I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802)
We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds�[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers� And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]� till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery� And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.