„If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions.“

Letter to http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu/founders/default.xqy?keys=JSMN-print-01-14-02-0174&mode=deref w:Edmund Pendleton (21 January 1792)
1790s
Context: If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions. It is to be remarked that the phrase out of which this doctrine is elaborated, is copied from the old articles of Confederation, where it was always understood as nothing more than a general caption to the specified powers, and it is a fact that it was preferred in the new instrument for that very reason as less liable than any other to misconstruction.

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update June 3, 2021. History
James Madison photo
James Madison145
4th president of the United States (1809 to 1817) 1751 - 1836

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„This government is acknowledged by all to be one of enumerated powers. The principle, that it can exercise only the powers granted to it,“

—  John Marshall fourth Chief Justice of the United States 1755 - 1835

17 U.S. (4 Wheaton) 316, 405
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
Context: This government is acknowledged by all to be one of enumerated powers. The principle, that it can exercise only the powers granted to it, would seem too apparent to have required to be enforced by all those arguments which it enlightened friends, while it was depending before the people, found it necessary to urge. That principle is now universally admitted. But the question respecting the extent of the powers actually granted, is perpetually arising, and will probably continue to arise, as long as our system shall exist.

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„If Congress can apply money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may establish teachers in every State, county, and parish, and pay them out of the public Treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union“

—  James Madison 4th president of the United States (1809 to 1817) 1751 - 1836

Remarks on the House floor, in debates on Cod Fishery bill (February 1792) http://books.google.com/books?id=DmkFAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA363&dq=%22they+may+take+into+their+own+hands+the+education%22&hl=en&ei=3lGmTpvpEcOftweb7YQg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22they%20may%20take%20into%20their%20own%20hands%20the%20education%22&f=false
1790s
Context: If Congress can apply money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may establish teachers in every State, county, and parish, and pay them out of the public Treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post roads. In short, every thing, from the highest object of State legislation, down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress; for every object I have mentioned would admit the application of money, and might be called, if Congress pleased, provisions for the general welfare.

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„In opposition, there's not much one can do. One doesn't have the carrot and one doesn't have the stick. One can't promote and one can't fire. And persuasion has its limits.“

—  John Turner 17th Prime Minister of Canada 1929

Explaining why he did not punish objectors to his Liberal Party leadership, published in the Toronto Star, June 19, 1990.

James Madison photo

„In short, every thing, from the highest object of State legislation, down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress; for every object I have mentioned would admit the application of money, and might be called, if Congress pleased, provisions for the general welfare.“

—  James Madison 4th president of the United States (1809 to 1817) 1751 - 1836

Remarks on the House floor, in debates on Cod Fishery bill (February 1792) http://books.google.com/books?id=DmkFAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA363&dq=%22they+may+take+into+their+own+hands+the+education%22&hl=en&ei=3lGmTpvpEcOftweb7YQg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22they%20may%20take%20into%20their%20own%20hands%20the%20education%22&f=false
1790s
Context: If Congress can apply money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may establish teachers in every State, county, and parish, and pay them out of the public Treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post roads. In short, every thing, from the highest object of State legislation, down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress; for every object I have mentioned would admit the application of money, and might be called, if Congress pleased, provisions for the general welfare.

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„There is something to be said for losing one’s possessions, after nothing can be done about it.“

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Source: My Several Worlds (1954), p. 218
Context: There is something to be said for losing one’s possessions, after nothing can be done about it. I had loved my Nanking home and the little treasures it had contained, the lovely garden I had made, my life with friends and students. Well, that was over. I had nothing at all now except the old clothes I stood in. I should have felt sad, and I was quite shocked to realize that I did not feel sad at all. On the contrary, I had a lively sense of adventure merely at being alive and free, even of possessions. No one expected anything of me. I had no obligations, no duties, no tasks. I was nothing but a refugee, someone totally different from the busy young woman I had been. I did not even care that the manuscript of my novel was lost. Since everything else was gone, why not that?

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„The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves - in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere.“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865

Fragment on Government http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/lincoln2/1:261?rgn=div1;view=fulltext (1 July 1854?) in "The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln", ed. Roy P. Basler, Vol. 2, pp. 220-221
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Context: The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves - in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere. The desirable things which the individuals of a people can not do, or can not well do, for themselves, fall into two classes: those which have relation to wrongs, and those which have not. Each of these branch off into an infinite variety of subdivisions. The first - that in relation to wrongs - embraces all crimes, misdemeanors, and nonperformance of contracts. The other embraces all which, in its nature, and without wrong, requires combined action, as public roads and highways, public schools, charities, pauperism, orphanage, estates of the deceased, and the machinery of government itself. From this it appears that if all men were just, there still would be some, though not so much, need for government.

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—  Phillip Guston American artist 1913 - 1980

1961 - 1980
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„Whatever can be done another day can be done today.“

—  Michel De Montaigne, book Essays

Book I, Ch. 20
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