Government Quotes

Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law. - Louis D. Brandeis

 

I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time. - Henry Louis Mencken

 

The art of government is to make two-thirds of a nation pay all it possibly can pay for the benefit of the other third. - Voltaire

 

The notion that big business and big labour and big government can sit down around a table somewhere and work out the direction of the American economy is at complete variance with the reality of where the American economy is headed. I mean, it's like dinosaurs gathering to talk about the evolution of a new generation of mammals. - Bruce Babbit

 

A pure democracy is a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person. - James Madison

 

I wish the government would put a tax on pianos for the incompetent. - Dame Edith Sitwell

 

The First Amendment is often inconvenient. But that is beside the point. Inconvenience does not absolve the government of its obligation to tolerate speech. - Anthony Kennedy

 

Where a government has come into power through some form of popular vote, fraudulent or not, and maintains at least an appearance of constitutional legality, the guerrilla outbreak cannot be promoted, since the possibilities of peaceful struggle have not yet been exhausted. - Ernesto 'Che' Guevara

 

The stakes are much too high for government to be a spectator sport. - Barbara Jordan

 

It might be more worthwhile if we stopped wringing our hands and started ringing our congressmen. - Unknown

 

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. -Winston Churchill

 

If people behaved like governments, you'd call the cops. -Kelvin Throop

 

We are imperfect. We cannot expect perfect government. -William Howard Taft

 

Democracy gives every man the right to be his own oppressor. -James Russell Lowell

 

Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few. -George Bernard Shaw

 

The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy. -Woodrow Wilson

 

In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery? -St. Augustine

 

Democracy: The state of affairs in which you consent to having your pocket picked, and elect the best man to do it. -Benjamin Lichtenberg

 

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

 

If all the economists were laid end to end, they'd never reach a conclusion. -George Bernard Shaw

 

No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent. -Abraham Lincoln

 

Under capitalism man exploits man; under socialism the reverse is true. -Polish Proverb

 

The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them. -Karl Marx

 

Governments should not possess instruments of coercion and violence denied to their citizens. -Edgar A. Suter

 

Our government... teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. -Louis Brandeis

 

A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away. -Barry Goldwater

 

Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those others that have been tried from time to time. -Winston Churchill

 

Democracy is a government where you can say what you think even if you don't think. -Author Unknown

 

The cure for capitalism's failing would require that a government would have to rise above the interests of one class alone. -Robert L. Heilbroner

 

Majority rule only works if you're also considering individual rights. Because you can't have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper. -Larry Flynt

 

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb. -Benjamin Franklin

 

Christmas is the time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell government what they want and their kids pay for it. -Richard Lamm

 

Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate, now what's going to happen to us with both a House and a Senate? -Will Rogers

 

Ohio claims they are due a president as they haven't had one since Taft. Look at the United States, they have not had one since Lincoln. -Will Rogers

 

If you want to understand your government, don't begin by reading the Constitution. (It conveys precious little of the flavor of today's statecraft.) Instead, read selected portions of the Washington telephone directory containing listings for all the organizations with titles beginning with the word National. -George Will

 

This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer. -Will Rogers

 

Congress is so strange. A man gets up to speak and says nothing. Nobody listens - and then everybody disagrees. -Boris Marshalov

 

Our political institutions work remarkably well. They are designed to clang against each other. The noise is democracy at work. -Michael Novak

 

I'm tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn't work. Of course it doesn't work. We are supposed to work it. -Alexander Woollcott

 

The worst thing in this world, next to anarchy, is government. -Henry Ward Beeche

 

People come to Washington believing it's 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 the engine. -Richard Goodwin

 

Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be. -Sydney J. Harris

 

A civil servant is sometimes like a broken cannon - it won't work and you can't fire it. -George S. Patton

 

Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. -Denis Diderot

 

Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt. -Herbert Hoover, attributed

 

It's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting. -Tom Stoppard, Jumpers

 

Talk is cheap - except when Congress does it. -Cullen Hightower

 

The most important political office is that of the private citizen. -Louis Brandeis

 

People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. -Walter H. Judd

 

How can one conceive of a one-party system in a country that has over two hundred varieties of cheese? -Charles de Gaulle, about France

 

Relying on the government to protect your privacy is like asking a peeping tom to install your window blinds. -John Perry Barlow

 

A survey says that American workers work the first three hours every day just to pay their taxes. So that's why we can't get anything done in the morning: We're government workers. -Jay Leno

 

When a machine begins to run without human aid, it is time to scrap it - whether it be a factory or a government. -Alexander Chase, Perspectives, 1966

 

In a state-run society the government promises you security. But it's a false promise predicated on the idea that the opposite of security is risk. Nothing could be further from the truth. The opposite of security is insecurity, and the only way to overcome insecurity is to take risks. The gentle government that promises to hold your hand as you cross the street refuses to let go on the other side. -Theodore Forstmann

 

Treaties are like roses and young girls - they last while they last. -Charles de Gaulle

 

The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment. -Robert M. Hutchins, Great Books, 1954

 

It is hard to feel individually responsible with respect to the invisible processes of a huge and distant government. -John Gardner

 

Washington is a place where politicians don't know which way is up and taxes don't know which way is down. -Robert Orben

 

Everybody wants to eat at the government's table, but nobody wants to do the dishes. -Werner Finck

 

When government accepts responsibility for people, then people no longer take responsibility for themselves. -George Pataki

 

Morphine and state relief are the same. You go dopey, feel better and are worse off. -Martin H. Fischer

 

If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress? -Author Unknown

 

Democracy is an abuse of statistics. -Jorge Luis Borges

 

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