"I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government; I mean an additional article taking from the Federal Government the power of borrowing."
— Letter to Virginia Senator John Taylor, 1789
"The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale"
— Letter to John Taylor, May 28, 1816
"But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years."
— Letter to James Madison, September 6, 1789
"The fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follow that, and in its turn wretchedness and oppression."
— Letter to Samuel Kerchival
"I am not among those who fear the people. They, and not the rich, are our dependence for continued freedom. And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude."
"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."
— Letter to Spencer Roane