→ Paul Ryan’s 2011 Speech on the Constitution

Freedom is lost by degrees, and the deepest erosions usually take place during times of economic hardship, when those who favor expanding the sphere of government abuse a crisis to persuade free citizens that they should trade in a little of their liberty for empty promises of greater economic security.

We can strengthen our defense of liberty if we remember to keep in mind those who are struggling to make ends meet. What makes our Constitution such an extraordinary document is that, in making the United States the freest civilization in history, the Founders guaranteed that it would become the most prosperous as well. The American system of limited government, low taxes, sound money, and the rule of law has done more to help the poor than any other economic system ever designed.

If we succumb to this view that our problems are bigger than we are — if we surrender more control over our economy to the governing class — then life in America will become defined by a new kind of class warfare: A class of bureaucrats and connected crony capitalists trying to rise above the rest of us, call the shots, rig the rules, and preserve their place atop society at the expense of working Americans, entrepreneurs, and the small businesswoman who has the gall to take on the corporate chieftain.

By respecting the rule of law, reclaiming the prominence of our Constitution, and reforming our government, I have no doubt that we the people, working together, can help ensure that the next generation of citizens inherits a stronger, freer, more prosperous America, and a more perfect union.

Well said.