My favorites reveal a general wariness of government — a key principle upon which our republic was founded:
"A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take everything you have."
— Barry Goldwater
"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country — against his government."
— Edward Abbey
"The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse."
— Edmund Burke
Well, Eddie, you got that right. We just handed our government a blank check worth billions to bail out our financial institutions. And before we let Barack Obama "make government cool again," we may want to consider this:
"The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it’s so rare."
— Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"Government is inherently incompetent, and no matter what task it is assigned, it will do it in the most expensive and inefficient way possible."
— Charley Reese
"Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us."
— Leo Tolstoy
Sorry, Leo, but folks often forget how nasty government can be. Right now, folks are clamoring for our government to do something, anything, to fix our economic woes — forgetting, of course, that our government is a key contributor to those woes. Here is where government is really effective:
"The government is good at one thing: It knows how to break your legs, then hand you a crutch and say, ‘See, if it weren’t for the government you wouldn’t be able to walk.’"
— Harry Browne
"Government’s view of the economy can 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 Reagan
"Government cannot make man richer, but it can make him poorer."
— Ludwig von Mises
We citizens must be more skeptical about well-meaning politicians. We must look past their flowery words to understand what they really may be up to:
"The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule."
— H.L. Mencken
"One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation."
— Thomas Reed
"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."
— George Bernard Shaw
Excellent quote, Georgie. You described the 2008 elections more accurately than 99 percent of America’s journalists — and you’ve been dead since 1950.
Look, it’s long been time that America gets back to the basics. American citizens must stand up and demand a return to the principles of SMALL government:
"That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves."
— Thomas Jefferson
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
— Patrick Henry
"Our best protection against bigger government in Washington is better government in the states."
— Dwight D. Eisenhower
Unfortunately, Dwight, we abandoned that concept some time ago. Unless Americans wake up and remember the origin of our greatness — it’s the people, not the government — we are poised for the government to expand more, and take more and control us more.
Humorists understand the ramifications better than anyone:
"The primary function of the government is — and here I am quoting directly from the U.S. Constitution — ‘to spew out paper.’"
— Dave Barry
"The difference between death and taxes is death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets."
— Will Rogers
"Did you ever notice that when you put the words ‘the’ and ‘IRS’ together, it spells ‘THEIRS?’"