“Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.” –Thomas Jefferson

“All socialism involves slavery…. That which fundamentally distinguishes the slave is that he labors under coercion to satisfy another’s desires. The relation admits of many gradations. Oppressive taxation is a form of slavery of the individual to the community as a whole. The essential question is — How much is he compelled to labor for other benefit than his own, and how much can he labor for his own benefit?” –Herbert Spencer

“[O]ne kind of economic distortion … will come from the political directives issued by newly empowered politicians. First, bank presidents are gravely warned by one senator after another about ‘hoarding’ their bailout money. But hoarding is another word for recapitalizing to shore up your balance sheet to ensure solvency. Is that not the fiduciary responsibility of bank directors? And isn’t pushing money out the window with too little capital precisely the lending laxity that produced this crisis in the first place? Never mind. The banks will knuckle under to the commissars of Capitol Hill. They control the purse. Prudence will yield to politics. Even more egregious will be the directives to a nationalized Detroit. Sen. Charles Schumer, the noted automotive engineer, declared ‘unacceptable’ last week ‘a business model based on gas.’ Instead, ‘We need a business model based on cars of the future, and we already know what that future is: the plug-in hybrid electric car.’ The Chevy Volt, for example? It has huge remaining technological hurdles, gets 40 miles on a charge and will sell for about $40,000, necessitating a $7,500 outright government subsidy. Who but the rich and politically correct will choose that over a $12,000 gas-powered Hyundai? The new Detroit churning out Schumer-mobiles will make the steel mills of the Soviet Union look the model of efficiency. The ruling Democrats have a choice: Rescue this economy to return it to market control. Or use this crisis to seize the commanding heights of the economy for the greater social good. Note: The latter has already been tried. The results are filed under ‘History, ash heap of.’ ” –columnist Charles Krauthammer

“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever.” –Thomas Jefferson

“You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream–the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order — or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, ‘The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.’ ” –Ronald Reagan

“Writing at Slate, a Catholic, Melinda Hennenberger (who apparently voted for Obama), worries about the President-elect’s strong pro-abortion views — suddenly realizing that if he was serious about his promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act, it might well mean either that staff at Catholic hospitals are forced to perform abortions against their will or (in her view, the more likely scenario) Catholic hospitals across the country will simply close their doors. Well, yes. Could it be that pro-life Obama supporters are suddenly realizing that pro-lifers — including Archbishop Charles Chaput and other prominent Catholic clergy — weren’t kidding when they called Barack Obama the most extreme pro-abortion politician ever in mainstream American politics? She ends her piece like this: ‘At the very moment when Obama and his party have won the trust of so many Catholics who favor at least some limits on abortion, I hope he does not prove them wrong. I hope he does not make a fool out of that nice Doug Kmiec, who led the pro-life charge on his behalf. I hope he does not spit on the rest of us — though I don’t take him for the spitting sort — on his way in the door. I hope that his appointment of Ellen Moran, formerly of EMILY’s List, as his communications director is followed by the appointment of some equally good Democrats who hold pro-life views.’ It’s not clear what in the substance of President-elect Obama’s voting record makes such hopes at all reasonable. And somehow, I doubt this was the kind of ‘hope’ Obama supporters had in mind when they voted for him.” –Carol Platt Liebau