I posted this as a response under another topic; however I felt it warranted its own thread. Perhaps I am mistaken but it would appear that some may have missed the true meaning and significance of this particular quote. Having lived under the rule of British monarchy, Washington had seen firsthand the abuses of government power unchecked, and his concern for the overreach of government power as an affront to individual liberty can be demonstrated with other quotes. Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. Please note that Washington is of course referring to the system of government known as a republic where the individual has certain inalienable rights, not the Republican Party. Clearly Washington was concerned about the government excising the military against its own people in order to oppress the people and impinge upon personal freedoms. This can be demonstrated with the quote: Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness. This does not mean that Washington believed government to be inherently bad; clearly Washington understood the necessity of government to protect the rights and freedoms of a nations people as he fought to establish the federal government of the United States as detailed in the constitution. Washington flatly states this by saying: The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon. Furthermore, Washingtons views on taxation were clearly directly in opposition to the position of modern conservatives. Clearly Washington understood that an adequate and capable government is necessary to protect the rights and freedoms of individual citizens, and that protecting those rights is a primary responsibility of governments. The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government. Clearly Washington did not share the Ayn Rand based philosophy of modern conservatives who feel the wealthy shouldnt pay taxes, in fact Washington said: It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it. If a majority of the nations citizens feel that a certain level of taxation is necessary to support a government adequate to the task of protecting the best interests of the nation, we can safely assume he would have supported the citizens, as he said: The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. Additionally, I think we can safely assume that Washington wouldnt have held with 2% of the wealthiest citizens having such control of government as he also said: Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals. In fact I think Im going to add a couple of those quotes to my signature, after all I wouldnt want George Washington to be taken out of context again.