Almost exactly 10 years ago, I wrote about several quotes from Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States.

I thought I’d revisit them, because I find it no less than amazing how much they apply to the way things are today. They are all very prophetic, and their accuracy is quite stunning.

•“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.”

We stand not just accused, but guilty. Not only is our debt not paid, it stands at more than $30 trillion – a ridiculous figure that isn’t really even real. And we go farther and farther into the fiat currency abyss every year – especially the past few years.

Like most people, I don’t know what effect that will really, truly have on the next couple of generations, but it can’t be good. We just can’t keep going back to that same well, because it will surely run dry at some point – maybe sooner than later.

•“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

The flip side is, Jefferson is predicting future unhappiness for Americans if they allow the government to waste their labors under the pretense of being taken care of.

I hate the idea that the land of the free may also have become the land of false governmental pretense. And I feel like there’s a movement (that’s not even being heavily veiled) to make us more and more dependent on being “taken care of.”

•“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

OK, does anyone feel (like I do) that we’ve already gone way too far down this road?

That’s what I thought.

•“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”

Some people would argue that the United States government has put its hands in far too many American pies (certainly more than even a visionary like Jefferson could have imagined). But many seem to want it that way, and don’t see a problem with allowing government to have about as much influence and control as it wants (or can get).

As Jefferson is saying, history has proven time and again that “too much government” isn’t a good thing. To the contrary, it leads to destructive ends and the peoples’ best interest lies not in government programs, handouts and control, but within a more supportive and less dominant approach in which the people are allowed to go about their lives with a focus on independence.

•“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”

Prohibiting the bearing of arms would undoubtedly create an exponential rise in crime, and a subsequent increase of oppression. Since only the bad guys would have weapons in such a situation, a police state would likely be the ultimate result.

An age-old American premise is that people should have the option to protect themselves, their families and their possessions. Without that option, freedom as we know it would be done for.

•“To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

Wow, we are so buried by this problem.

American taxpayers’ money goes toward an alarming number of ideals, movements and situations that are not the will of the majority, but rather special interests that have weaseled their way up the judicial and legislative chains and into positions where they receive attention for which they are in no way deserving.

I personally hate knowing that some of the money I pay to my government actually helps fund things I’m in total opposition to, and more importantly, that the masses never approved.

•Jefferson said in 1802: “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.”

Here in early 2023, we have some mega-powerful banks on our hands, and we all know from experience that the government isn’t about to let them struggle – even if they do help cause many of their own problems.

Thomas Jefferson was born in April of 1743 and died on July 4, 1826. He was one of this country’s most influential “founding fathers,” and served as vice president under John Adams before becoming president.

Some may disagree with Jefferson, but I find his words to be a refreshing departure from the political mumbo-jumbo we are so often force-fed by mainstream media sources these days. How nice it would be if we who live in a state with a capital city named after him, and all other citizens of the country he helped create, never lost sight of his wisdom.

But knowing what Jefferson said so many years ago, it’s apparent that we didn’t learn as much from him as we could have. But whether or not that’s the case, one thing is certain: When any of the issues he so rightfully addressed more than 200 years ago ever bite us in our collective behind, we wouldn’t be justified in saying we “didn’t see this coming.”

We were warned in very plain language by a man who knew what he was talking about.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Email:

Doug Davison

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at

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