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The Forgotten Man
and other artwork by artist Jon McNaughton can be viewed in our artist slideshow
The Forgotten Man List of Symbolism by John McNaughton
A symbolism list and picture key for the painting The Forgotten Man by artist Jon McNaughton can be found at Christ-Centered Art.
Click on the for a closer look
List of Symbolism
Below is a list symbolism for the epic painting The Forgotten Man
in artist Jon McNaughton's own words:
- George Washington
1st President (1789-1797)
National Debt: $82,064 million
Washington was the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War and is often revered by Americans as the "Father of Our Country". He presided over the Philadelphia Convention that drafted the United States Constitution in 1787. He also instituted the First Bank of the United States in 1791 as a way to fund the debt from the Revolutionary War. The bank was abolished in 1811. I wonder what Washington would think about the infringement on our liberties today.
- John Adams
2nd President (1797-1801)
National Debt: $83,038 million
Adams played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare independence, and assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776. But unfortunately, Adams signed the Aliens and Sedition Act which allowed the Adams Administration to arrest and imprison anyone who criticized his administration. Because Congress would not repeal the law, the States enacted the Kentucky and Virginia Resolves and declared the law unconstitutional, using the supra powers of the States to nullify the law.
- Thomas Jefferson
3rd President (1801-1809)
National Debt: $57,023 million
Jefferson was one of the most influential Founding Fathers; he was known for his promotion of the ideals of republicanism in the United States. He favored a strictly limited federal government. His opposition to the Bank of the United States was fierce: "I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."
- James Madison
4th President (1809-1817)
National Debt: $123,491 million
What would be Madison's reaction to see someone stepping on the U.S. Constitution? Madison wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and was one of the greatest of our Founding Fathers. How would he feel about the state of our country? He demonstrated his understanding of the dangers associated with control of the monetary system when he stated, "History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance."
- James Monroe
5th President (1817-1825)
National Debt: $83,788 million
Monroe is most noted for his proclamation in 1832 called the Monroe Doctrine which stated that the United States would not tolerate further European intervention in the Americas.
- John Quincy Adams
6th President (1825-1829)
National Debt: $58,421 million
The son of John Adams, Adams proposed a comprehensive program of internal improvements (roads, ports, and canals), the creation of a national university, and federal support for the arts and sciences. His proposals were stopped by state's rights factions.
- Andrew Jackson
7th President (1829-1837)
National Debt: $336,957 thousand
As president, Jackson worked to rescind the charter for the Second Bank of the United States and boldly declared, "You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out and by the eternal God I will rout you out." In Jackson's veto message he stated that the bank needed to be abolished because it exposed the government to control by foreign interests and concentrated the nation's financial strength in a single institution. Jackson is the only president in United States history to have paid off the national debt. The most saddening aspect of Jackson's presidency was his policy regarding American Indians which involved the ethnic cleansing of several Indian tribes. In all, more than 45,000 American Indians were relocated to the West during Jackson's administration.
- Martin Van Buren
8th President (1837-1841)
National Debt: $5,250 million
As president, his administration was largely characterized by the economic hardship of his time, the "Panic of 1837". The collapse began during Jackson's presidency when banknotes were issued by legions of local and state banks that were not backed by gold or silver reserves. There was soon rapid inflation and mounting state debts.
- William Henry Harrison
9th President (1841)
National Debt: $5,250 million
Harrison died on his thirty-second day in office of complications from a cold — the shortest tenure in United States presidential history.
- John Tyler
10th President (1841-1845)
National Debt: $15,925 million
As vice president, Tyler became the new president after William Harrison's death; and the Twenty-sixth Amendment was codified. Also, during his presidency, the Republic of Texas was annexed to the United States.
- James K. Polk
11th President (1845-1849)
National Debt: $63,061 million
Polk expanded the Union by settling claims to Texas and the Oregon Territory and by acquiring California and the Southwest. Polk lowered the tariff tax and established a treasury system that lasted until 1913.
- Zachary Taylor
12th President (1849-1850)
National Debt: $63,452 million
Known as "Old Rough and Ready," Taylor had a forty-year military career in the United States Army, serving in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, and the Second Seminole War. He achieved fame leading American troops to victory in the Battle of Palo Alto and the Battle of Monterrey during the Mexican-American War.
- Millard Fillmore
13th President (1850-1853)
National Debt: $59,803 million
He became the second vice president to assume the presidency after the death of a sitting president when he succeeded Zachary Taylor.
- Franklin Pierce
14th President (1853-1857)
National Debt: $28,699 million
Pierce was a brigadier general taking part in the Mexican-American War. As president, his popularity in the North declined sharply after he came out in favor of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, repealing the Missouri Compromise and renewed the debate over expanding slavery in the West.
- James Buchanan
15th President (1857-1861)
National Debt: $90,580 million
Buchanan's inability to impose peace when the country was on the brink of Civil War has led to his consistent ranking by historians as one of the least effective presidents.
- Abraham Lincoln
16th President (1861-1865)
National Debt: $2,680 billion
Lincoln is a popular president for having preserved the Union during the Civil War and abolishing slavery. But during the Civil War, Lincoln appropriated powers no previous president had wielded: he suspended the writ of habeas corpus, spent money before Congress appropriated it, and imprisoned between 15,000 and 18,000 suspected Confederate sympathizers without trial. Lincoln also signed the Revenue Act of 1861 creating the first U.S. income tax, and created a system of national banks through the National Banking Acts of 1863, 1864, and 1865 to help fund the war. Lincoln did not allow foreign investors to meddle in U.S. banking. Lincoln said concerning the international bankers: "The money power preys upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against in in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than bureaucracy. I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country."
- Andrew Johnson
17th President (1865-1869)
National Debt: $2,588 billion
Following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Johnson presided over the Reconstruction era of the United States in the four years after the American Civil War. His tenure was highly controversial as his positions favoring the white South came under heavy political attack from Republicans.
- Ulysses S. Grant
18th President (1869-1877)
National Debt: $2,205 billion
Grant commanded the Union Army during the Civil War, but his image as a war hero was tarnished by corruption scandals during his presidency.
- Rutherford B. Hayes
19th President (1877-1881)
National Debt: $2,069 billion
Hayes' administration gradually increased the government's supply of gold, and by 1879, the Greenback was attached to the value of gold. The economic boom that followed the Panic of 1873 is credited to the return to the gold standard along with good fortune.
- James A. Garfield
20th President (1881)
National Debt: $2,069 billion
Garfield realized the danger posed by the bankers and said: "Whoever controls the money of a nation, controls that nation." He was assassinated in 1881 during the first year of his presidency. He was the second United States president to be assassinated.
- Chester A. Arthur
21st President (1881-1885)
National Debt: $1,863 billion
Arthur tried to lower tariff rates so the government could lower its annual surpluses of revenue. Arthur signed the Tariff Act of 1883.
- Grover Cleveland
22nd and 24th President (1885-1889, 1893-1897)
National Debt: $1,817 billion
Shortly after Cleveland's second term began, the Panic of 1893 struck the stock market, and the country soon faced an economic depression.
- Benjamin Harrison
23rd President (1889-1893)
National Debt: $1,545 billion
His presidential administration is most remembered for its economic legislation including the McKinley Tariff Act, the Sherman Antitrust Act, and for the annual federal spending that reached one billion dollars for the first time.
- William McKinley
25rd President (1897-1901)
National Debt: $2,143 billion
McKinley presided over a return to prosperity after the Panic of 1893, and made gold the base of the currency.
- Theodore Roosevelt
26th President (1901-1909)
National Debt: $2,639 billion
About 1907, Roosevelt turned more to the left in his domestic policy, and in his 1912 campaign he called for movement toward what would later be called a "welfare state." His move to the left annoyed conservatives and fueled a split in the GOP that exploded in 1912 with TR on the losing side. Roosevelt's policies were characterized by his slogan, "Speak softly and carry a big stick."
- William Howard Taft
27th President (1909-1913)
National Debt: $2,916 billion
To solve an impasse during the 1909 tariff debate, Taft proposed income taxes for corporations and a constitutional amendment to remove the apportionment requirement for taxes. On February 3, 1913, it became a part of the Constitution as the Sixteenth Amendment, just as Taft was leaving office. Even today, there exists debate whether the Amendment was ever properly ratified.
- Woodrow Wilson
28th President (1913-1921)
National Debt: $23,977 billion
Wilson persuaded a Democratic Congress to pass the Federal Reserve Act and America's first ever federal progressive income tax in the Revenue Act of 1913. We can thank Wilson for a lot of the mess we are in today. Wilson said, "While we are followers of Jefferson, there is one principle of Jefferson's which no longer can obtain in the practical politics of America. You know that it was Jefferson who said that the best government is that which does as little governing as possible ... but that time is passed. America is not now and cannot in the future be a place for unrestricted individual enterprise." Another lowlight of his administration was the Sedition Act of 1918 which criminalized all radical criticism of the government.
- Warren G. Harding
29th President (1921-1923)
National Debt: $22,349 billion
Harding cut federal spending, lowered taxes, and began paying off wartime national debt. He restored prosperity by 1921, opening a decade of rapid growth known as the Roaring 20s.
- Calvin Coolidge
30th President (1923-1929)
National Debt: $16,931 billion
During Coolidge's presidency, the United States experienced a period of rapid economic growth known as the "Roaring Twenties." Taxes were reduced during Coolidge's term. In addition to these tax cuts, Coolidge proposed reductions in federal expenditures and retiring some of the federal debt. Coolidge's ideas were shared by the Republicans in Congress, and Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1924. They reduced taxes again by passing the Revenue Acts of 1926 and 1928, all while continuing to keep spending down in order to reduce the overall federal debt. By 1927, only the richest 2% of taxpayers paid any income tax.
- Herbert Hoover
31st President (1929-1933)
National Debt: $22,538 billion
In one of the largest tax increases in American history, The Revenue Act of 1932 raised income tax on the highest incomes from 25% to 63%. The estate tax was doubled, and corporate taxes were raised almost 15%. National debt, expressed as a fraction of gross national product, climbed from 20% to 40%.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd President (1933-1945)
National Debt: $258,682 billion
Roosevelt named his approach to the economic situation "The New Deal", and consisted of legislation pushed through Congress as well as executive orders. Roosevelt gave Executive Order 6102 which made all privately held gold of American citizens property of the U.S. Treasury. Gold bullion remained illegal for Americans to own until President Ford rescinded the order in 1974. The Social Security Act established Social Security and promised economic security for the elderly, poor, and sick. During the war, he pushed for even higher income tax rates for individuals (reaching a marginal tax rate of 91%). The rapid expansion of government programs that occurred during Roosevelt's advocacy of government social programs was instrumental in redefining liberalism for coming generations. Economic historians have shown that Roosevelt's policies actually extended the Great Depression.
- Harry S. Truman
33rd President (1945-1953)
National Debt: $266,071 billion
Truman succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his historic fourth term. Highlights of Truman's presidency include his decision to use nuclear weapons against Japan, the founding of the United Nations, the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, the Truman Doctrine to contain communism, and the beginning of the Cold War and the Korean War.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th President (1953-1961)
National Debt: $288,970 billion
Eisenhower was a five star general in the United States Army during World War II and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe with responsibility for planning and supervising the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944-1945. He concluded negotiations with China to end the Korean War and maintained pressure on the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Eisenhower enlarged the Social Security, and signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. In a speech at the end of his presidency he stated: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes."
- John F. Kennedy
35th President (1961-1963)
National Debt: $305,859 billion
Kennedy ended a period of tight fiscal policies, loosening monetary policy to keep interest rates down and encourage growth of the economy. Kennedy presided over the first government budget to top the $100 billion mark. Kennedy tried to cut taxes and blocked his liberal advisors who wanted deficit spending in 1961. On June 4, 1963, Kennedy signed a virtually unknown Presidential decree, Executive Order 11110, which was with the authority to basically strip the Federal Government at interest. Executive Order 11110 should have prevented the national debt from reaching its current level (virtually all of the nearly $13 trillion in federal debt has been created since 1963). Kennedy was assassinated November 22, 1963.
- Lyndon B. Johnson
36th President (1963-1969)
National Debt: $353,720 billion
Upon Kennedy's assassination, Johnson greatly escalated direct American involvement in the Vietnam War. As the war dragged on, Johnson's popularity as president steadily declined. In 1964, upon Johnson's request, Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1964 and the Economic Opportunity Act, which was in association with the "War on Poverty." Johnson set in motion bills and acts creating programs such as Head Start, food stamps, Medicare, and Medicaid. All these created more financial strain on the nation and reinforced government's role as the "welfare state."
- Richard Nixon
37th President (1969-1974)
National Debt: $475,059 billion
Nixon implemented new economic policies which called for wage and price control and the abolition of the gold standard. Nixon completely eradicated the gold standard, preventing other countries from being able to claim gold in exchange for their dollar reserves, but also weakening the exchange rate of the dollar against other currencies. In his second term, the nation was afflicted with economic difficulties. After Watergate, Nixon was the only president to resign from office.
- Gerald Ford
38th President (1974-1977)
National Debt: $698,840 billion
Ford presided over what was then the worst economy since the Great Depression, with growing inflation and a recession during his tenure. Ford's vision for America was grounded in conservative principles that emphasized fiscal responsibility, decreased federal involvement in the economy, lower taxes, and long-term sustainable growth with low inflation. He attacked Congress for wasteful spedning, and 66 times wielded the presidential veto to kill costly congressional bills. Ford insisted that inflation was the greater problem. He sought to slow it by severe restraints on government spending for social programs.
- Jimmy Carter
39th President (1977-1981)
National Debt: $997,855 billion
Carter inherited a recession when taking office. First he tried to reduce unemployment by both increasing government spending and cutting taxes. However, when inflation skyrocketed in 1978, he changed his mind. He delayed tax cuts and vetoed the spending programs that he himself proposed to the Congress. Carter then tried to ease inflation by reducing money supply and raising interest rates. All of his efforts proved to be unsuccessful. Inflation and interest rates soon reached their highest levels since World War II. Carter made this interesting statement concerning the Federal Reserve: "As you well know, I don't have control over the Fed, none at all. It's carefully isolated from any influence by the President or the Congress. This has been done for many generations, and I think it's a wise thing to do."
- Ronald Reagan
40th President (1981-1989)
National Debt: $2,857 trillion
Reagan advocated reducing business regulation, controlling inflation, reducing growth in government spending, and spurring economic growth through tax cuts. In order to cover newly spawned federal budget deficits, the United States borrowed heavily both domestically and abroad, raising the national debt from $900 billion to $3 trillion. Reagan described the new debt as the "greatest disappointment" of his presidency. Much of the federal deficit increases were due to military spending which eventually led to the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Many of Reagan's fiscal policies led to American prosperity well into the next century. Stephen Moore of the Cato Institute stated that "no act in the last quarter century had a more profound impact on the U.S. economy of the eighties and nineties than the Reagan tax cut of 1981. The American economy grew by more than a third in size, producing a $15 trillion increase in American wealth. Every income group from the richest, middle class, and poorest in this country grew its income."
- George H. W. Bush
41st President (1989-1993)
National Debt: $4,411 trillion
Bush reneged on a 1988 campaign promise and after a struggle with Congress, signed an increase in taxes that Congress had passed. Bush would later say that he wished he had never signed the bill. Bush's famous pledge was: "Read my lips: no new taxes."
- Bill Clinton
42nd President (1993-2001)
National Debt: $5,807 trillion
Clinton presided over the longest period of peace-time economic expansion in American history, which included a balanced budget and a federal surplus. The Congressional Budget Office reported a surplus of $236 billion in 2000, the last full year of Clinton's presidency. Clinton desperately wanted to pass a healthcare reform law, but with a Republican Congress stacked against him, he was unable to move his agendas. Some believe that the economic successes of the nineties were due to Clinton's presidency. Others believe it was the trailing result of Reagan's fiscal policies.
- George W. Bush
43rd President (2001-2009)
National Debt: $11,909 trillion
Many Americans supported Bush as he began his "War on Terror" following 911, but soon his support waned as the Iraq War continued and the passing of the Patriot Act severely threatened America's Constitutional rights. Conservatives and Libertarians have criticized Bush for greatly increasing domestic spending, creating a new entitlement program for prescription drugs, failing to veto a single bill, and expanding both the size and scope of government. Above all, he made the most dramatic federal interventions in American history by his rescues of the financial system and the automobile industry in 2008. By October 2008, due to increases in domestic and foreign spending, the national debt had risen to $11.3 trillion, an increase of over 100% from the start of the year 2000 when the debt was $5.6 trillion. In September 2008, the crisis became much more serious beginning with the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac followed by the collapse of Lehman Brothers and a federal bailout of American International Group for $85 billion.
- Barack Obama
44th President (2009-2017)
National Debt: $13 trillion and growing ...
Obama rode into power on the slogan of "change", and change we have; but is it what the American people had in mind? Mr. President, you took an oath, "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will do the best of my ability to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." Mr. President, what have you done?