Thursday, January 12, 2006

Quotes on Government

Just in case there is any doubt at all about how I feel about the institution of government, here are some quotes from others who have stated their similar opinions:

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

Liberty may make mistakes but tyranny is the death of a nation. -- Matteotti

Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent. -- H. L. Mencken

The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem. -- Milton Friedman

The point to remember is what government gives, it must first take away. -- John S. Caldwell

Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government. -- Milton Friedman

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators. -- P. J. O'Rourke

Once upon a time only Washington's face was on our money, now Washington's hands are on it too. -- Unknown

Don't steal. The government hates competition. -- Unknown

Patrick Henry railed against taxation without representation. He should see it with representation. -- Saul Landau

Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases. -- Thomas Jefferson

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. -- P. J. O'Rourke

The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets. -- Will Rogers

A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it. -- Alexis De Tocqueville

It is getting harder and harder to support the government in the style to which it has become accustomed. -- Unknown

Today's dime is really a dollar with all the taxes deducted. -- Unknown

A committee is a thing which takes a week to do what one good man can do in an hour. -- Elbert Hubbard

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. -- Thomas Jefferson

And here are some quotes of my own on the topic, culled from various writing of mine:

Totalitarianism is totalitarianism. The only difference between Communism and Fascism is the rhetoric. The net, practical result of each political/philosophical system to the populace is a complete lack of respect for the individual and the freedom to do what you wish, when you wish, with whom you wish, under circumstances that you alone control.

Governments are a bunch of people bossing us around, spending way too much of our money and interfering in virtually every aspect of our lives.

Politicians obfuscate. It gets them re-elected. If no-one can understand what is going on, then the perception is that we need someone to guide us through the fog. Many people want to be led. A few people even think that they need to be led.

Bureaucrats complicate. It gives them more work to do. It gives them job security. It means promotions as ever more bureaucrats are added to the Ministry of Redundancy.

Now, there should be absolutely no confusion about how I feel about government, should there?


  1. "Congress is the opposite of progress."
    "Politicians and diapers must be changed, often for the same reason." - Will Rogers
    "The most active branch of government: The Department of Justifying Our Existence." - Brian Bex
    "Government is what happens when people get too lazy to mind their own business, and instead, insist on minding everyone elde's." - Yours truly/Galt-In-Da-Box
    "Government is that great legal fiction by which all seek to live at the expense of everyone else" - Alexis DeTocqueville

  2. So... if so many of us recognize that government is at the very least bumbling and inefficient and at worst corrupt and evil, why does it still get bigger and more powerful every year, spending more and more of our money, and treating us all like idiots?

  3. The Jefferson quote is spurious.