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Famous Government Quotes - Famous Quotes about Government



"[The War Office kept three sets of figures:] one to mislead the public, another to mislead the Cabinet, and the third to mislead itself.
- Herbert Henry Asquith
***
'Say what you like about my bloody murderous government,' I says, 'but don't insult me poor bleedin' country.'
- Edward Abbey
***
A bureaucrat is a Democrat who holds some office that a Republican wants.
- Alben W. Barkley
***
A decent and manly examination of the acts of government should be not only tolerated, but encouraged.
- William Henry Harrison
***
A friend in power is a friend lost.
- Henry Adams
***
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
***
A multitude of rulers is not a good thing. Let there be one ruler, one king. (The Iliad)
- Homer
***
A nation is not in danger of financial disaster merely because it owes itself money.
- Andrew Mellon
***
A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
- Edward Abbey
***
A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce, or a tragedy, or perhaps both.
- James Madison
***
A Republic without parties is a complete anomaly. The histories of all popular governments show absurd is the idea of their attempting to exist without parties.
- Franklin Pierce
***
A state is not a mere society, having a common place, established for the prevention of mutual crime and for the sake of exchange...Political society exists for the sake of noble actions, and not of mere companionship.
- Aristotle
***
A State without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.
- Edmund Burke
***
All free governments are managed by the combined wisdom and folly of the people.
- James A. Garfield
***
All government is an ugly necessity.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton
***
And who knows? Somewhere out there in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the president's spouse. I wish him well!
- Barbara Bush
***
Any cook should be able to run the country.
- Vladimir Lenin
***
Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.
- Margaret Thatcher
***
Asking an incumbent member of Congress to vote for term limits is a bit like asking a chicken to vote for Colonel Sanders.
- Bob Inglis
***
At the beginning of the empire, the tax rates were low and the revenues were high. At the end of the empire, the tax rates were high and the revenues were low.
- Ibn Khaldun
***
Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.
- George Jean Nathan
***
Being a press secretary is like learning to type: You're hunting and pecking for a while and then you find yourself doing the touch system and don't realize it. You're speaking for the president without ever having to go to him.
- Larry Speakes
***
Citizen participation is a device whereby public officials induce nonpublic individuals to act in a way the officials desire.
- Daniel Moynihan
***
Confronted with the choice, the American people would choose the policeman's truncheon over the anarchist's bomb.
- Spiro Agnew
***
Creative semantics is the key to contemporary government; it consists of talking in strange tongues lest the public learn the inevitable inconveniently early.
- George Will
***
Do you not know, my son, with what little understanding the world is ruled?
- Pope Julius III
***
For every action there is an equal and opposite government program.
- Main's Law
***
For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.
- Anonymous
***
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
- P. J. ORourke
***
Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.
- Noah Webster
***
Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish - too much handling will spoil it.
- Lao Tzu
***
Government can easily exist without laws, but law cannot exist without government.
- Bertrand Russell
***
Government expands to absorb revenue and then some.
- Wiker's Law
***
Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.
- Ronald Reagan
***
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
***
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, subsidise it.
- Ronald Reagan
***
Governments never learn. Only people learn.
- Milton Friedman
***
He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god.
- Aristotle
***
How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?
- Charles de Gaulle
***
I am against government by crony.
- Harold L. Ickes
***
I am having trouble managing the mansion. What I need is a wife. (first elected female US Governor.)
- Ella T. Grasso
***
I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the government.
- Woody Allen
***
I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli.
- George Bush
***
I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
- Will Rogers
***
I have come to the conclusion that the major part of the work of a President is to increase the gate receipts of expositions and fairs and bring tourists to town.
- William Howard Taft
***
I have nothing but contempt for the kind of governor who is afraid, for whatever reason, to follow the course that he knows is best for the State; and as for the man who sets private friendship above the public welfare - I have no use for him either.
- Sophocles
***
I think the world is run by C students.
- Al McGuire
***
I think there are only three things America will be known for 2,000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music, and baseball.
- Gerald Early
***
I used to believe the government was the answer to all our problems. But the . . . government, I've concluded, is now an insufferable jungle of self-serving bureaucrats.
- Chet Huntley
***
I want to make clear that we respect the role of government in our legal and economic system.
- Bill Gates
***
I was not able to stop or slow down the Vietnam War. (on his greatest disappointment in 34 years as Senate majority leader)
- Mike Mansfield
***
I would dodge, not lie, in the national interest.
- Larry Speakes
***
I'm not a natural leader. I'm too intellectual; I'm too abstract; I think too much.
- Newt Gingrich
***
I've talked to you on a number of occasions about the economic problems our nation faces, and I am prepared to tell you it's in a hell of a messówe're not connected to the press room yet, are we?
- Ronald Reagan
***
If it were possible to make an accurate calculation of the evils which police regulations occasion, and of those which they prevent, the number of the former would, in all cases, exceed that of the latter.
- Wilhelm von Humboldt
***
If liberty and equality, as is thought by some are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.
- Aristotle
***
If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.
- James Madison
***
If you are as happy, my dear sir, on entering this house as I am in leaving it and returning home, you are the happiest man in this country.
- James Buchanan
***
If you seek Hamilton's monument, look around. You are living in it. We honor Jefferson, but live in Hamilton's country, a mighty industrial nation with a strong central government.
- George Will
***
In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take.
- Adlai Stevenson
***
In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.
- Ambrose Bierce
***
In Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Canada has at last produced a political leader worthy of assassination.
- Irving Layton
***
It is fast approaching the point where I don't want to elect anyone stupid enough to want the job. (on the US presidency)
- Erma Bombeck
***
It may be true that you can't fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country.
- Will Durant
***
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 . . .
- James Madison
***
Let them impeach, and be damned!
- Andrew Johnson
***
Might is a fine thing, and useful for many purposes; for "one goes further with a handful of might than with a bagful of right"
- Max Stirner
***
Never vote for the best candidate, vote for the one who will do the least harm.
- Frank Dane
***
No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent.
- Abraham Lincoln
***
No man will ever be President of the United States who spells Negro with two Gs.
- William Seward
***
No president who performs his duties faithfully and conscientiously can have any leisure.
- James K. Polk
***
No, I look at the Senators and pray for the country.
- Edward Everett Hale
***
Nobody ever says to men, 'how can you be a Congressman and a father.'
- Pat Schroeder
***
Now and then an innocent man is sent to the legislature.
- Kin Hubbard
***
Officeholders are the agents of the people, not their masters.
- Grover Cleveland
***
One thing I can say about George...he may not be able to keep a job, but he's not boring.
- Barbara Bush
***
Ours is a government of checks and balances. The Mafia and crooked businessmen make out checks, and the politicians and other compromised officials improve their bank balances.
- Steve Allen
***
People come to Washington believing it is the center of power. I know I did. It was only much later that I learned that Washington is a steering wheel that's not connected to an engine.
- Richard Goodwin
***
People have forgotten the effects of prohibition. We have become the United States of Amnesia.
- Gore Vidal
***
Public confidence in the integrity of the Government is indispensable to faith in democracy; and when we lose faith in the system, we have lost faith in everything we fight and spend for.
- Adlai Stevenson
***
Somehow liberals have been unable to acquire from life what conservatives seem to be endowed with at birth: namely, a healthy skepticism of the powers of government agencies to do good.
- Daniel Moynihan
***
Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the president' s spouse. I wish him well!
- Barbara Bush
***
Sure there are dishonest men in local government. But there are dishonest men in national government too.
- Richard M. Nixon
***
The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee. And I pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun.
- John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
***
The best reason I can think of for not running for president of the United States is that you have to shave twice a day.
- Adlai Stevenson
***
The chasm between the principles upon which this Government was founded, in which it still professes to believe, and those which are daily practiced under the protection of the flag, yawn wide and deep.
- Mary Eliza Church Terrell
***
The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.
- P.J. O'Rourke
***
The federal government can't remodel every firehouse and buy every new police radio in the name of Homeland Security.
- Bob Inglis
***
The federal government has sponsored research that has produced a tomato that is perfect in every respect, except that you can't eat it. We should make every effort to make sure this disease, often referred to as 'progress', doesn't spread.
- Andy Rooney
***
The four most miserable years of my life.
- John Adams
***
The government is best which makes itself unnecessary.
- Wilhelm von Humboldt
***
The main essentials of a successful prime minister are sleep and a sense of history.
- Harold Wilson
***
The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.
- Lao Tzu
***
The nearest approach to immortality on earth is a government bureau.
- James F. Byrnes
***
The object of government in peace and in war is not the glory of rulers or of races, but the happiness of the common man.
- William Henry Beveridge
***
The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.
- Aristotle
***
The President is the last person in the world to know what the people really want and think.
- James A. Garfield
***
The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it's so rare.
- Daniel Moynihan
***
The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual crime.
- Max Stirner
***
The taxpayers are sending congressmen on expensive trips abroad. It might be worth it except they keep coming back!
- Will Rogers
***
The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other - instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals.
- Edward Abbey
***
The Vice-Presidency is sort of like the last cookie on the plate. Everybody insists he won't take it, but somebody always does.
- Bill Vaughan
***
The way people in democracies think of the government as something different from themselves is a real handicap. And, of course, sometimes the government confirms their opinion.
- Lewis Mumford
***
The world is not going to be saved by legislation.
- William Howard Taft
***
There is no nonsense so errant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action.
- Bertrand Russell
***
There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
- Will Rogers
***
They should rule who are able to rule best.
- Aristotle
***
This we learn from Watergate that almost any creep'll be glad to help the Government overthrow the people.
- E. Y. Harburg
***
Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.
- Josef Stalin
***
Those who own the country ought to govern it.
- John Jay
***
Those who talk don't know what is going on and those who know what is going on won't talk.
- Larry Speakes
***
Though the people support the government, the government should not support the people.
- Grover Cleveland
***
To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you too may one day be president of the United States.
- George W. Bush
***
Vote early and vote often.
- Al Capone
***
We are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
- Bob Inglis
***
We're half the people; we should be half the Congress.
- Jeannette Rankin
***
We're the only branch of government that explains itself in writing every time it makes a decision.
- Byron R. White
***
Well, I think it's a very good job. One of the most appealing things about it is that... it enables you to participate in some way and to some extent in the way the country is governed but you're able to maintain a private life as well. [As quoted in BBC article on his death. (4 September 2005)]
- William Rehnquist
***
Whatever right the Second Amendment protects is not as important as it was 200 years ago... The government should deconstitutionalize the subject by repealing the embarrasing Amendment.
- George Will
***
When a man has cast his longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.
- Thomas Jefferson
***
When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.
- Clarence Darrow
***
Where the state begins, individual liberty ceases, and vice versa.
- Mikhail Bakunin
***
Who, then, will govern? The answer must be, Man - for we have no angels in the shape of men, as yet, who are willing to take charge of our political affairs.
- Andrew Johnson
***
Why don't they pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything? If it works as well as prohibition did, in five years Americans would be the smartest race of people on Earth.
- Will Rogers
***
Will it not be wise to allow the friendship between nations to rest upon deep and permanent things? Irritations of the cuticle must not be confounded with heart failure.
- Benjamin Harrison
***
World War II was the last government program that really worked.
- George Will
***
You can lead a man to Congress, but you can't make him think.
- Milton Berle
***
You don't tell us how to stage the news and we don't tell you how to cover it.
- Larry Speakes
***
You had better have one King than five hundred.
- Charles II of England
***
You may think the president is all-powerful, but he is not. He needs a lot of guidance from the Lord.
- Barbara Bush
***

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