his usual homage to those who champion violence. He calls this peace-seeking. Which raises the question, if this is promoting peace, what would encouraging violence be?” – Paul Greenberg

“The life of an ex-president is tough. Since leaving the White House the Clintons, mostly meaning Bill, have earned $109 million. And it’s hard out there for liberal multi-millionaires… All good and moral people know that taxes are way too low. So the Clintons are forced- practically at gunpoint- to keep far too much of their own money. Sen. Clinton explained apologetically: ‘We didn’t ask for George Bush’s tax cuts. We didn’t want them, and we didn’t need them.’ What’s a confirmed redistributionist to do? Repealing Bush’s tax cuts should be a no-brainer, but a lot of greedy, selfish Republicans stand in the way. They’ve misled many otherwise decent Americans to believe people have a greater right to their own earnings than do bureaucrats and politicians. What that means is that even if a President Hillary Clinton wins the opportunity to make everyone increase their contribution to the collective, she and her husband won’t be paying enough this year… The Clintons can set an example by giving back to the community a little more of that $109 million they’ve collected. We could call this initiative the Voluntary Clinton Surtax (VCS). Who should pay this surtax? Ideally, everybody. But those who (a) opposed the Bush tax cuts; or (b) claim Americans are under-taxed; or (c) complain about ‘tax cuts for the rich’; or (d) pine for new spending programs; or (e) or say tax cuts are selfish should lead the way. In fact, a good rule of thumb would be: the more categories that apply to you, the higher your VCS. You’ve always wanted to put your money where your mouth is. Now you can!” – Doug Bandow