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The Role of Government in a Free Society

In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief of French refugees who fled from insurrection in San Domingo (now Haiti) to Baltimore and Philadelphia, James Madison stood on the floor of the House to object saying, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” Today, much of the federal budget is expended “on objects of benevolence.” Williams believes this not only points to the betrayal of the constitutional values that made our nation rich and free, but also the steep decline of morality among the American people that has permitted government to grow so big. For a complete list of speakers, topics, and dates of the Free Markets: The Ethical Economic Choice speaker series visit heritage.org/free-markets.

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