Debts Quotes

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Quote Author Cited
After the unremitted efforts of our enemies, we are stronger than before. Nor can the wicked emissaries who so assiduously labor to promote their cause, point out any one reason to suppose that we shall not receive daily accessions of strength. They tell you, it is true, that your money is of no value, and your debts so enormous they can never be paid …. It becomes you deeply to reflect on this subject. Is there a country on earth which hath such resources for the payment of her debts as America? such an extensive territory? so fertile, so blessed in its climate and productions? Surely there is none. Neither is there any to which the wise Europeans will sooner confide their property. What, then, are the reasons that your money hath depreciated? Because no taxes have been imposed to carry on the war: because your commerce hath been interrupted by your enemy's fleets: because their armies have ravaged and desolated a part of your country: because their agents have villainously counterfeited your bills: because extortioners among you, inflamed with the lust of gain, have added to the price of every article of life; and because weak men have been artfully led to believe that it is of no value. Continental Congress
If the House does not reform itself, it will be reformed from outside with a vengeance. Thomas Cochrane
China, Japan, and Asia in general have been happy to hold U.S. debt instruments in recent decades, but they will not prop up our spending habits forever…. The greatest threat facing America today is not terrorism, or foreign economic competition, or illegal immigration. The greatest threat facing America today is the disastrous fiscal policies of our own government, marked by shameless deficit spending and Federal Reserve currency devaluation. Ronald E. Paul
People in Washington do things that they shouldn’t do because they owe somebody. Art Buchwald
Your future should be determined by your dreams, not weighed down with debt. Nancy Pelosi
Mr. Chairman, we have in this Country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks… The Fed has cheated the Government of these United States and the people of the United States out of enough money to pay the Nation's debt. The depredations and iniquities of the Fed has cost enough money to pay the National debt several times over. This evil institution has impoverished and ruined the people of these United States, has bankrupted itself, and has practically bankrupted our Government. Louis Thomas McFadden
There are four things every person has more of than they know: sins, debt, years, and enemies. Persian Proverb
The United States is a bankrupt nation. It owes the world 14 trillion dollars, and it is truly able to finance itself and the war and the supply of arms to Israel, through the money that is lent to the United States by rich countries, some of which are Muslim countries. And if you stop using the U.S. dollar... Even if you want to sell oil, you can continue to sell oil, but insist on being paid in euros, or yen, or whatever... If you do that, then the U.S. dollar will not be half the value that it has today, and if it doesn't have the value that it has today, it cannot spend money producing arms Mohamad Mahathir
The average standard of living of the average American is going to go down. That is the only way we can cope with our debt and trade deficit problems. Jeff Faux
He who has four and spends five, has no need of a purse. Portuguese Proverb
No nation can miss interest or principle payments without some negative impact on its credit standing. Roger Altman
No government under heaven could have prevented a people from ruin ... when they were exhausting their valuable resources in paying for superfluities, and running themselves in debt to foreigners, and to each other for articles of folly and dissipation. Benjamin Austin
In the 19th century, the chains [of slavery] were metal. Today, the chains are debt—the worker has to repay his transportation, his tools, his food. Carlos Eduardo Barroso
The farmer may often have suffered from excessive interest and grasping creditors; but it was no less frequently the avarice of the lender that got him into trouble than the fact that he was too sanguine and too prone to believe that he could safely go into debt, on the assumption that crops and prices in the future would equal those in the present. Arthur Bentley
The answer to too much debt is not more debt; it is less debt. William W. Bradley
The problems of the Third World—its poverty, its ignorance, its debt—never really seemed to affect Europeans and Americans. No longer. It's a little warmer than it used to be. The water is rising. Henry R. Breck
You don't pay back your parents. You can't. The debt you owe them gets collected by your children, who hand it down in turn. It's a sort of entailment. Or if you don't have children of the body, it's left as a debt to your common humanity. Lois McMaster Bujold
There are but two ways of paying debt—increase of industry in raising income. increase of thrift in laying out. Thomas Carlyle
The best way for the Government to maintain its credit is to pay as it goes—not by resorting to loans, but by keeping out of debt. Grover Cleveland
Borrowed money, even when owing to a nation by another nation, should be repaid. They hired the money, didn't they? Let them pay it. Calvin Coolidge
The British Government Montagu Corry
Debt is a prolific mother of folly and of crime. Benjamin Disraeli
People who wouldn’t think of raising taxes think there’s nothing wrong with mortgaging the future of their state Alan Ehrenhalt
You just don't see people running through the streets to have the deficit cut. Kathryn Eickhoff
We don’t have to send in troops; we can just call in loans. Juan Gonzales
If someone owed you a large amount of money, you probably would make quite a few attempts to get it back. Not the federal government. J. Peter Grace
Many people secretly wish that every state be completely independent and that as soon as our public debts are liquidated that Congress shall be no more. Nathanael Greene
The nations which have put mankind and posterity in their debt have been small States—Israel, Athens, Florence, Elizabethan England. William Ralph Inge
To promote this disposition to exchange lands which they [the Indians] have to spare and we want, for necessaries which we have to spare and they want, we shall push our trading houses, and be glad to see the good and influential individuals among them in debt; because we observe that when these debts get beyond what the individuals can pay, they become willing to lop them off by a cession of lands. Thomas Jefferson
Debt and revolution are inseparable as cause and effect. Thomas Jefferson
It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which, if acted on, would save one half the wars of the world. Thomas Jefferson
Nineteen years is the term beyond which neither the representatives of a nation nor even the whole nation itself assembled can validly extend a debt ... one generation is to another as one independent nation to another. Thomas Jefferson
The maxim of buying nothing without the money in our pocket to pay for it, would make our country one of the happiest upon earth. Thomas Jefferson
A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to invade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it. James Madison
There are no uncontrollable outlays except for debt interest. Outlays are what they are due to legislation. Paul W. McCracken
A nation is not in danger of financial disaster merely because it owes itself money. Andrew Mellon
Third World nations will recognize [their] debts only so long as they're able to get them rescheduled and have money lent to them. Richard Lamm
Third world kids are dying today to pay off the debt. James Madison Leach
With inflation, debts and bills fly to the sky Chinese Proverb
The Medium of Exchange, the only thing which gives life to Business, Employs the Poor, Feeds the Hungry, and Cloaths the Naked, is so Exhausted; that in a little time we shall not have wherewith to Buy our Daily Bread, much less to pay our Debts or Taxes John Colman
In many of our Plantations of late Years, by bad Management and Extravagancies, the Majority of the People are become Debtors, hence their Elected Representation in the Legislature have a great Chance to be generally of the Debtors Side: or in other Words, the Representatives being generally Freeholders, and many of them much in Debt; by large Emissions their Lands rise in Denomination Value while their Debts become really less, and the Creditor is defrauded in Part of his Debt. William Douglass
I think proper to take notice, that a Nation must look upon a foreign Debt, as part of its All; which, tough negative, acts positively on that Nation, and, according to the Rules of this system, as long as both the Confidence and Fear of Strangers keep them in a balance. But when those two Passions fly from their Equilibrium, the Debt acts beyond the Rules, in proportion to the Distance of that Equilibrium, and to the Largeness of the Debt. Thus is an indebted Nation not only obliged to keep those strange Creditors out of its own Labor, but also its Coin and Bullion are ever subject to their Passions and Occasions; they having it in their power, at will, irregularly to turn the Balance. Isaac Gervaise
A thousand emigrants per day still leaving from our Irish ports, most of them with money. The runaway farmers have learned the trick of thrashing out their corn by night, leaving the straw neatly cocked, selling off stock and furniture and bolting, with heavy arrears due to the ruined landlords. Elizabeth Grant
On Saturday - that was St. Valentine's Day-they burnt the Jews on a wooden platform in their cemetery. There were about two thousand people of them. Those who wanted to baptize themselves were spared. Some say that about a thousand accepted baptism. Many small children were taken out of the fire and baptized against the will of their fathers and mothers. And everything that was owed to the Jews was cancelled, and the Jews had to surrender all pledges and notes that they had taken for debts. The council, however, took the cash that the Jews possessed and divided it among the working-men proportionately. The money was indeed the thing that killed the Jews. If they had been poor and if the feudal lords had not been in debt to them, they would not have been burnt Jacob von Konigshofen
We have trouble, my friends, in the country, because we have too much money owing, the greatest indebtedness that has every been given to civilization … Two hundred and seventy-two thousand millions of dollars of debts are owed by the various people of this country today. Why, my friends, that cannot be paid. It is not possible for that kind of debt to be paid. Huey P. Long
The Federal Government’s assumption of the various State debts from the Revolutionary War has caused a buying frenzy and unscrupulous speculators are still exploring interior & distant parts of the Union in order to take advantage of the holders. James Madison
A public debt is a public curse and in a representative government greater than any other. James Madison
When all things are considered, it will be found best for the Nation to leave the Borrowers and the Lender to make their own Bargains, according to the Circumstances they lie under Dudley North
No one has developed a magic formula for how to make countries grow, though economic researchers have identified a number of poisons. Corruption, overweening government intervention, and mountains of debt are contraindicated for countries attempting to develop. Kenneth Rogoff
Those who say we can continue to indefinitely borrow from our children and grandchildren and generations to come in fact are eroding our ability to do what we ought to do in education, in health care and in other things. Paul Simon
The immeasurable bounty of life for themselves [the POWs] and their posterity in a free society services the debt. Vaughn R. Walker
A provision for the sale of the vacant lands of the United States is particularly urged, among other reasons, by the important considerations that they are pledged as a fund for reimbursing the public debt; that if timely and judiciously applied they may save the necessity of burdening our citizens with new taxes for the extinguishment of the principal; and that being free to discharge the principal but in a limited proportion, no opportunity ought to be lost for availing the public of its right. George Washington
No pecuniary consideration is more urgent than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt. On none can delay be more injurious or an economy of time more valuable George Washington
How many more infants must die every day in Africa because resources are being swallowed up in debt repayment. John Paul II; Giovanni Battista Montini
We can’t afford the promises we have already made much less pile more on top of them. David Walker
Tonight I come before you to announce that the Federal Deficit will be simply zero. Bill Clinton
The biggest enemy of the United States is not some terrorist hiding in a cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan but our own fiscal irresponsibility David Walker
We sell our sovereignty down the river when we become a debtor nation. Benjamin R. Barber
Imprisonment for debt is a meaner practice than the savage tolerates with all his ferocity. Joseph Smith, Jr.
There is something wrong when we had more bankruptcies last year than college graduates. Hillary Clinton
We were instrumental in creating the United Nations and the World Bank, and now we threaten their health. Robert E. Rubin
The second evil arising from the practice of banking, has its origin, in the system of credit itself; and the shock which, as it is rounded on prevailing opinion, it is liable to receive from whatever shakes public confidence. John Rae
One proposes raising the value of specie when the King's debts are large, and lowering it when his revenues were to come in, that so he might both pay much with a little, and in a little receive a great deal: another proposes a pretence of a war, that money might be raised in order to carry it on, and that a peace be concluded as soon as that was done; and this with such appearances of religion as might work on the people, and make them impute it to the piety of their prince, and to his tenderness for the lives of his subjects. Thomas More
It’s going to put people into indentured servitude to the credit card companies. Ted Kennedy
Hard times are with us; the country is distracted; very few things are marketable at a price above the cost of production; tens of thousands are out of employment; the jails, penitentiaries, workhouses and insane asylums are full; the gold reserve at Washington is sinking; the government is running … with a deficit in every department; a huge debt hangs like an appalling cloud over the country; … hungered and half-starved men are banding into armies marching toward Washington; the cry of distress is heard on every hand; business is paralyzed; commerce is at a standstill; riots and strikes prevail throughout the land; and Wall Street looks in vain for an excuse to account for the failure of prosperity to return since the repeal of the silver purchase act. . William Hope Coin Harvey
Debt is more of a problem for Blacks than racism. Being in debt is being in slavery. DeForest Soaries
We cannot deal with the debt. The Democrats are not going to allow reductions in entitlements like Social Security. The Republicans will not allow one dime of additional taxes. We have a deadlock of democracy. Pat Buchanan
If a national debt in considered a national blessing, then we can get on by borrowing. But as I believe it is a natural curse, my vow shall be to pay the national debt, to prevent a moneyed aristocracy from growing up around our administration that must bend to its views, and ultimately destroy the liberty of our country. Andrew Jackson
I should be sorry if on this occasion the House should decide that speculations in the funds are violations of either the moral or political law. A government hardly exists in which such speculation is disallowed. Elias Cornelius Boudinot
Since this report has been read in the House, a spirit of havoc, speculation and ruin, has arisen by people who had access to the information… Three vessels Sir have sailed within a fortnight freighted for speculation; they are intended to purchase up the State and other securities in the hands of the uninformed but honest citizens of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. My soul rises indignant at the avaricious and immoral turpitude which so vile a conduct displays. James Jackson
Wars have been fought with borrowed money ever since Rome instituted the practice of forcing its richer citizens to loan the state money to help fund the conflict with Carthage in the third century BC. John Steele Gordon
In the 1860s we used the national debt to save the Union. In the 1930s we used it to save the American economy. In the 1940s we used it to save the world. John Steele Gordon
Free from public debt … at peace with all the world Andrew Jackson
If we are now to pay these debts to the English, for what were we fighting? Patrick Henry
The era of deficit denial is over Erskine Bowles
Almost half of the bankruptcies in the United States are connected to an illness in the family, whether people had health insurance or not. Middle-class Americans, who had the misfortune of either experiencing a medical emergency themselves or watching a family member suffer, were then forced to face the daunting task of pulling themselves out of debt. Bankruptcy law has allowed them to start over. It has given hope Dennis Kucinich
Gad, sir, Lord Beaverbrook is right! A conference should be held at once for the U. S. A. to pay back the money Europe owes her. David Alexander Cecil Low
The laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. Thomas Jefferson
The plutocracy has invented countless makeshift programs, such as generating enormous public debt that plutocrats know they will never be able to repay, levies on capital, taxes which exhaust the incomes of those who do not speculate, sumtuary laws which have historically proven useless, and other similar measures. The principal goal of each of these measures is to deceive the multitudes. Vilfredo Pareto
We have to make debt evil. Douglas Holtz-Eakin
Since the day that we first trod the soil of these valleys, have we received any assistance from our neighbors? No, we have not. We have built our homes, our cities, have made our farms, have dug our canals and water ditches, have subdued this barren country, have fed the stranger, have clothed the naked, have immigrated the poor from foreign lands, have placed them in a condition to make all comfortable and have made some rich. We have fed the Indians to the amount of thousands of dollars yearly, have clothed them in part, and have sustained several Indian wars, and now we have built thirty-seven miles of railroad. All this having been done, are our cities, our counties and the Territory in debt? No, not the first dollar. Brigham Young
Experience shows that high and unstable inflation can harm growth. A noninflationary macroeconomic policy is, therefore, a prerequisite for rapid development. Control of government borrowing is the crucial element in such a policy. When public borrowing is excessive, governments are soon obliged to finance it by printing money, and rising inflation then follows. Clive Crook
[It has become] … a principal ground whereon was reared up that Speculating phalanx. Thomas Jefferson
it would be nice to have low taxes, but we have to pay our bills in this country. David Stockman
I could end the deficit in 5 minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election Warren Buffett
…the plebeians and the Senate of Rome were often at strife with each other concerning the enactment of laws, the canceling of debts, the division of lands, or the election of magistrates. Appian
Debt has become a part of who we are… Normal is broke in America. Dave Ramsey
There was a time (not so long ago historically) when people were put in jail for owing money. Now we not only don’t punish them, but we make it easier and easier for them to slide out of their old debts, and start getting into new ones. Ashleigh Brilliant
A trifling debt makes a man your debtor; a large one makes him an enemy. Lucius Annaeus Seneca
There can be no freedom or beauty about a home life that depends on borrowing and debt. Henrik Ibsen
Debt is the prolific mother of folly and of crime; it taints the course of life in all its dreams. Benjamin Disraeli
If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn't be any money. Marriner Eccles
Between debt and taxes Americans had usually chosen debt. Paul Solmon
As austerity measures were foisted upon Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and other highly indebted countries, growth was rendered even more elusive, aggravating unemployment Mohamed El-Erian
The Greeks do not have the option of borrowing because nobody will lend to them. Anne Applebaum
The absolutists of contract are the real parents of revolution. John Maynard Keynes
Sorry your job prospects are so grim, but we are still not ready to admit that Reganomics failed., You’ll never be able to retire, but that’s probably for the best., Even in your darkest moments someone will be there for you … probably a creditor coming after your student loan debts. You can achieve anything if you work hard … That’s just a joke I tell my unpaid interns., You lazy millenials will work twice as much for half the pay my generation enjoyed. My stock portfolio really appreciates it. Brian McFadden
This fiftieth year is sacred—it is a time of freedom and of celebration when everyone will receive back their original property, and slaves will return home to their families. Book of Leviticus
Nothing but such a law as this, well-practiced, can secure even the temporal peace of the world. Thomas Allen
If any man was compelled by poverty to sell his farm or his pasture, he received it back again intact at the year of the Jubilee. Baruch Spinoza
In the Biblical word view, God is regarded as the owner of all things and is therefore empowered to impose whatever conditions he wishes on the use of his property by human beings. Many of these conditions involve, for example, care for the poor and indigent, but precisely these are legal obligations imposed by a rightful owner on his tenants, they are no more discretionary than say, the payment of debts. The Hebrew Bible develops a theory of property according to which there is one and only one owner. Eric Nelson
We are broke—bankrupt—really bankrupt! James Baker
It is in vain to allege that our ancestors brought them [Negro slaves] hither and not we. We inherit our ample patrimony with all its encumbrances and are bound to pay the debts of our ancestors. This debt particularly we are bound to discharge…. To give them [slaves] liberty, and stop here, is to entail upon them a curse. Timothy Dwight
With a view to assuring our national and economic development, and giving the country a more regular and more modern administration, the signatories of the present pact consider the possession of complete independence and liberty as the sine qua non of our national existence. In consequence, we oppose all juridical or financial restrictions of any nature which would arrest our national development. The conditions of settlement of our proved debts shall likewise not be contrary to these principles. Kemal Ataturk
A man who murders another shortens by a few brief years the life of a human being; but he who votes to increase the burden of debts upon the people of the United States assumes a graver responsibility. William Jennings Bryan
The reason we vote on the debt ceiling is to pay for past spending. It has nothing to do with what we are going to spend. What you are really saying is “I’m sorry, I am so mad that I don’t want to pay my past debts.” Bill Clinton
Lawyers, and others concerned in Court Business, will probably many of them be against a plentiful Currency; because People in that Case will have less Occasion to run in Debt, and consequently less Occasion to go to Law and Sue one another for their Debts. Tho' I know some even among these Gentlemen, that regard the Publick Good before their own apparent private Interest. Benjamin Franklin
Don’t pass unpaid bills onto your kids. John Kasich