Quotes on Government

There have existed, in every age and every country, two distinct orders of men - the lovers of freedom and the devoted advocates of power. Robert Hayne Quote Details

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The opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction. Thomas Jefferson Quote Details

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Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. James Madison Quote Details

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Things in our country run in spite of government, not by the aid of it. Will Rogers Quote Details

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Once we roared like lions for liberty; now we bleat like sheep for security! The solution for America's problem is not in terms of big government, but it is in big men over whom nobody stands in control but God. Norman Vincent Peale Quote Details

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I'm not running for the presidency because I believe that I can solve the problems we've discussed tonight. I believe the people of this country can. Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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There isn't any problem we can't solve if government will give us the facts. Tell us what needs to be done. Then, get out of the way and let us have at it. Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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What makes you think I'd be happy about that? Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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You can't be for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy. Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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If the Congress wants to bring the Panamanian economy to its knees, why doesn't it just go down there and run it? Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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I had a copy of the Soviet Constitution and I read it with great interest. And I saw all kinds of terms in there that sound just exactly like our own: "freedom of assembly" and "freedom of speech" and so forth. Of course, they don't allow them to have those things, but they're in there in the constitution. But I began to wonder about the other constitutions - everyone has one - and our own, and why so much emphasis on ours. And then I found out, and the answer was very simple - that's why you don't notice it at first. But it is so great that it tells the entire difference. All those other constitutions are documents that say, "We, the government, allow the people the following rights," and our Constitution says "We, the People, allow the government the following privileges and rights."

We give our permission to government to do the things that it does. And that's the whole story of the difference - why we're unique in the world and why no matter what our troubles may be, we're going to overcome.
Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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We could say [Democrats] spend money like drunken sailors, but that would be unfair to drunken sailors. It would be unfair, because the sailors are spending their own money. Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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In America we created at the local level and administered at the local level for many years the greatest public school system in the world. Now through something called federal aid to education, we have something called federal interference, and education has been the loser. Quality has declined as federal intervention has increased. Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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Families cannot prosper and keep America strong if government becomes a Goliath that preys upon their wealth, usurps their rights, and crushes their spirit. Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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As government expands, liberty contracts. Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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Government is like a baby - an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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For three decades now we have sought to solve the problems of unemployment through government planning, and the more the plans fail, the more the planners plan...Well, now if government and welfare had the answer - and they've had almost thirty years of it - shouldn't we expect government to read the score to us once in a while? Shouldn't they be telling us about the decline each year in the number of people needing help? And the reduction in the need for public housing? But the reverse is true. Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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Outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector. Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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There are many well-meaning people today who work at placing an economic floor beneath all of us so that no one shall exist below a certain level or standard of living, and certainly we don't quarrel with this. But look more closely and you may find that all too often these well-meaning people are building a ceiling above which no one shall be permitted to climb. Between the two, they are pressing us all into conformity, into a world of standardized mediocrity. Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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Free enterprise has done more to reduce poverty than all the government programs dreamed up by Democrats. Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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My friends, some years ago the federal government declared war on poverty - and poverty won. Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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Nations crumble from within when the citizenry asks of government those things which the citizenry might better provide for itself. Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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A constitution is not the act of a government, but of a people constituting a government; and government without a constitution is power without a right. All power exercised over a nation, must have some beginning. It must be either delegated, or assumed. There are not other sources. All delegated power is trust, and all assumed power is usurpation. Time does not alter the nature and quality of either. Thomas Paine Quote Details

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A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. George Bernard Shaw Quote Details

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It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. Voltaire Quote Details

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There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you. Will Rogers Quote Details

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You will find that the State is the kind of organization which, though it does big things badly, does small things badly, too. John Kenneth Galbraith Quote Details

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Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right. H. L. Mencken Quote Details

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Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy. Ernest Benn Quote Details

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It is not the business of government to make men virtuous or religious, or to preserve the fool from the consequences of his own folly. Government should be repressive no further than is necessary to secure liberty by protecting the equal rights of each from aggression on the part of others, and the moment governmental prohibitions extend beyond this line they are in danger of defeating the very ends they are intended to serve. Henry George Quote Details

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Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear. Harry Truman Quote Details

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A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent public necessity and sound public policy is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

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We must have no carelessness in our dealings with public property or the expenditure of public money. Such a condition is characteristic either of an undeveloped people, or of a decadent civilization. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

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The government can supply no substitute for enterprise. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

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We do not need to import any foreign economic ideas or any foreign government. We had better stick to the American brand of government, the American brand of equality, and the American brand of wages. America had better stay American. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

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The governments of the past could fairly be characterized as devices for maintaining in perpetuity the place and position of certain privileged classes, without any ultimate protection for the rights of the people. The government of the United States is a device for maintaining in perpetuity the rights of the people, with the ultimate extinction of all privileged classes. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

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We pay too little attention to the reserve power of the people to take care of themselves. We are too solicitous for government intervention, on the theory, first, that the people themselves are helpless, and second, that the government has superior capacity for action. Often times both of these conclusions are wrong. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

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When the government goes into business it lays a tax on everybody else in that business, and uses the money that it collects from its competitors to establish a monopoly and drive them out of business. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

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Our government rests upon religion. It is from that source that we derive our reverance for truth and justice, for equality and liberty, and for the rights of mankind. Unless the people believe in these principles they cannot believe in our government. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

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There are only two main theories of government in the world. One rests on righteousness, the other rests on force. One appeals to reason, the other appeals to the sword. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

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The ability for self-government is arrived at only through an extensive training and education. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

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The government of a country never gets ahead of the religion of a country. There is no way by which we can substitute the authority of law for the virtue of man. Of course we can help to restrain the vicious and furnish a fair degree of security and protection by legislation and police control, but the real reforms which society in these days is seeking will come as a result of our religious convictions, or they will not come at all. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

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Our country was conceived in the theory of local self-government. It has been dedicated by long practice to that wise and beneficent policy. It is the foundation principle of our system of liberty. It makes the largest promise to the freedom and development of the individual. Its preservation is worth all the effort and all the sacrifice that it may cost. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

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When government enters the field of business with its great resources, it has a tendency to extravagance and inefficiency, but, having the power to crush all competitors, likewise closes the door of opportunity and results in monopoly. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

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No matter how it is disguised, the moment the government engages in buying and selling, by that act it is fixing prices. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

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One of the chief dangers to the success of popular government is that it will throw away self-restraint and self-control and adopt laws which, being without sound economic foundation, bring on such a financial distress as to result in want, misery, disorder, and the dissolution of society. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

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No method of procedure has ever been devised by which liberty could be divorced from local self-government. No plan of centralization has ever been adopted which did not result in bureaucracy, tyranny, inflexibility, reaction, and decline. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

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It does not follow that because something ought to be done the national government ought to do it. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

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The contest for ages has been to rescue liberty from the grasp of executive power. Daniel Webster Quote Details

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The administration of government, like a guardianship, ought to be directed to the good of those who confer, not of those who receive the trust. Cicero Quote Details

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There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. Henry David Thoreau Quote Details

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The great question which, in all ages, has disturbed mankind and brought on them the greatest part of those mischiefs which have ruined cities, depopulated countries, and disordered the peace of the world, has been, not whether there be power in the world, not whence it came, but who should have it. John Locke Quote Details

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If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. Thomas Jefferson Quote Details

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The best of all governments is that which teaches us to govern ourselves. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quote Details

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The history of liberty is the history of the limitations on the power of government. Woodrow Wilson Quote Details

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There are very few so foolish that they had not rather govern themselves than be governed by others. Thomas Hobbes Quote Details

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To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual profusion and servitude. Thomas Jefferson Quote Details

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If we can prevent the Government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy. Thomas Jefferson Quote Details

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The real danger of democracy is that the classes which have power under it will assume all the rights and reject all the duties - that is, that they will use the political power to plunder those who have. William Graham Sumner Quote Details

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A right, such as a right to free speech, imposes no obligation on another, except that of non-interference. The so-called right to health care, food or housing, whether a person can afford it or not, is something entirely different; it does impose an obligation on another. If one person has a right to something he didn't produce, simultaneously and of necessity it means that some other person does not have right to something he did produce. That's because, since there's no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy, in order for government to give one American a dollar, it must, through intimidation, threats and coercion, confiscate that dollar from some other American. Walter E. Williams Quote Details

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A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. Alexander Fraser Tyler Quote Details

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The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, 'till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People, is sacredly obligatory upon all. George Washington Quote Details

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Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. John Adams Quote Details

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What Americans need to realize is that it is impossible to increase government power without decreasing individual liberty. Government power, after all, means coercing people into doing some things and into refraining from doing other things. Every law says to the citizen, "You must" or "You shall not." Thus, liberty is lost incrementally, law by law by law. Charley Reese Quote Details

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Three-fifths to two-thirds of the federal budget consists of taking property from one American and giving it to another. Were a private person to do the same thing, we'd call it theft. When government does it, we euphemistically call it income redistribution, but that's exactly what thieves do -- redistribute income. Income redistribution not only betrays the founders' vision, it's a sin in the eyes of God. Walter E. Williams Quote Details

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If by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution - certainly would if such a right were a vital one. Abraham Lincoln Quote Details

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Government is necessary, but the only rights we can delegate to government are the ones we possess. For example, we all have a natural right to defend ourselves against predators. Since we possess that right, we can delegate authority to government to defend us. By contrast, we don't have a natural right to take the property of one person to give to another; therefore, we cannot legitimately delegate such authority to government. Walter E. Williams Quote Details

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Markets work best when government provides public goods. These are not, as the name wrongly suggests, anything purchased with public money. Instead, public goods have two salient characteristics: 1)They can be provided just as cheaply for thousands or even millions of people as they can for a single individual and 2)It's difficult or impossible to prevent people who haven't paid for such goods from enjoying their benefits. Charles Wheelan Quote Details

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If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions. James Madison Quote Details

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Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated. Thomas Jefferson Quote Details

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Government officials, if given power to control us, soon become zealots. Walter E. Williams Quote Details

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A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take from you everything you have. Gerald Ford Quote Details

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Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories. Thomas Jefferson Quote Details

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Every politically controlled educational system will inculcate the doctrine of state supremacy sooner or later... Once that doctrine has been accepted, it becomes an almost superhuman task to break the stranglehold of the political power over the life of the citizen. It has had his body, property and mind in its clutches from infancy. ... A tax-supported, compulsory educational system is the complete model of the totalitarian state. Isabel Paterson Quote Details

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Every time government is forced to act, we lose something in self-reliance, character and initiative. Herbert Hoover Quote Details

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Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves. Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action. George Washington Quote Details

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No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session. Judge Gideon Tucker Quote Details

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Republics come to an end through luxury; monarchies through poverty. C.L. De Montesquieu Quote Details

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The office of government is not to confer happiness, but to give men the opportunity to work out happiness for themselves. William Channing Quote Details

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Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. Frederic Bastiat Quote Details

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One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results. Milton Friedman Quote Details

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Programs that are labeled as being for the poor, for the needy, almost always have effects exactly the opposite of those which their well intentioned sponsors intend them to have. Milton Friedman Quote Details

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You almost always, when you have bad programs, have an unholy coalition of the do-gooders on the one hand and the special interests on the other. Milton Friedman Quote Details

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There's been one underlying basic fallacy in this whole set of social security and welfare measures, and that is the fallacy - this is at the bottom of it - the fallacy that it is feasible and possible to do good with other people's money. That view has two flaws. If I want to do good with other people's money, I first have to take it away from them. That means that the welfare state philosphy of doing good with other people's money, at it's very bottom, is a philosophy of violence and coercion. It's against freedom, because I have to use force to get the money. In the second place, very few people spend other people's money as carefully as they spend their own. Milton Friedman Quote Details

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The maintenance of a free society is a very difficult and complicated thing. And it requires a self denying ordinance of the most extreme kind. It requires a willingness to put up with temporary evils on the basis of the subtle and sophisticated understanding that if you step in to try to do something about them, you not only may make them worse, but you will spread your tentacles and get bad results elsewhere. Milton Friedman Quote Details

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The argument for collectivism, for government doing something, is simple. Anybody can understand it. 'If there's something wrong, pass a law. If somebody is in trouble, get Mr. X to help them out.' The argument for voluntary cooperation, for a free market, is not nearly so simple. It says, 'You know, if you allow people to cooperate voluntarily and don't interfere with them, indirectly, through the operation of the market, they will improve matters more than you can improve it directly by appointing somebody.' That's a subtle argument, and it's hard for people to understand. Moreover, people think that when you argue that way you're arguing for selfishness, for greed. That's utter nonsense. Milton Friedman Quote Details

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Government is an institution whereby the people who have the greatest drive to get power over their fellow men get in a position of controlling them. Milton Friedman Quote Details

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The larger the government, the more our livings standards are reduced. We are fortunate as a civilization that the progress of free enterprise generally outpaces the regress of government growth, for, if that were not the case, we would be poorer each year — not just in relative terms, but absolutely poorer too. The market is smart and the government is dumb, and to these attributes do we owe the whole of our economic well-being. Lew Rockwell Quote Details

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When one gets in bed with government, one must expect the diseases it spreads. Ron Paul Quote Details

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When the federal government spends more each year than it collects in tax revenues, it has three choices: It can raise taxes, print money, or borrow money. While these actions may benefit politicians, all three options are bad for average Americans. Ron Paul Quote Details

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The real problem with government is not the deficit. The real problem with government is the amount of our money that it spends. Milton Friedman Quote Details

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The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said, "This is mine," and found people naive enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. Jean Jacques Rousseau Quote Details

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The lessons of paternalism ought to be unlearned and the better lesson taught that while the people should patriotically and cheerfully support their government, its functions do not include the support of the people. Grover Cleveland Quote Details

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What experience and history teach is this - that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Quote Details

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The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbor. Herbert Hoover Quote Details

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When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. Frederic Bastiat Quote Details

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Wouldn't it be better for the human spirit and for the soul of this nation to encourage people to accept more responsibility to care for one another, rather than leaving those tasks to paid bureaucrats? Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

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If you establish a democracy, you must in due time reap the fruits of a democracy. You will in due season have great impatience of the public burdens, combined in due season with great increase of the public expenditure. You will in due season have wars entered into from passion and not from reason; and you will in due season submit to peace ignominiously sought and ignominiously obtained, which will diminish your authority and perhaps endanger your independence. You will in due season find your property is less valuable, and your freedom less complete. Benjamin Disraeli Quote Details

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I am in favor of Federal deficits, if the alternative is higher taxes. I am in favor of lower taxes, even if these lead to higher deficits. I think the Federal government will not cut spending for any reason but one: bankruptcy. So, as long as the beast is going to spend money, it might as well raise it by borrowing. Let the people who trust the government wind up as creditors to the government. When the government defaults, one way or the other, those hurt most will be those who trusted politicians the most. This is as it should be. There is a kind of raw justice in the arrangement. Gary North Quote Details

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It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be tomorrow. James Madison Quote Details

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You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe. John Adams Quote Details

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Whenever there is a lot of the taxpayers' money around, politicians are going to find ways to spend it that will increase their chances of getting re-elected by giving goodies to voters. Thomas Sowell Quote Details

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One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary. Ayn Rand Quote Details

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All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree. James Madison Quote Details

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I hate to hear about "partnerships" between government and business, or between government and other organizations. When there is a partnership between an ant and an elephant, who do you suppose makes the decisions? Thomas Sowell Quote Details

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Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they have resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress. Frederick Douglass Quote Details

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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. Adrian Rogers Quote Details

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Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. H. L. Mencken Quote Details

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If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand. Milton Friedman Quote Details

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Today, when a concerted effort is made to obliterate this point, it cannot be repeated too often that the Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals - that it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government - that it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizen's protection against the government. Ayn Rand Quote Details

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The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded. C.L. De Montesquieu Quote Details

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God has implanted in mankind also all that is necessary to enable it to accomplish its destinies. There is a providential social physiology, as well as a providential human physiology. The social organs are constituted so as to enable them to develop harmoniously in the grand air of liberty. Away, then, with quacks and organizers! Away with their rings, and their chains, and their hooks, and their pincers! Away with their artificial methods! Away with their social laboratories, their governmental whims, their centralization, their tariffs, their universities, their State religions, their inflationary or monopolizing banks, their limitations, their restrictions, their moralizations, and their equalization by taxation! And now, after having vainly inflicted upon the social body so many systems, let them end where they ought to have begun - reject all systems, and try liberty - liberty, which is an act of faith in God and His work. Frederic Bastiat Quote Details

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The ideal political-economic system is laissez-faire capitalism. It is a system where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man's rights; it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church. Ayn Rand Quote Details

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The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to prevailing superstition or taboo. H. L. Mencken Quote Details

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The mistakes made by Congress wouldn't be so bad if the next Congress didn't keep trying to correct them. Cullen Hightower Quote Details

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I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time. H. L. Mencken Quote Details

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How did it happen? How did our national government grow from a servant with sharply limited powers into a master with virtually unlimited power? In part, we were swindled. There are occasions when we have elevated men and political parties to power that promised to restore limited government and then proceeded, after their election, to expand the activities of government. But let us be honest with ourselves. Broken promises are not the major causes of our trouble. Kept promises are. All too often we have put men in office who have suggested spending a little more on this, a little more on that, who have proposed a new welfare program, who have thought of another variety of 'security.' We have taken the bait, preferring to put off to another day the recapture of freedom and the restoration of our constitutional system. We have gone the way of many a democratic society that has lost its freedom by persuading itself that if 'the people' rule, all is well. Barry Goldwater Quote Details

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Practically all government attempts to redistribute wealth and income tend to smother productive incentives and lead toward general impoverishment. It is the proper sphere of government to create and enforce a framework of law that prohibits force and fraud. But it must refrain from specific economic interventions. Government's main economic function is to encourage and preserve a free market. When Alexander the Great visited the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: "Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun." It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government. Henry Hazlitt Quote Details

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Every election season America is presented with a series of false choices. Should we launch preemptive wars against this country or that one? Should every American neighborhood live under this social policy or that one? Should a third of our income be taken away by an income tax or a national sales tax? The shared assumptions behind these questions, on the other hand, are never cast in doubt, or even raised. And anyone who wants to ask different questions or who suggests that the questions as framed exclude attractive, humane alternatives, is ipso facto excluded from mainstream discussion.

And so every four years we are treated to the same tired, predictable routine: two candidates with few disagreements on fundamentals pretend that they represent dramatically different philosophies of government.
Ron Paul Quote Details

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A free government with arbitrary means to administer it is a contradiction; a free government without adequate provisions for personal security is an absurdity; a free government, with an uncontrolled power of military conscription, is a solecism, at once the most ridiculous and abominable that ever entered the head of man. Daniel Webster Quote Details

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To be sure, the U.S. Constitution is not perfect. Few human contrivances are. But it is a pretty good one, I think, and it defines and limits the scope of government. When we get into the habit of disregarding it or - what is the same thing - interpreting certain key phrases so broadly as to allow the federal government to do whatever it wants, we do so at our peril. Ron Paul Quote Details

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The citizen is sovereign only when he can retain and enjoy the fruits of his labor. If the government has first claim on his property he must learn to genuflect before it. When the right of property is abrogated, all the other rights of the individual are undermined, and to speak of the sovereign citizen who has no absolute right of property is to talk nonsense. It is like saying that the slave is free because he is allowed to do anything he wants to do (even vote, if you wish) except to own what he produces. Frank Chodorov Quote Details

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As long as we have a government that can exploit peaceful, hardworking Americans on behalf of special interests, as long as it can make or break any American business with (for example) tax policy, politically motivated antitrust prosecutions, and ill-considered regulation, and in general as long as economic winners and losers can be determined in Washington, people will want to assure their share of the loot by influencing the political process through money. Campaign finance reform focuses on the symptom rather than the problem. Ron Paul Quote Details

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Ours is not a fated existence, for nowhere is our destiny etched in stone. In the final analysis, the last line of defense in support of freedom and the Constitution consists of the people themselves. If the people want to be free, if they want to lift themselves out from underneath a state apparatus that threatens their liberties, squanders their resources on needless wars, destroys the value of their dollar, and spews forth endless propaganda about how indispensable it is and how lost we would all be without it, there is no force that can stop them. Ron Paul Quote Details

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A government is the most dangerous threat to man's rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims. Ayn Rand Quote Details

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Left-wing politicians take away your liberty in the name of children and of fighting poverty, while right-wing politicians do it in the name of family values and fighting drugs. Either way, government gets bigger and you become less free. Harry Brown Quote Details

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To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place(d) under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. Pierre Proudhon Quote Details

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It is a good thing that we do not get as much government as we pay for. Will Rogers Quote Details

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In a free society the state does not administer the affairs of men. It administers justice among men who conduct their own affairs. Walter Lippmann Quote Details

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Government can do something for the people only in proportion as it can do something to the people. Thomas Jefferson Quote Details

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The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. Thomas Jefferson Quote Details

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There are always calls for the government to "do something" when things are going bad. Those who make such calls have almost never bothered to check out what actually happens when the government does something, as compared to what happens when the government does nothing. Thomas Sowell Quote Details

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By the democratic principles we espouse, government cannot have a right that citizens do not grant it. There are certain things that a person has no right to do. A person has no right to murder or rape another. Therefore, people cannot grant government authority to murder and rape. Similarly, no person has the right to forcibly take the property of one person in order to give it to another. Therefore, people cannot grant government authority to do the same thing. If I forcibly took property from one person, for any reason, most people would condemn it as theft, an immoral act. Theft or any other immoral act does not become moral because it is done by government acting on behalf of a consensus or majority vote just as murder or rape does not become a moral act simply because of a consensus or majority vote. Walter E. Williams Quote Details

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The natural progress of things is for government to gain ground and for liberty to yield. Thomas Jefferson Quote Details

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No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated. Neither may a government determine the aesthetic value of artistic creations, nor limit the forms of literacy or artistic expression. Nor should it pronounce on the validity of economic, historic, religious, or philosophical doctrines. Instead it has a duty to its citizens to maintain the freedom, to let those citizens contribute to the further adventure and the development of the human race. Richard Feynman Quote Details

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In a sense there have always been but two political philosophies: liberty and power. Either people should be free to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they respect the equal rights of others, or some people should be able to use force to make other people act in ways they wouldn't choose. David Boaz Quote Details

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The real question of government versus private enterprise is argued on too philosophical and abstract a basis. Theoretically, planning may be good. But nobody has ever figured out the cause of government stupidity—and until they do (and find the cure), all ideal plans will fall into quicksand. Richard Feynman Quote Details

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There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as 'caring' and 'sensitive' because he wants to expand the government's charitable programs is merely saying that he's willing to try to do good with other people's money. Well, who isn't? And a voter who takes pride in supporting such programs is telling us that he'll do good with his own money - if a gun is held to his head. P. J. O'Rourke Quote Details

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It is important to remember that government interference always means either violent action or the threat of such action. Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen. The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning. Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom. Ludwig von Mises Quote Details

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The State never intentionally confronts a man's sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength. I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest. Henry David Thoreau Quote Details

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It is the duty of every patriot to protect his country from its government. Thomas Paine Quote Details

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The relative freedom which we enjoy depends of public opinion. The law is no protection. Governments make laws, but whether they are carried out, and how the police behave, depends on the general temper in the country. If large numbers of people are interested in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it; if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them. George Orwell Quote Details

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Nothing is more surprising than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few. David Hume Quote Details

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Remove justice, and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a large scale? What are criminal gangs but petty kingdoms? A gang is a group of men under command of a leader, bound by a compact of association, in which the plunder is divided according to an agreed convention. If this villainy wins so many recruits from the ranks of the demoralized that it acquires territory, establishes a base, captures cities and subdues people, it then openly arrogates itself the title of kingdom, which is conferred on it in the eyes of the world, not by the renouncing of aggression but by the attainment of impunity. Saint Augustine Quote Details

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Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. Benjamin Franklin Quote Details

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