I don't believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good. So while we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else.

Abraham Lincoln, speech in New Haven, Connecticut, March 6, 1860


Our productive capacity is sufficient to maintain us all in a state of prosperity if we give sufficient attention to thrift and industry.

Calvin Coolidge, Autobiography


Conservatism is not an economic theory, though it has economic implications. The shoe is precisely on the other foot: it is Socialism that subordinates all other considerations to man's material well-being. It is Conservatism that puts material things in their proper place-that has a structured view of the human being and of human society, in which economics plays only a subsidiary role.

Barry Goldwater, Conscience of a Conservative


One of the greatest favors that can be bestowed upon the American people is economy in government. 

Calvin Coolidge, recorded speech outside White House, 1924


Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other right.

Abraham Lincoln, speech to Congress, Dec. 3, 1861


If industry and labour are left to take their own course, they will generally be directed to those objects which are the most productive, and this in a more certain and direct manner than the wisdom of the most enlightened legislature could point out.

James Madison, speech to the Congress, April 9, 1789


Civilization and profits go hand in hand. 

Calvin Coolidge, speech following election as vice president, 1920


The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Spencer Roane, March 9, 1821


Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.

Ronald Reagan, Los Angeles Times, Jan. 7, 1970


There can be no political independence without economic independence. 

Calvin Coolidge, accepting the vice presidential nomination


The need for "economic growth" that we hear so much about these days will be achieved, not by the government harnessing the nation's economic forces, but by emancipating them. By reducing taxes and spending we will not only return to the individual the means with which he can assert his freedom and dignity, but also guarantee to the nation the economic strength that will always be its ultimate defense against foreign foes.

Barry Goldwater, Conscience of a Conservative


The wise and correct course to follow in taxation and in all other economic legislation is not to destroy those who have already secured success, but to create conditions under which everyone will have a chance to be successful. 

Calvin Coolidge, Inaugural address


We do not face large deficits because American families are undertaxed; we face those deficits because the Federal Government overspends.

Ronald Reagan, State of the Union address, Feb. 4, 1986


I do not believe in punishing success.

Barry Goldwater, Conscience of a Conservative


After order and liberty, economy is one of the highest essentials of a free government. 

Calvin Coolidge, speech in Northampton, Massachusetts, 1923


A people... who are possessed of the spirit of commerce, who see and who will pursue their advantages may achieve almost anything.

George Washington, letter to Benjamin Harrison, October 10, 1784


The most productive system of finance will always be the least burdensome.

James Madison, Federalist No. 39, January 1788


Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong. 

Calvin Coolidge, Inaugural address


Man's political freedom is illusory if he is dependent for his economic needs on the State.

Barry Goldwater, Conscience of a Conservative


The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice.

James Madison, Federalist No. 10, November 23, 1787


I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people.  The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of government.  Every dollar that we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager.  Every dollar that we prudently save means that their life will be so much the more abundant.  Economy is idealism in its most practical form. 

Calvin Coolidge, Inaugural address


Among a large class, there seemed to be a dependence upon the government for every conceivable thing. The members of this class had little ambition to create a position for themselves, but wanted the federal officials to create one for them. How many times I wished then and have often wished since, that by some power of magic, I might remove the great bulk of these people into the country districts and plant them upon the soil – upon the solid and never deceptive foundation of Mother Nature, where all nations and races that have ever succeeded have gotten their start – a start that at first may be slow and toilsome, but one that nevertheless is real.

Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery


No taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant.

George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796