Freedom 
Keys
a collection of amusing, 
fascinating, insightful, or 
maybe even useful information
.
"The attempt to make heaven on earth 
invariably produces hell." -- Karl Popper
THE  "GOVERNMENT=SOCIETY"  FALLACY

"Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins ... Society is in every state a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one." -- Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776 

"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. ... We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting people to eat because we do not want the state to raise the grain."
          -- Frédéric Bastiat, <The Law, 1849

"If a government were put in charge of the Sahara Desert, within five years they’d have a shortage of sand." -- Milton Friedman, PhD, Nobel Laureate

"The State is the coldest of all cold monsters, and coldly it tells lies, and this lie drones on from its mouth: 'I, the State, am the people'." -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus spoke Zarathustra, 1883 

"Government, when it is examined, turns out to be nothing more nor less than a group of fallible men with the political force to act as though they were infallible." -- Robert LeFevre, Aggression is Wrong, 1963

"People constantly speak of  'the government' doing this or that, as they might speak of God doing it. But the government is really nothing but a group of men, and usually they are very inferior men." -- H.L. Mencken 

"Power always thinks it has a great soul, and vast views, beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God service, when it is violating all His laws." --  John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, February 2, 1816

"Public Choice theory, if nothing else, has taught economists to consider the state as it is, not as it should be in a dream world: the state is a potential tyrant, not a benevolent God."-- Pierre Lemieux 

"Whenever collectivists see a problem, they never roll up their sleeves and get to work on it themselves or organize others to pitch in with labor and/or money.  No, they scream like 2-year-olds for somebody ELSE to fix it! Now! And they usually run to the government, if not mommy.  It never even occurs to them to start a charity or rely on any other voluntary activity.  They're socially infantile." - Rick Gaber

"A government does not create voluntary cooperation. A government coerces obedience and calls it cooperation." -- Russ Nelson

"The State is Not Your Friend." --Dale Amon

"The people = government doctrine is equivalent to political infantilism - an agreement to pretend that the citizen's wishes animate each restriction or exaction inflicted upon him. This doctrine essentially makes masochism the driving force of political life -- assuming that if government is beating the citizens, they must want to be beaten, and they have no right to complain." -- James Bovard

"When most people say things such as, 'let's pass a law to have the government give (anything besides safety and a court system) to everybody,' they're playing a game of  'let's pretend that everybody from whom the government must first take it won't mind'.  This, of course, demonstrates either a totally naive or a totally cynical reliance on the sanction of the victims." -- Rick Gaber 

“Governments and citizens blend together only in the imagination of political theorists. Government is, and always will be, an alien power over private citizens.” --  James Bovard, Freedom in Chains

"The tendency to identify a society with its political institutions is a serious problem."  -- "Assumptions of Power" by Stephen Cox, Reason magazine, March, 1993

"The more profound problem, however, is the degree to which many academic intellectuals, especially in the humanities, have lost their ability to distinguish the 'state' from 'society'." -- "Assumptions of Power" by Stephen Cox, Reason magazine, March, 1993

... With the rise of democracy, the identification of the State with society has been redoubled, until it is common to hear sentiments expressed which violate virtually every tenet of reason and common sense such as, "we are the government." The useful collective term "we" has enabled an ideological camouflage to be thrown over the reality of political life. If "we are the government," then anything a government does to an individual is not only just and untyrannical but also "voluntary" on the part of the individual concerned. If the government has incurred a huge public debt which must be paid by taxing one group for the benefit of another, this reality of burden is obscured by saying that "we owe it to ourselves"; if the government conscripts a man, or throws him into jail for dissident opinion, then he is "doing it to himself" and, therefore, nothing untoward has occurred. Under this reasoning, any Jews murdered by the Nazi government were not murdered; instead, they must have "committed suicide," since they were the government (which was democratically chosen), and, therefore, anything the government did to them was voluntary on their part. One would not think it necessary to belabor this point, and yet the overwhelming bulk of the people hold this fallacy to a greater or lesser degree. 

          We must, therefore, emphasize that "we" are not the government; the government is not "us." The government does not in any accurate sense "represent" the majority of the people.[1] But, even if it did, even if 70 percent of the people decided to murder the remaining 30 percent, this would still be murder and would not be voluntary suicide on the part of the slaughtered minority.[2] No organicist metaphor, no irrelevant bromide that "we  are all part of one another," must be permitted to obscure this basic fact. 

          If, then, the State is not "us," if it is not "the human family" getting together to decide mutual problems, if it is not a lodge meeting or country club, what is it? Briefly, the State is that organization in society which attempts to maintain a monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area; in particular, it is the only organization in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered but by coercion. While other individuals or institutions obtain their income by production of goods and services and by the peaceful and voluntary sale of these goods and services to others, the State obtains its revenue by the use of compulsion; that is, by the use and the threat of the jailhouse and the bayonet.[3] Having used force and violence to obtain its revenue, the State generally goes on to regulate and dictate the other actions of its individual subjects. 
-- excerpted from Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays by Murray N. Rothbard (Auburn: Mises Institute, 2000 [1974]), pp. 55-88. extensively quoted HERE

   "If you point out that the Eighteenth Amendment had been inserted into the Constitution by majority vote, and that therefore 'we' had done it to 'ourselves,' you need to be reminded that the 'we' who did it were not the same people as the 'ourselves' to whom it was done!"-- Rev. Edmund Opitz

"The one thing government has which we (you or I or any corporation) DON'T have, is the ability to use deadly force to accomplish its goals." -- Neal Boortz

"FACE IT: ALL taxes are paid, and ALL regulations are enforced, ultimately, at gunpoint." -- Rick Gaber

"Even in principle, government is not synonymous with society.  In practice, government is an enemy of civil society." --Donald Boudreaux

"...too many children and people have been given to understand 'I have a problem, it is the Government's job to cope with it!' or 'I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!' 'I am homeless, the Government must house me!' and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first." -- Margaret Thatcher

"There is such a thing as society - it's just not the same thing as the state." -- David Cameron

"Liberals seem to assume that, if you don't believe in their particular political solutions, then you don't really care about the people that they claim to want to help." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

"...the one thing libertarians grasp better than conservatives or liberals is the danger of the category error when it comes to the role of government. ... The fundamental insight of libertarianism is that the government is the government. It cannot be your mommy, your daddy, your big brother, your nanny, your friend, your buddy, your god, your salvation, your church or your conscience." -- Jonah Goldberg

"We need to be clear: government spending does not create charity; government spending *displaces* private charity. The question is not whether people will help; the question is how they will help. The decision is not between government help and no help but instead between government help and private help." -- Russ Nelson

"The crucial distinction between systems...was no longer ideological.  The main political difference was between those who did, and those who did not, believe that the citizen could -- or should -- be the property of the state." -- Adam Michnik in Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens 

"Society is something emergent that occurs when people interact with each other, you cannot point at it and you cannot owe it anything. When any politician says the word 'society', you can be damn sure what he really means is 'the state'." -- Perry de Havilland

"If men use their liberty in such a way as to surrender their liberty, are they thereafter any the less slaves? If people by a plebiscite elect a man despot over them, do they remain free because the despotism was of their own making?" -- Herbert Spencer, The New Toryism, 1884 

"We’re dealing with the oldest political error: the belief that because everyone wants something, government should or must provide it.  If the error is pervasive, the result is the total state.  If it is completely uprooted, the result is the purely free society." -- Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

“The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes.” – Thomas Paine 

“Jesus would never use government surrogates to force the people to ‘help others’.” – Philip Freneau 

“A coerced ‘choice’ does not reflect virtue, only compliance.” – Wendy McElroy 

“Compassion  comes from the heart, not the government” – Edward Britton

"Government is not compassion ... [it]  is nothing more than structured, widespread coercion ..." -- Glen Allport

“The triumph of persuasion over force is the sign of a civilized society."– Plato (427-347 BC). 

"Big national goals are never easy on the taxpayer.  For every national goal accomplished, a hundred private goals lay in ashes to fund it.  For every hunk of metal the government puts on Mars, a working mother does not buy school supplies for her daughter, a middle-class family goes without a family car and a billionaire cannot open a new factory." -- Jacob Lyles

"Hypocrisy is not the hobgoblin of enslavable minds so much as it is the hallmark of their would-be slavemasters." -- Rick Gaber

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." -- Thomas Jefferson

"It is the idea that all order must be explained by a functioning mind at the helm, not its denial, that has the closet affinity to the religious instinct." -- Julian Sanchez

"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force. " -- Ayn Rand in "The Nature of Government"

"When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion -- When you see that in order to produce, you need permission from men who produce nothing -- When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors -- When you see that men get richer by graft and pull than by hard work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you -- When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming self-sacrifice -- You may know your society is doomed." -- Ayn Rand in  Atlas Shrugged<

Professor R. J. Rummel, who keeps track of such things, now estimates that in the 20th century  262,000,000 people were killed by their own governments.  And all these horrors were perpetrated by collectivist governments for the alleged sake of "the proletariat," the "master race," and especially, "the greater good." None were done by countries based on individualism. see: http://freedomkeys.com/collectivism.htm
and: http://tinyurl.com/RJRummel 
Sarcasm on the lighter side
"Do not pinch yourself: everyone will say ouch, now that we've become a 'collective body.' " -- Cat Farmer
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This book is written in anecdotal style, full of horrifying accounts of government ineptitude and unfairness.  Abuses by government officials are rampant; small businesses find it hard to survive, and  ordinary people are deprived of their property without just compensation.

      "Your tax dollars at work"? 
A recent survey showed that out of every 100 federal government employees who get unsatisfactory job ratings, less than two are fired. Eighty out of the one hundred even get raises!  During a budget dispute between congress and the resident in 1995, most of the U.S. government was shut down for awhile, and 98 percent of the employees in some agencies were deemed "non-essential" and told not to bother coming to work
Also see: "Public Sector Gets Even Fatter" HERE

"In his latest book, Revolutionary Wealth, co-written with his wife Heidi, [futurist Alvin] Toffler diagrams the varying speeds in which institutions change. In one chapter, the couple uses a series of figurative cars on the freeway to make their point. Zooming along at 100 MPH 'is a car representing the fastest-changing major institution in America today -- the company or business,' the Tofflers write.  By contrast, a car driven by government and regulatory agencies would be puttering at a speed of 25 MPH. Meanwhile, bringing up the rear, at 10 miles per hour, shuddering along 'with a flat tire and steam coming out its radiator' is the American school system. 'Is it possible that it costs $400 billion to maintain this broken heap? The answer is yes, every year'." -- Edward B. Driscoll Jr.

"People who are very aware that they have more knowledge than the average person are often very unaware that they do not have one-tenth of the knowledge of all of the average persons put together. In this situation, for the intelligentsia to impose their notions on ordinary people is essentially to impose ignorance on knowledge." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

"No single person possesses anything close to the invisible collective knowledge held by the society as a whole." -- Jonah Goldberg, paraphrasing Friedrich Hayek, here

"Perhaps the most important point of all is that government officials operate in a fog ... it is important to remember that the information that government has is often no better than what is available to private individuals." -- Arnold Kling

"In some professions, a large part of the time of first-rate people is spent countering the half-baked ideas of second-rate people and trying to salvage something from the wreckage of the disasters they create." -- Thomas Sowell

"The Many are Smarter than the Few" by James Surowiecki

"The world is full of smart people who have information about every imaginable topic, and until the Internet came along, there wasn't any practical way to put it together." -- John Hinderaker, as quoted in Time

"The power of the blogosphere (more properly, the internet) does not lie in a handful of bloggers with well-read sites. It resides in the hundreds of thousands, or millions, of smart, well-informed, engaged readers who, collectively, have amazing knowledge and expertise in just about any area you can think of. What is new is the ability to bring together these disparate sources of knowledge, analyze them, and disseminate them in real time. We help to do this, but on a big, fast-breaking story like this one, the real impetus comes from our readers--a point we make in every interview we give." -- John Hinderaker

"Question: What does the stock market know that the mainstream media do not? Answer: almost everything." -- Larry Kudlow

"There's nothing that does so much harm as good intentions." -- Dr. Milton Friedman, as interviewed in "Is America No. 1?" by John Stossel.

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." -- Martin Luther King, Jr 

"Using governmental force to impose a vision on others is intellectual sloth." -- Ken Schoolland

"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance." --  Murray N. Rothbard

"Sociotropic voters with biased economic beliefs are more likely to produce severe political failures than are selfish voters with rational expectations." -- Bryan Caplan

"Certain kinds of economic controls tend to paralyze the driving forces of a free society." -- F.A. Hayek

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others." -- Ayn Rand 

"No matter how disastrously some policy has turned out, anyone who criticizes it can expect to hear: 'But what would you replace it with?'  When you put out a fire, what do you replace it with?" -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

"Why is it that any time government takes over something for a few years, it's assumed that people are too incompetent to do it for themselves?" -- Julian Sanchez

"If government had taken over the auto industry in 1920, today we'd all be driving Model-T cars -- and saying, 'If it weren't for the government, we'd have no cars at all.' " -- Harry Browne

"One can learn more about a country from speaking to a prostitute or a black marketer than from speaking to a government minister." -- Jim Rogers

"I've always been a small-government person.  I think that a good way to really screw something up is to get the government involved.  It's just that it's too large; it's too clumsy; it's too bureaucratic; it doesn't run smoothly.  I do believe in the energy and the productivity of the American business world, and I think that's the way to get things done.  That's what built the country, and I think that's what will continue to build it." -- Clint Eastwood to Chris Matthews on Hardball 3-15-05

"Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone." -- Frédéric Bastiat

"The freedom of individuals to choose, without intrusive state regulation, is the prerequisite of morality. A coerced 'choice' does not reflect virtue, only compliance. In other words, you cannot force a person to be moral; you can only make them conform. True morality requires freedom and cannot exist without it." -- Wendy McElroy
 

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Milton Friedman quotes

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

"The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem."

"The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy."

"The black market was a way of getting around government controls. It was a way of enabling the free market to work. It was a way of opening up, enabling people."

"Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless."

WHY GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM by Milton Friedman

"We have paid dearly for idealizing the state. There is no virtue in denying the law of gravity, and there should be no virtue in denying the limitations of government. Good intentions are no excuse for perpetual failure and growing oppression. The more we glorify government, the more liberties we will lose. Freedom is largely a choice between allowing people to follow their own interests or forcing them to follow the interests of politicians, bureaucrats, politicians and campaign contributors." -- James Bovard, Lost Rights

"A government, at bottom, is nothing more than a gang of men, and as a practical matter most of them are inferior men ... Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one and even those governments that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent. Indeed, it would not be far from wrong to describe the best government as the common enemy of all decent citizens." -- Minority Report: H.L. Mencken's Notebooks #68, 1956

"It should be only under the most extraordinary circumstances in which an agent of the state should be able to legally refuse to give you their name and thereby avoid personal responsibility for their actions ... ponder the thesis that the reason many people take jobs in places like the Immigration service is to satisfy a psychological need to exert arbitrary power over others. This is your tax money at work." -- Perry de Havilland

"It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepard." – Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

"As ever more rules and regulations curtail the decisions individuals may make for themselves, as ever greater proportions of people’s income are siphoned off to be used as our leaders decide, as every species of special interest pays tribute to predatory politicos who suck the marrow from the bones of civil society, individuals are reduced to ever more meaningless atoms in the social cosmos. All of life becomes politicized, which means corrupted by power. And as individual liberty and individual rights die, all that is decent in human society dies with them." -- Robert Higgs

"We also need a far more rational, balanced and intelligent debate as to how 'risk' is debated. Not every 'scandal' requires a regulatory response." -- Tony Blair

"When your response to everything that is wrong with the world is to say, 'there ought to be a law,' you are saying that you hold freedom very cheap." -- Thomas Sowell

"People are tempted to use government to shift the costs of their own actions onto others, resulting in an increasingly irresponsible populace, and a riskier world. If someone else is picking up the tab, why not order the steak? When people are forced to bear the costs of their own behavior themselves, they tend to make more rational choices, which actually does result in a less risky world. The attempt to use government to stamp out risk is like dousing a fire with oil." -- Lee McCracken

"The impulse to control everything pervades those who make up the governmental class. That is, after all, why someone decides to spend their working life in politics and applying the collective means of coercion to others. The extent to which this desire to impose force backed control can be realised is exactly what defines whether or not you are 'free' or a 'slave' of the state." -- Perry de Havilland


Judge Napolitano speaks frankly from his own courtroom experiences and careful, thorough investigations and reveals how government agencies will often arrest without warrant, spy without legal authority, imprison without charge, and kill without cause.
"By holding that Congress may regulate activity that is neither interstate nor commerce under the Interstate Commerce Clause, the Court abandons any attempt to enforce the Constitution's limits on federal power." -- Clarence Thomas
"The doctrine that the treaty power is unlimited and omnipotent and may be used to OVERRIDE  the Constitution and the Bill of Rights... is a doctrine of recent origin and largely derived from Missouri v. Holland." -- Frank E. Holman
"Behind every law, regulation, search warrant, subpoena, summons, and 'national security letter,' is the government’s willingness to put people in prison." -- Tim Lynch
    "The State stands a Gibraltar between me and anybody who insists upon prescribing for my soul what I don’t want to take. . . . Why shouldn’t I have equal liberty with regard to my body, which is of so much less concern? . . . Now what I contend is that my body is my own, at least I have always so regarded it.  If I do harm through my experimenting with it, it is I who suffer, not the State." -- Mark Twain in The New York Times, February 28, 1901
"Halloween has a socialist tenor. Menacing figures arrive at your door uninvited, demand your property, and threaten to perform an unspecified 'trick' if you don't fork over. That's the way the government works in a nutshell." -- Dale Steinreich
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The Brian Allen Section

"In the most innovative, creative, productive and industrious nation there has ever been, the feral gummint gets to [fish with a] hand line only [in] the shallow end of the talent pool for what's left only after the whole has already been seined, netted, trawled, long- lined and dredged by the world's finest 25,000 private -- and even corporate -- employers. 

"And we then, in this, the most innovative, creative, productive and industrious nation there has ever been, entrust the 'supervision' and 'control' and 'regulation' of such matters as pain management [And aerospace and pharmaceuticals and airport security and airline operations etceteras] -- to the feral gummint ... the only organiization in our beloved FRaternal Republic whose mean IQ has never and will never crack ninety ..."
-- Brian Allen, 3-26-05

"Since the layer upon layer of the parasitical criminal activity we call 'government'  began the systemic quota hiring and remunerating of the as-often-as-not otherwise deservedly unemployed we, for some reason unfathomable to me, call 'public servants' and government 'employees,' the amount of 'work' performed by the inevitably-corrupted-by-the-process government 'contractors'  that actually get any gummint "work" done, has increased to 85%. 

"Mind you, that doesn't necessarily equate to 85% of the gummint's otherwise deservedly unemployed being absent at any given time. 

"It says only that they might just as well be!" -- Brian Allen, 3-30-05 

..
"Some years ago an excellent professor of economics told his class in his gravelly voice, 'If you pay me $50,000 a year to solve a problem, I damned sure ain't going to solve it.' " -- Charley Reese, Orlando Sentinel 2-24-2000

"If you pay me $150,000 a year to solve all the country's problems, not only will I NOT solve any, I'll make A LOT MORE NEW ONES while appearing to 'solve' the old ones." -- Randy Richards

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The Center for Small Government
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"One of the virtues of commercial society is that when foolish people get out of hand, smart people have incentives to correct them. 

"There’s a lot of evidence that people aren’t always rational, and suffer from a range of cognitive biases. But thanks to arbitrage, rational people stand to profit when irrational people let prices and wages stray from efficient levels. That’s what justifies the economist’s assumption of rationality—a small number of rational profit-seekers keep markets rational as a whole even when many participants aren’t.

"Unfortunately, tax policy has no such mechanism. Tax policymakers suffer the same cognitive biases as everyone else, but the 'market' for tax policy—made up of legislators, voters and lobbyists—is much less self-correcting. In traditional markets, bad business practices get pushed out by competition, and bad pricing decisions get corrected through arbitrage. But in tax policy, inefficient tax laws can survive on the books for generations.

"That’s the argument in a recent paper from Prof. Edward McCaffrey (USC), 'Thinking About Tax' (PDF)."

  -- Andrew Chamberlain, "bad tax policy forever"
 

..
     "For those who fancy that government's projects are uniquely important, or for those who imagine that holding government office makes someone unusually saintly or trustworthy, entrusting government with power that we would never entrust to our neighbors or other private citizens might seem sensible. To me, it's dangerous, unjustified, and unjustifiable.

     " I trust democratic mechanisms much less than I trust the rules of private property. If the city of New London, for example, can confiscate private property without the owners' consent, government officials have too little incentive to bargain in good faith with property owners to find out if mutually advantageous deals are possible. Government will confiscate property rather than pay market prices for it. And politicians will pander to special-interest groups eager to gain at the public expense." -- Dr. Donald Boudreaux

"The government is the biggest special- interest group there is." -- Randy Richards

     "If you ask people today to make huge sacrifices that later turn out to be unnecessary or to be following a dead-end technological alternative, you've created poverty as a deliberate object of policy.  I don't see uncertainty about the world as something that would give us a good reason to prefer government intervention over market solutions; if the market is uncertain, then so should you be about what the best government policy would be." -- James Hamilton

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Americans are being taxed to death--literally, says Amity Shlaes ... At work or out shopping, upon marriage or even after death, we are paying more in taxes than ever before ... The average family with two wage-earners is now seeing almost 40 percent of its money go to local, state, and federal taxes.
. “You know we have a greedy government. Even if they cancel the debt, it will not help if the government is greedy.” -- Kenyan student Phillip Khisa
. “Government is a predator and the citizen is the prey. You pounce on him and you squeeze him all you can.” -- Egyptian Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali, describing the tradition he says he wants to get away from

"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong." -- Voltaire (François Marie Arouet, 1694-1778)

"Work hard and the government gives other people access to your wallet. Don't work and the government gives you access to the wallets of those who do! Who the hell thought up this system?" -- Neal Boortz

"Perhaps we should hire children to be govt officials. They'd work cheaper, wouldn't perform any worse in many cases, and there's always the chance that they won't be as immature and utterly selfish as some of the bastards we have now." -- J. Bowen

     "Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible."
   -- Janice Rogers Brown

  "It is unbridled desire to coerce others into serving their ends that causes grown men to rationalize the distortion of the words in founding documents (and lesser laws) and that eventually destroys all institutional barriers limiting government power. ... Little noted [has been] the fact that if we were free to vie endlessly with one another to become legally protected predators, we would also be bound to labor perpetually to avoid becoming legal prey." -- Jeffrey R. Snyder

 
"So is it inconsistent for me to claim that private schools tend to be more efficient than public schools and at the same time claim that private schools have difficulty competing with public schools?  I don’t think so.  The government doesn’t play fair.  It doesn’t play by the same rules by which it expects everyone else to abide.  Unlike the state, private firms need to worry about whether they are satisfying consumers and making a profit. Private firms cannot steal to make up for any losses.  The state can and does." -- Micha Ghertner

"Bureaucrats like to say, you will go to this school, because we said so, and you will be taught according to this program, because we said so and we know best.  Those of us with confidence in markets think you could do better deciding for yourself. Neither the bureaucrats nor the freedom lovers can judge what's in your interest better than you can.  One big difference is, we know what we don't know, while they think they know everything." -- John Stossel

"You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

"The bureaucratic mentality is the only constant in the universe." -- Dr. McCoy, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

"Down with robber government!" -- Azerbaijani demonstrators

"The true and just rule for mankind is the voluntary exchange of service for service. Plunder consists in prohibiting, by force or fraud, freedom of exchange, in order to receive a service without rendering one in return. ... the misuse of government services [is] an immense field for plunder, so immense that we can only glance at it. ... The state too is subject to the Malthusian law. It tends to expand in proportion to its means of existence and to live beyond its means, and these are, in the last analysis, nothing but the substance of the people. ... When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men together in a society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." -- Frédéric Bastiat, Economic Sophisms


 
  "How a conflict-ridden, grossly over-populated place with no resources whatsoever gets rich is simple. The British colonial government turned Hong Kong into an economic miracle by doing nothing." -- P.J. O'Rourke inEat the Rich

 
"We certainly don't view government with the same awe we felt before Watergate broke, or journalism with the same respect it had before Dan Rather struck, but all available evidence suggests that it was our earlier attitudes that were misinformed." -- Glenn Reynolds

"[I've been] counseling the governmentally- addicted since 1994." -- Edward Britton

"Sending more money to Washington is like sending more coal to Newcastle." -- Arnold Kling

"Economic prosperity comes not from government programs but from entrepreneurial inspiration" -- Greg Mankiw

"I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones
that do violence to the Constitution or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents 'interests,' I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can." -- Barry Goldwater"

"Little else is required to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice." -- Adam Smith

"Perhaps just as Orwell wrote about 'newspeak' and posited a totalitarian state which wanted to abridge the language to make even conceiving of dissent impossible, there may be some amongst the political class who like the idea of most people receiving nothing more than technical training as the less people know of radically different world views that are never the less relevant to western culture, the less likely they are to imagine society functioning just fine without a great many of the state institutions taken for granted today. What would happen if people start imagining a world which works just fine without much of the regulatory statism that the state wants you to accept as inevitable and natural?" -- Perry de Havilland

"The gap between what one knows and what one thinks one knows may be higher in the ranks of the elite. The result is supposedly-clever government interventions, introduced with excessive confidence, leading to disastrous results." -- Arnold Kling


 

"The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: 'Your money, or your life.' And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat.

"The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the roadside, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful.

"The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a 'protector,' and that he takes men's money against their will, merely to enable him to 'protect' those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful 'sovereign,' on account of the 'protection' he affords you. He does not keep 'protecting' you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villainies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave." -- Lysander Spooner 
 


"A bureaucrat is the most despicable of men, though he is needed as vultures are needed, but one hardly admires vultures whom bureaucrats so strangely resemble. I have yet to meet a bureaucrat who was not petty, dull, almost witless, crafty or stupid, an oppressor or a thief, a holder of little authority in which he delights, as a boy delights in possessing a vicious dog. Who can trust such creatures?" 
- Marcus Tullius Cicero

 
"If the founders had really intended for the 'general welfare' clause of the Constitution to be used to justify absolutely anything any federal legislator wants to legislate about, they would NOT have followed it in Article I Section 8 with 17 specific duties of the federal government NOR with the 10th Amendment which states emphatically that if it ain't there you can't do it." -- Rick Gaber
"The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits." -- Thomas Jefferson to M. L'Hommande, 1787
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"They conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone -- the most prehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men." -Justice Louis Brandeis, Olmstead v. U.S.
.
"The greatest threat to human rights is always an abusive government." -- Mark Steyn
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"Beware the greedy hand of government,  thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry." -- Thomas Paine        
.
"The authority of government ... can have no pure right over my person and my property but what I concede to it." -- Henry David Thoreau
.
"All government is an ugly necessity." -- G.K. Chesterton        "Pas trop gouverner." -- Benjamin Franklin
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"That government is best which governs least, because its people discipline themselves." – Jefferson
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"The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem." -- Milton Friedman
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“Everything the government touches turns to crap." -- Ringo Starr
.......
OBSERVATIONS  ON  GOVERNMENT
.......

"There are severe limits to the good that the government can do for the economy, but there are almost no limits to the harm it can do." -- Milton Friedman      

"Most elected officials cling to their ideological biases, despite the real-world facts that disprove their theories time and again. Most have no common sense, and most never acknowledge that they were wrong." -- Larry Kudlow, August 23, 2010

"There is no art which one government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people." - Adam Smith

"This collection of essays, spanning two decades, has a single theme: that government is a fraud.
Higgs convincingly argues that the measures government takes to make life better actually make it worse."-- from the review by Courtney Richard
"Big government kills jobs, period." -- Bryan Preston

"Big government is a special interest, and President Obama is its chief lobbyist." - Rep. Thaddeus McCotter

"Demagoguery beats data in making public policy." -- Dick Armey

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

"Scratch the surface of an endemic problem -- famine, illness, poverty -- and you invariably find a politician at the source." -- Simon Carr, in his review of The Mystery of Capital by Hernando de Soto

"In some professions, a large part of the time of first-rate people is spent countering the half-baked ideas of second-rate people and trying to salvage something from the wreckage of the disasters they create." -- Thomas Sowell  

"What prudent merchant will hazard his fortunes in any new branch of commerce when he knows not that his plans may be rendered unlawful before they can be executed?" -- James Madison

"The State is a gang of thieves writ large." ~ Murray Rothbard

"What is this oozing behemoth, this fibrous tumor, this monster of power and expense hatched from the simple human desire for civic order? How did an allegedly free people spawn a vast, rampant cuttlefish of dominion with its tentacles in every orifice of the body politic?" -- P. J. O'Rourke, Parliament of Whores

"The government is good at one thing...it knows how to break your legs, and then hand you a crutch and say, 'See, if it weren't for the government you wouldn't be able to walk'." -- Harry Browne 

"What you have here is a story of revenge, payback and hypocrisy, in other words, an average Friday in Washington." -- Charles Krauthammer, 1/5/2007

"The Constitution was written to keep the government off the people's backs." - Judge Andrew Napolitano 

“The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.” – Thomas Jefferson

"Washington has a mysterious power to turn perfectly reasonable, wholesome, well-meaning human beings into equivocating crooked gasbags." -- David Harsanyi

"[The Obmacare website] is a prime example of what the government does best, spending too much money to do the wrong thing." - Congressman Tom Price, MD 

"People often ask me why I left the Senate, and I always tell them after eight years in Washington, I longed for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood."
--  Movie actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson 

"I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." -- Will Rogers 

"The 'private sector' of the economy is, in fact, the 'voluntary' sector; and...the 'public sector' is, in fact, the 'coercive' sector." -- Henry Hazlitt

Here's a story about both the brain-dead nature of the public sector and the nasty nature of our bureaucratic overlords.••►http://tinyurl.com/BagpipePolice

"Give government an inch and it takes a mile." - Judge Andrew Napolitano

"It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government." -- Thomas Paine 

"It is truly a triumph of rhetoric over reality when people can believe that going into politics is 'public service,' but that producing food, shelter, transportation, or medical care is not." -- Thomas Sowell

"Ultimately, however, as the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter pointed out, a powerful bureaucratic class is in the same relation to commerce as was the scorpion in Aesop to the dog on whose back he crossed the river. They will destroy commerce and establish socialism, even if it kills them, because that is their nature." -- John Derbyshire 

"Never mind that the new Visitors Center in Washington DC cost the taxpayers $621 million.  Oh and that was ONLY $550 million more than the project was originally supposed to cost.  Not to mention the fact that it was supposed to open three years ago .. but it was a government operation.  What do you expect?  I definitely want to put these people in charge of my healthcare and my retirement plan." - Neal Boortz

"We know that anything government does private enterprise can do for half the cost." -- Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Dr. Milton Friedman to Charlie Rose 12-26-2005 

"Whenever the government runs things it always costs twice as much as should be." -- Gerald Pearse

"Government purchases of military hardware, highways, energy projects, space equipment, and other items often cost 50% or 100%, or more (see here and here), above what politicians originally promise." -- Chris Edwards

"When the government pays, health care's lack of affordability becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  In health care, as in other things, government is the high-cost producer." -- Arnold Kling

"The idea of putting government in charge of something to 'save money' is INSANE." -- Ben Stein

"Every time government attempts to handle our affairs, it costs more and the results are worse than if we had handled them ourselves." -- Benjamin Constant

"Think about what government does; government wastes most of what it spends."-- David Henderson

"Government does not do ANYthing as well as the private sector does, and that includes educating your children." -- Neal Boortz

"Every time a politician says "a job was created!!!" by government spending, you know darn well at least TWO jobs (if not a lot more) were NOT created in the private sector as a result.  Look up "THE BROKEN WINDOW FALLACY." -- Bert Rand

"It takes more weeks to get an answer from the Small Business Administration to an emergency loan application than [the number of] seconds it takes to get money from an ATM [while you're visiting] a foreign country." -- Newt Gingrich

"Never trust the government to do a job, if you have a private business alternative." -- D.J. Drummond

"Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm." -- James Madison

"I call this the Fundamental Problem of Political Economy. How do we limit the power that idiots have over us? ... [Milton] Friedman's insight is that a market limits the power that others have over us; conversely, limiting the power that others have over us allows us to have markets. Friedman argued that no matter how wise the officials of government may be, market competition does a better job of protecting us from idiots." -- Arnold Kling

"Our bureaucrats are even more incompetent than the ones in Venezuela." -- Jim Rogers, 12-11-2002

"It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

"Government exists to protect my rights, not to order my life.  And I damn sure don't exist to serve government." -- Neal Boortz in Somebody's Gotta Say It, 2-20-07

"We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." -- Winston Churchill

"The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other." -- Ronald Reagan

"Nobody spends somebody else's money as carefully as he spends his own.  Nobody uses somebody else's resources as carefully as he uses his own." -- Milton Friedman

"Talk about threats to national security -- how about government so big, so complicated and so unmanageable, it can't get out of its own way?" -- Bob Schieffer

"I'm no longer a consumer advocate if I'm reporting on government?  Doesn't government screw consumers, too?  You bet." -- John Stossel

"In his latest book, Revolutionary Wealth, co-written with his wife Heidi, [futurist Alvin] Toffler diagrams the varying speeds in which institutions change. In one chapter, the couple uses a series of figurative cars on the freeway to make their point. Zooming along at 100 MPH 'is a car representing the fastest-changing major institution in America today -- the company or business,' the Tofflers write.  By contrast, a car driven by government and regulatory agencies would be puttering at a speed of 25 MPH. Meanwhile, bringing up the rear, at 10 miles per hour, shuddering along 'with a flat tire and steam coming out its radiator' is the American school system. 'Is it possible that it costs $400 billion to maintain this broken heap? The answer is yes, every year'." -- Edward B. Driscoll Jr.

"Governments always start out saying they're going to help, and always wind up pushing you around." -- Peggy Noonan

"Well, who is more likely to volunteer to take a job in a bureaucracy that has little to recommend it except that it gives you the power to use government force to control the lives of others? A dispassionate scientist or a zealot? In government, the zealots eventually take over." -- John Stossel

"The point to remember is that what government gives it must first take away." -- J.S. Caldwell

"In Kelo v. New London, the United States Supreme Court held that government may take property that belongs to one person and give it to another. That is hardly surprising. Government today does little else." -- Timothy Sandefur

"In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other." -- François Marie "Voltaire" Arouet, 1764

"Theft is theft even when the government approves of the thievery.  Turning a democracy into a kleptocracy does not enhance the stature of the thieves, it only diminishes the legitimacy of the government." -- Justice Janice Rogers Brown

"Once the coffers of the federal government are opened to the public, there will be no shutting them again." -- Grover Cleveland

"A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." -- George Bernard Shaw

"Too many voters are already bought -- not by corporate campaign donors, but by the government itself." -- Joseph Sobran.

"If you ask the government to end welfare and open the borders, they will meet you half-way by opening the borders." -- Ray Holtorf

"The purpose of the government is to provide the service, and the purpose of the media is to provide the vaseline." -- old libertarian joke

"I don't think it's bribery; I think it's extortion.  Bribery, you know, is when the person that's giving the money does it voluntarily.  What it is in Washington is extortion because they all ask for the money." -- Sen. John McCain

  "Politicians are politicians all of the time -- whether they're helping themselves to an extra-serving of farm-subsidy bacon, writing new laws about when their opponents can and can't run ads about them or appointing bureaucrats to enforce those laws.  ... There are no angels at the FEC.  There aren't any in Congress or at the White House.  And the sooner arrogant reformers like Sen. McCain and Fred Wertheimer realize that they're no angels either, the better for all of us -- and for the Constitution." -- Ryan Sager

  "For those who fancy that government's projects are uniquely important, or for those who imagine that holding government office makes someone unusually saintly or trustworthy, entrusting government with power that we would never entrust to our neighbors or other private citizens might seem sensible. To me, it's dangerous, unjustified, and unjustifiable." -- Dr. Donald Boudreaux

"Giving money and power to the government is like giving car keys and whisky to teenage boys." -- P.J. O’Rourke

"Can you imagine any enterprise outside the federal government where a person makes a request, three and a half years go by before the request is finally responded to, and this is considered acceptable performance?" -- John Hinderaker

"Government can screw up just about everything.  Given enough power and time it will screw up everything." --Mark Thornton

"You can count on government to be absurd ... every day ... all year long." -- Neal Boortz

"Intelligence collection has been given an additional bureaucracy to correct the problems created by too much bureaucracy in intelligence collection." -- P. J. O'Rourke
"It's easy to be a humorist when you've got the whole government working for you." -- Will Rogers 

"Anytime the Government denies knowledge, it's speaking the truth." -- John Alejandro King

"The mightiest of weapons is truth. And everyone knows you're not permitted to bring a weapon into a Government building." -- John Alejandro King

"Congress does two things well: nothing and overreacting." -- Rep. Mike Oxley

"What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people.  It's not good at much else." -- Tom Clancy, 9-2-2003 

"[Peter] Drucker says that modern government can do only two things well: wage war and inflate the currency. It's the aim of my administration to prove Mr Drucker wrong." -- Richard M. Nixon

"This will be the most ethical administration in the history of the United States" -- William J. Clinton
 
"[We] intend to lead the most honest, the most open and the most ethical Congress in history." -- Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi, before backing the ethically-challenged John Murtha for Majority Leader and the impeached-and-convicted former Judge Alcee Hastings for House Intelligence Committee Chairman
 

"In the late 1800s, Ravenna Park was filled with Douglas fir trees, at least one of which was as high as 400 feet. Privately owned, the park was carefully protected and it drew (according to press reports) thousands of tourists a day.

"Because of Seattle’s growth and worries that private owners could not preserve such a place for long, the city of Seattle began condemnation proceedings to take over the park. In 1911 it forced the owners, Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Beck, to sell it to the city.

"By 1925, all the giant trees were gone, cut down by people (probably city employees) who were seeking firewood. By the early 1970s the park had become a hangout for drug users.

"Government ownership is no guarantee -- of anything good." -- Jane S. Shaw

"A government, at bottom, is nothing more than a gang of men, and as a practical matter most of them are inferior men ... Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one and even those governments that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent. Indeed, it would not be far from wrong to describe the best government as the common enemy of all decent citizens." -- Minority Report: H.L. Mencken's Notebooks #68, 1956

"We must always remember that, as Americans, we all have a common enemy - an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." -- Dave Barry

"We should fix government the way we 'fix' a cat." - John Stossel

"The impersonal hand of government can never replace the loving, metallic hand of the giant robot."-- John Alejandro King

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have."-- Karl Hess and Barry Goldwater

"A government that's big enough to give you everything you want, is a government that's big enough to give you even more." -- John Alejandro King

"The power which a multiple millionaire, who may be my neighbor and perhaps my employer has over me is far less than that which the smallest functionary who wields the coercive power of the state, and on whose discretion it depends whether and how I am allowed to live or to work." -- F. A. Hayek

"Talk about the poor getting poorer tugs at the hearts of decent people and squares nicely with the agenda of big government advocates, but it doesn't square with the facts." -- Dr. Walter E. Williams

"There are still people in the federal government and all levels of government who have this myopic view that it's more important for them to pursue their own career than it is to get information out [especially intelligence about imminent terrorist attacks] and to do the right thing." -- Rep. Peter King to Alan Colmes, 10-6-20005

"When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny." -- Thomas Jefferson

"The government has created a nation of paper criminals. People can be put in jail and lose civil rights and liberties through bureaucratic procedures. The only thing that is keeping you out of jail is government goodwill." -- Ayn Rand

"No one talks about the real ethics disaster in Washington. It's that many members of Congress will listen to any argument against a bill except for two: that it's not moral or that it's not Constitutional." -- Rep. Ron Paul

"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws." -- Tacitus, Roman senator and historian (AD c.56-c.115)

"The more laws, the less justice." -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, orator, statesman and the last free consul of Rome. (ca. BC. 42)

"The more prohibitions there are, the poorer the people will be. The more laws are promulgated, the more thieves and bandits there will be." -- Lao-tzu, The Tao Te Ching ( believed written in China, 6th century BC ).

"A Locrian [a citizen of an ancient Greek city-state] who proposed any new law stood forth in the assembly of the people with a cord round his neck, and if the law was rejected, the innovator was instantly strangled." -- Edward Gibbon, The History of the Deccline and Fall of the Roman Empire

"An oppressive government is much worse than a man-eating tiger." -- Kong Fu-Dzuh ("Confucious")

"Never was a government that was not composed of liars, malefactors and thieves." -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, brilliant philosopher, writer, political scientist, orator, humorist and last Free Consul of Rome, before he was murdered by the despicable despot Mark Anthony, doing his utmost to demonstrate and underscore Cicero's observation

"Every actual state is corrupt. Good men must not obey laws too well." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The ten most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help you’.” -- Ronald Reagan

"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government." -- Edward Abbey

"Congress' passing of the omnibus spending bill without reading it shows more than anything why they can't be trusted." -- Neal Boortz

"You know, if government were a product, selling it would be illegal. ... Government contains impure ingredients -- as anybody who's looked at Congress can tell you. ... government practices deceptive advertising.  And the merest glance at the federal budget is enough to convict the government of perjury, extortion, and fraud. ... in a nutshell: government should be against the law.  Term limits aren't enough.  We need jail." -- P.J. O'Rourke

"Once a year we should hang someone in government as an example to his fellows." -- Franklyn C. "Lyn" Nofziger, Press Secretary for President Reagan

"Our bureaucrats are even more incompetent than the ones in Venezuela." -- Jim Rogers to Neil Cavuto 12-11-2002 

Q: How many bureaucrats does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Two. One to assure the public that everything possible is being done while the other screws the bulb into a water faucet..

"The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it's so rare." -- Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan

"The single most frightening thing you encounter is confidence-in-government because it's so common." -- Rick Gaber

"Most government most of the time wreaks incredible destruction on people’s lives and is completely unaccountable for it." -- David R. Henderson

"I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means -- except by getting off his back." -- Leo Tolstoy

"Government restrictions are attractive to people who want to impose their pet notions without having to count the costs." -- Thomas Sowell

"The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic." -- H. L. Mencken

"It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

"The courts have given the news media carte blanche, in the name of the First Amendment -- but the media are no better than government at exercising unchecked power. When it's known that no one can punish you, a certain kind of person stops caring whether he hurts anybody. And such people tend to rise within any organization that doesn't work hard to have a conscience." -- Orson Scott Card

"Everybody makes mistakes, but government makes mistakes permanent." -- Rick Gaber

"I've always been a small-government person.  I think that a good way to really screw something up is to get the government involved." -- Clint Eastwood to Chris Matthews on Hardball 3-15-05

"Whenever somebody has an idea for a business and experiences quite a bit of success, you can naturally expect the government to step in and screw it up." -- Neal Boortz

"Whenever you come across a screw-up this big, you know the government is behind it." -- Ann Coulter

"Government can screw up just about everything.  Given enough power and time it will screw up everything." -- Mark Thornton

"Everything the government touches turns to crap." -- Ringo Starr

"As you may have heard, the U.S. is putting together a constitution for Iraq.  Why don't we just give them ours?  Think about it -- it was written by very smart people, it's served us well for over two hundred years, and besides, we're not using it any more." -- Jay Leno

"As a libertarian I believe we should have a federal government simple and circumscribed enough to be run by an average, dull, normal American. With George W. Bush we have half the equation in place." -- P.J. O'Rourke

"The thing about government is it always falls into the hands of the very worst people sooner or later.  And now do you mean to tell me those who worked so very hard so very long to build up our huge, all-intrusive government -- that it NEVER occurred to them that it could all fall into the hands of people they detest?  What in hell did they expect???  Sheesh!" -- Rick Gaber

"Government does not cause affluence.  Citizens of totalitarian countries have plenty of government and nothing of anything else." -- P.J. O’Rourke

"This government never furthered any enterprise but by the alacrity with which it got out of the way." -- Henry David Thoreau in his essay "Civil Disobedience"

"The trick, of course, is that doing nothing in the public policy world allows much more to be done in the real world." -- Thomas Hazlett

"The request of industry to government is as modest as that of Diogenes to Alexander: 'Get out of my light'." -- Jeremy Bentham

"People would be better served if the government just left them alone." -- California Assemblyman Ray Haynes

“Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” -- Ronald Reagan

"Give government the weapons to fight your enemy and it will use them against you." -- Harry Browne

"All government, of course, is against liberty." -- H.L. Mencken 

"The State is not your friend." -- Perry de Havilland

“The government is not your friend.” -- Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

"I respect the government only in the same sense that I respect any other dangerous predator who views me as food." - Will Spencer

"Either you control the government, or the government will control you." - Ronald Reagan

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

Find out about governmentium HERE.

"In some dim beginning, man created the institution of government as a convenience for himself. And, ever since that time, government has been doing its best to become an inconvenience." --Ronald Reagan

"The federal government should be less important in our lives, not more." -- Neal Boortz

"Elected leaders tend to believe they are responsible for a lot more than they really are. Like the little boy on his first plane trip 'helping' the plane by flapping his arms as the Boeing 747 begins to ascend, legislators often seem to believe that somehow they run the economy and solve lots of problems." -- Curt Leonard

"Why do we need a Department of Commerce?  It's like asking fish to establish a Department of  Swimming." -- Scott Cook

"Beware the greedy hand of government, thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry." -- Thomas Paine

"If businesses can use government to rig the system to suppress competition, they will. ... Unions will, too.   The result is the same: higher costs and fewer choices." -- John Stossel, in Give Me a Break

"THE PRIMARY ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO INCREASE THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT." -- NEAL BOORTZ's "UNIFIED THEORY OF POLITICAL DYNAMICS"

"The authority of government ... can have no pure right over my person and my property but what I concede to it." -- Henry David Thoreau

"Most bad government results from too much government." -- Thomas Jefferson

"How many stupid ways can our governcrats find to waste our taxbucks?" -- Garry Reed

"Politicians don't like empowered individuals." -- Neal Boortz

"The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos." -- H. L. Mencken, 1919

"There is nothing quite so depressing as waking up to face a day when you know that you are going to have to deal with a government office or bureaucrat." -- Neal Boortz

"Bureaucrats, by definition, can't feel shame, which is one of the reasons I don't like 'em." -- Tucker Carlson, 10-17-2005

"It's only a monopoly that can treat people [badly] with arrogance and continue to get away with it.  And government is a monopoly." -- Clark Howard

"You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing.  If you have been living in a world where outcomes are everything, you may have a very hard time understanding bureaucratic thinking or practices." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

"The Bureaubrain at work: government says it's not medicine so it's not medicine." -- Garry Reed

"Government is a health hazard.  Governments have killed more people than cigarettes or unbuckled seatbelts ever have." -- P.J. O’Rourke

"The principal villain in rising health care costs is the government.  Not pharmaceutical companies, not doctors,  but government." -- Neal Boortz

"Both individuals and collectives perpetrate betrayals, but by far the worst offender is the State, which includes the agencies that spring up to support it.  State agents run State agencies.  They not only believe in the State, they also stand to profit from it, at your expense.  Alas, instead of being considered cause for alarm, today's State agents are often regarded as being essential to your freedom, but nothing could be further from the truth." -- Joe Blow

"My grandfather once told me that there are two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit.  He told me to try to be in the first group; there was less competition there." -- Indira Gandhi

"The purpose of the Supreme Court is to settle disputes between the states, or between the citizens and the federal government, not to ‘interpret’ the Constitution.  Why would you need to interpret the Constitution, anyway?  Is it written in Sanskrit?" -- Terence McIntyre

"We are now, my friends, in a situation where the majority of Americans get their news and information about what is going on with their government from entities that are licensed by and subject to punishment at the hands of that very government.  Nobody can truly believe that this is what our founding fathers had in mind." -- Neal Boortz

"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society.  As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all." -- Frédéric Bastiat, 1837

"We can all agree that kicking puppies is a national scourge; it takes a mature sensibility to understand that a Puppy Kicking Amendment to the U.S. Constitution would trivialize governance and not solve the problem." -- Tim Cavanaugh

"Government is not reason, and it is not eloquence; it is force." --George Washington

"Government is about coercion.  Limiting government is the single most important instrument for guaranteeing liberty.  We're working on a third generation which has little in the way of education about what our Constitution means and why it was written.  Thus, we've fallen easy prey to charlatans, quacks, and hustlers." -- Dr. Walter E. Williams

"Constitutional provisions are not barriers to government misconduct. At best, they can be speed bumps." -- Arnold Kling

"Government is not compassion ... Government is nothing more than structured, widespread coercion ..." -- Glen Allport

"Compassion comes from the heart, not the government." -- Edward Britton

"I was taught very early on that the state can be, and is, a liar and a murderer." -- Christopher Hitchens

"Feeling good about government is like looking on the bright side of any catastrophe. When you quit looking on the bright side, the catastrophe is still there."  -- P.J. O'Rourke

"One lesson of Sept. 11 is that a government that tries to do everything is likely to do most of it badly." -- Mark Steyn

"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."  -- Bertrand de Jouvenal

"As soon as people drop the reins on government, government will leash the people." -- James Bovard

"It is absurd to expect governments to descend gradually, step-by-step into barbarism - as if there was a train schedule to political hell and people could get off at any stop along the way." -- James Bovard

"The only limit to the oppression of government is the power with which the people show themselves capable of opposing it." -- Enrico Malatesta

"The constitution did not contemplate that the government would do everything for everybody." -- Alan Ackerman

"The next time you consider believing that the state can do anything better than the market, imagine a sea of permanent bureaucrats, lobbyists, pandering politicians, and those mad attendees at political conventions, and ask yourself: what can these people do that individuals in society -- acting in their own self-interest, coordinating exchange through the market process, constantly testing decisions against economic feasibility and consumer demand -- cannot do.  The answer is nothing.   Before you write to tell me that without the state, there would be a fly in every soup, please read Murray Rothbard's Man, Economy, and State. It is the best explanation of how society manages itself just fine without a band of respectable-looking criminals telling everyone what to do." -- Lew Rockwell

"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, Federalist no. 51.

"The problem with government is that it is run by people, and people are flawed. They are not virtue machines. We are all of us, even the best of us, vulnerable to the call of the low: to greed, conceit, insensitivity, ruthlessness, the desire to show you're in control, in charge, in command." -- Peggy Noonan

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

"Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives." - Ronald Reagan

"Free government is founded in jealousy, not confidence.  It is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind those we are obliged to trust with power.... In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in men, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1799

"What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people.  It's not good at much else." -- Tom Clancy on Kudlow and Cramer 9/2/03

"The only thing government does better than killing is lying and covering things up." -- Edward Britton

"A little government involvement is just as dangerous as a lot because the first leads inevitably to the second." -- Harry Browne

"There is nothing so bad that politics cannot make it worse." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

"I've set my own rules to live by.  The first one is: 'Never believe ANYthing the government says.' " -- George Carlin

"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 Reagan (1986)

"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." -- Thomas Jefferson

"A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on Earth... and what no just government should refuse." -- Thomas Jefferson in a Letter to James Madison, Paris, Dec. 20, 1787

"Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program." --Dr. Milton Friedman, Nobel-Prize-winning economist.

"Why is it that any time government takes over something for a few years, it's assumed that people are too incompetent to do it for themselves?" -- Julian Sanchez

"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly, is to fill the world with fools." -- Herbert Spencer

"I think Congress is over-doing its job." -- Rick Gaber, Referencing the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 4, Clause 2: "The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day."  Amended by Amendment XX, Section 2: "The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day."

"Despite their degrees, résumés and pretensions, the Establishment is no longer made up of  'policy' types.  Most of its members are placemen. Their expertise is in becoming and remaining members of the Establishment." -- William S. Lind

"Benevolence in public institutions has a short half-life no matter how noble its original intentions."-- Richard A. Epstein, Principles for a Free Society

"There's seldom been control of a new federal agency that wasn't sold by the most efficient fund-raising politicians to the wealthiest pressure groups within four years of its inception." -- Bert Rand

"A Penny saved is a government oversight." -- Vic Irish

"Government is all stick and no carrot.  It is very good at beating people with regulations, taxes, quotas, and fines, but very bad at inspiring its citizens to lead just and decent lives." -- Martin Morse Wooster

"Government should be our servant, not our master." -- Doug Guetzloe

"The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't.  Its function is to obey orders, not originate them..." -- Mark Twain

"It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error." -- Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954), U.S. Judge, in American Communications Association v. Douds, May 1950

"When government does more than guard against the initiation of force, inevitably it becomes a means of theft and bamboozlement." -- Donald J. Boudreaux

"The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management." -- Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kerchevall, 1816

"Not surprisingly, high taxes and [their resulting] widespread unemployment are a recipe for unhappiness." -- Dan Mitchell

"[If government have] a right of demanding ad libitum and of taxing us themselves to the full amount of their demand if we do not comply with it, [this would leave] us without anything we can call property." -- Thomas Jefferson: Reply to Lord North, 1775. Papers, 1:233

"In a free government almost all other rights would become worthless if the government possessed power over the private fortune of every citizen." -- Chief Justice John Marshall

"All government, in its essence, is organized exploitation, and in virtually all of its existing forms it is the implacable enemy of every industrious and well-disposed man." -- H. L. Mencken, The Impossible Mencken

"I own I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive." -- Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 12/20/1787

"Government does not solve problems. It subsidizes them." -- Ronald Reagan

"'Solve' and 'problems' are not in the Constitution." -- Doug Newman

"The power to tax involves the power to destroy." – Chief Justice John Marshall in the McCulloch v. Maryland ruling, 1819 

"Man is not free unless government is limited." -- Ronald Reagan: Farewell Speech, 1988

[The purpose of the Constitution is to] “keep the government off the backs of people.” -- Justice William O. Douglas

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedoms of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." -- James Madison

"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 until they are resisted with either words or blows, or both.  The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." -- Frederick Douglass

"Abuse of power isn't limited to bad guys in other nations. It happens in our own country if we're not vigilant." -- Clint Eastwood in an essay he wrote for the January 12, 1997 issue of Parade Magazine

"It's important to realize that whenever you give power to politicians or bureaucrats, it will be used for what they want, not for what you want."-- Harry Browne

"A lot of what is called 'public service' consists of making hoops for other people to jump through. It is a great career for those who cannot feel fulfilled unless they are telling other people what to do." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

"There's something psychotic about people who go around asking whether large business concerns should be allowed to operate without first getting government permission for every little thing, but who never ask whether politicians should be allowed to shake down businesses and businessmen any damn time they want to." -- Rick Gaber

"Since Congress makes the laws they are under the delusion that anything they do is legal, no matter if it is unwise, unethical, or un-Constitutional." -- Jim Babka

"Politicians and bureaucrats are hopelessly addicted to running other people's lives." -- Geoffrey Neale

"The 'private sector' of the economy is, in fact, the 'voluntary' sector; and...the 'public sector' is, in fact, the 'coercive' sector." -- Henry Hazlitt

"Confronted with economic problems, politicians always blame the private sector first ... [even] blaming the problem on the solution." -- Richard L. Gordon

"You can bet the rent money that whatever politicians do will end up harming consumers. ... Economic ignorance is to politicians what idle hands are to the devil.  Both provide the workshop for the creation of evil." -- Walter E. Williams

"If experience has taught me anything, it's not to put ANYTHING past people in government." -- Edward Britton

"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." -- H.L. Mencken

"Government regulation is the result of the majority violating the rights of the minority.  This is nothing more than tyranny.  The moral path is to let people live in peace so long as they do not violate the rights of others." -- Bart Frazier

"When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny." -- Thomas Jefferson

"Many of those who fear and distrust the people somehow believe, with the intensity of blind faith, that as soon as these same people are given government jobs they somehow acquire wisdom and become saints.  Or, if they already are saints, that they will avoid being corrupted by power, AND that the power-hungry WILL refrain from grabbing their jobs." -- Rick Gaber

"Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels ... to govern him?" --Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801

"Government is a far more effective tool for preventing harm than for achieving good. Those who see the state as the engine of progress see progress as originating from some men having the power to force other men to obey them, not from voluntary association of free individuals." -- James Bovard in Lost Rights, the Destruction of American Liberty

"It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny." ~ James Fenimore Cooper, The American Democrat, 1838

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." -- H.L. Mencken

"Jesus would never use government surrogates to force the people to 'help others'." -- Philip Freneau

"Helping the poor through the government is like feeding the sparrows through cows" -- Walter Williams 

"Government is a blunt instrument, and they have the guns and they have our money."- Matt Welch

"Government, though necessary for many purposes, is no more a precision instrument for constructive social change than a sledgehammer is for brain surgery." -- Jay Ambrose

"If we fixed a hangnail the way our government fixes the economy, we'd slam a car door on it." -- Cullen Hightower

"If a government were put in charge of the Sahara Desert, within five years they’d have a shortage of sand." -- Dr. Milton Friedman

"Give a man the secure possession of bleak rock, and he will turn it into a garden; give him a nine years lease of a garden, and he will convert it to a desert... The magic of property turns sand into gold." -- Arthur Young, "Travels", written in 1787. As he traveled, Young noticed stark differences between American and English land management practices.

"If we were directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we would soon want for bread." -- Thomas Jefferson

"It is the pernicious hand of government alone which can reduce a whole people to despair." -- "Junius"

"...There is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. Our destruction, should it ever come at all, will be from another quarter.  From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence." -- Daniel Webster

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.  It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.  From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship." -- Sir Alexander Fraser Tyler, Scottish historian

"The nation which reposes on the pillow of political confidence will sooner or later end its political existence in a deadly lethargy." -- James Madison

"We are asking the wrong question. The issue is not who should be trusted with all the power of the Presidency. Instead, we must ask how much power any candidate can be trusted with." -- James Bovard in No One Deserves the Power

"The problem with politics isn't the money; it's the power." -- Harry Browne

"...every unjustifiable intrusion by the Government upon the privacy of the individual, whatever the means employed, must be deemed a violation of the Fourth Ammendment." -- Justice Louis Brandeis (Olmstead v. US)

"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding." -- Justice Louis Brandeis,1928

"As long as human beings are imperfect, there will always be arguments for extending the power of government to deal with these imperfections. The only logical stopping place is totalitarianism -- unless we realize that tolerating imperffections is the price of freedom." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

"Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels ... to govern him?" --Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801

"If welfare and equality are to be primary aims of law, some people must necessarily possess a greater power of coercion in order to force redistribution of material goods. Political power alone should be equal among human beings; yet, striving for other kinds of equality absolutely requires political inequality." -- Tiboor Machan in Private Rights and Public Illusions

"As property, honestly obtained, is best secured by an equality of rights, so ill-gotten property depends for protection on a monopoly of rights. He who has robbed another of his property, will next endeavor to disarm him of his rights, to secure that property; for when the robber becomes the legislator he believes himself secure." -- Thomas Paine, Dissertations on First Principles of Government

"I believe that the Welfare State redistributes poverty and reduces income. As Karl Kraus once said of psychoanalysis, the Welfare State is the disease which it purports to cure." -- Arnold Kling

"The welfare state -- and the brutish, uncivilized mentality it sustains and encourages -- is the man-made disaster that explains the moral ugliness that has swamped New Orleans. And that is the story that no one is reporting." -- Robert Tracinski

"There are some things that you can always bet on. One is that when Congress comes up with a new program it never works right over the long haul. Another is, when Congress goes to fix the mess it has made the mess only gets worse." -- Lyn Nofziger 

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." -- Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795

"The United States was supposed to have a limited government because the founders knew governmental power attracts swarms of crooks, demagogues and despots as surely as horse manure attracts swarms of horseflies." -- Rick Gaber

"It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell 

"Power in the hands of people who are accountable to no one is still a formula for disaster." -- Dr. Thomas Sowell

"The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind."  -- Thomas Paine

"Everyone knows that the people who work for the State are of a more incorruptable and moral nature than us mere private people.   Yeah, right." -- Perry de Havilland

"In organized crime we expect corruption.  Unfortunately we expect the same from government." ~ Roger W. Hancock

"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." -- P. J Proudhon

"The coercive power of government is always a beacon to those who want to dominate others -- summoning the worst dregs of society to Washington to use that power to impose their will upon others." -- Harry Browne

"If you give the government power .. it will use that power.  It will use 100% of that power, and more." -- Neal Boortz, 9/29/2003

"Any new power given to government will be abused." -- Gary Nolan

"Give a good man great powers and crooks grab his job." -- Rick Gaber

"Government money is as addictive as heroin.  So many people are addicted.  And the politicians are the dealers." -- Another Government Employee

"The natural tendency of every government is to grow steadily worse -- that is, to grow more satisfactory to thhose who constitute it and less satisfactory to those who support it." -- H.L. Mencken

"No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth!" -- Ronald Reagan

“No law can give power to private persons; every law transfers power from private persons to government.” -- Isabel Paterson

"Tell me please why this Patriot Act  is being used for so many criminal investigations in this country, like petty drug cases, that have no connection with terrorism?  Lesson:  If you give the government power .. it will use that power.  It will use 100% of that power, and more." -- Neal Boortz, 9/29/2003  " 

"Trusting the government with money creation is like trusting a drunk with a whiskey factory." -- Doug Casey

"One useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three is a Congress." -- John Adams

"Let the governmental camel stick its nose inside the broadcast tent, and the entire camel, foul smell and all, may follow." -- David Shaw

"Any time you give power to government, it will be abused, it will be enlarged, it will be used in ways you never intended." -- Harry Browne on The Drudge Report 7-31-99

"Political power is everywhere the most serious threat to liberty. The more power politicians have, and the more able they are to disregard constitutional rules, the more serious the threat.  Precedents for expanding government power are sure to be exploited by politicians more dangerous than those who set the precedents." -- Jim Powell

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." --Prof. John E. E. D. Acton

"Power draws the corrupted; absolute power would draw the absolutely corrupted." -- Colin Barth

"Power kills; absolute power kills absolutely." -- Prof. R. J. Rummel

"The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse." -- Edmund Burke

"If you are a leftwing politician or some other brand of political looter, you are not obviously very happy if a lot of people prefer to avoid having their wallets lifted." -- Johnathan Pearce

"History tells us about all kinds of political governments, also known as states, or countries, or jurisdictions, or empires. In every instance, no matter what it was labeled, monarchy, oligarchy, democracy, theocracy, people's republic, whatever, it consisted of the rule by a few over the masses, enforced by a monopoly use of weapons, and the threat of death to any individual who wanted to opt out.  Don't take my word for it, read history, and see if you can find an exception.  Political government is rule by force and fraud." -- Robert Klassen

"We're after power and we mean it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with." -- Floyd Ferris to Hank Rearden in Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

"People who think of government as the institution to entrust with enough power to right all the world's wrongs seem to never consider that they must thereby give it enough power to do wrong to all the world's rights.  In fact, they seem NEVER to consider what the founders always thought was obvious:  that the 'good guys' will NOT always be in charge!" -- Bert Rand

"So many idealistic political movements for a better world have ended in mass-murdering dictatorships. Giving leaders enough power to create 'social justice' is giving them enough power to destroy all justice, all freedom, and all human dignity." --Dr. Thomas Sowell

"For those looking for security, be forewarned that there's nothing more insecure than a political promise." -- Harry Browne

"Do we really think that a government-dominated education is going to produce citizens capable of dominating their government, as the education of a truly vigilant self-governing people requires?" --Alan Keyes

"The most urgent necessity is, not that the State should teach, but that it should allow education. All monopolies are detestable, but the worst of all is the monopoly of
education." -- Frédéric Bastiat

"THE most widespread form of child abuse in the United States is parents' sending children to the government to be educated." -- Neal Boortz

"If public officials were any more stupid, they'd have to be watered twice a week." -- Rex Curry

"The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic." -- H. L. Mencken

"There is nothing quite so depressing as waking up to face a day when you know that you are going to have to deal with a government office or bureaucrat." -- Neal Boortz

"Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned." -- Dr. Milton Friedman

"If you're going to sin, sin against God, not the bureaucracy. God will forgive you, but the bureaucracy won't". – Admiral Hyman G. Rickover 

"A bureaucrat is the most despicable of men, though he is needed as vultures are needed, but one hardly admires vultures whom bureaucrats so strangely resemble. I have yet to meet a bureaucrat who was not petty, dull, almost witless, crafty or stupid, an oppressor or a thief, a holder of little authority in which he delights, as a boy delights in possessing a vicious dog. Who can trust such creatures?" -- Marcus Tullius Cicero

"Most authoritarians do not surrender power voluntarily." -- Victor Davis Hanson

"A lot of people out there pay good lip service to the idea of personal freedom … right up to the point that someone tries to do something that they don’t personally approve of." --  Neal Boortz

"A man on his owns knows that he is best advised to leave his dumbbell neighbors alone. But let him join a political party, and he fantasizes that he has the right and the power to tell everyone on the block what to do." -- Bill Bonner

"A free man must be able to endure it when his fellow men act and live otherwise than he considers proper. He must free himself from the habit, just as soon as something does not please him, of calling for the police." -- Ludwig von Mises

"So many people want the government to do something -- until it does it to them." -- Rick Gaber

"Ask not what your government can do for you.  Ask what your government can do to you." -- Doug Newman

"Sociotropic voters with biased economic beliefs are more likely to produce severe political failures than are selfish voters with rational expectations." -- Bryan Caplan

"We hold that what one man cannot morally do, a million men cannot morally do, and government, representing many millions of men, cannot do." -- Auberon Herbert

"The people cannot delegate to government the power to do anything which would be unlawful for them to do themselves." -- John Locke

"The point to remember is that what the government gives, it must first take away." -- John S. Coleman

"The press is hostile to the idea of liberty.  Most people in the press are for big government.  Most people think that the solutions to anything, whether it's health care problems, education, whatever it is -- it's got to be more government." -- Harry Browne, July 4, 2002

"The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me.  They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.  Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can't get and to promise to give it to them.  Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B.  In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods." -- H.L. Mencken

"Robbery, when legalized, is profitable, at least for the middle men. And the middle men in the legal plunder game are the politicians and their clients with government jobs." -- Wirkman Virkkala

"Just as members of American teachers' unions often send their own children to private schools, so unionized workers at government-run hospitals in Britain have insurance that allows them to go to private hospitals.  In both cases, those on the inside realize how bad these institutions are, regardless of what they say to those on the outside." -- Thomas Sowell

"Pledge allegiance to your principles, your family, your faith, but don't be foolish enough to pledge allegiance to a gang of thieves." -- Lew Rockwell

"The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head.  Put it in his hand and it's good-bye to the Bill of Rights." -- H.L. Mencken

"The reason we can't find a relationship between the Constitution and the [present] government is that there is none." -- Michael Badnarik

"The Constitution: it's not just a good idea, it's the law."-- Michael Badnarik

"Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man." -- H. L. Mencken

"As with most things governmental, failure does not mean having to try something else. It means spending more money." -- Cal Thomas

"The government is the biggest special-interest group there is." -- Randy Richards

"You don't blame the lion who eats your mother, because it is a lion's nature to eat mothers; I can't blame a government for becoming oppressive, because that is the nature of government. I always blame the people who opened the lion's cage." -- Tim Slagle

"Every time the government replaces the private sector in the performance of any service or product manufacturing, it costs twice as much, delivers less than half the quality and reliability, puts an end to innovation, results in scarcity and waiting lists, and benefits no one in the long run except bureaucrats, politicians and whoever is willing to give in to whatever type of extortion turns out to be effective." -- Rick Gaber

"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to always be kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826

"No matter who you are or what you believe, you have to understand that some day the worst control-freaks among your bitterest enemies will control the federal government, and you better have restored effective, working constitutional limitations on that government before that time arrives." -- Rick Gaber

"The Democrats and Republicans stand at two extremes, characterized by which parts of our lives they emphasize their desire to control.  Libertarians reject both extremes in favor of the government leaving control of your life to you." -- Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Candidate for President, 2004

"With a few rare exceptions, people in government are pathetic mediocrities who accumulate power over others as their neurotic substitute for their missing sense of self-worth, a sense which becomes ever-more elusive as time erodes any likelihood of their leaving government for the real world and creating new values which never existed before -- instead of stealing and redistributing old ones which did." -- Bert Rand

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected." -- Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"If you ask the government to impose morality, then moral questions will be decided by whoever has the most political power." -- Harry Browne

"There is hardly a single action any western government ever takes, in relation to the family, which lacks an ulterior motive." -- Andy Duncan 

"One of government's most pernicious effects is the way it colonizes our consciousness, in a manner deeper and more significant than advertising or markets ever manage." -- Brian Doherty

"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

"The Declaration of Independence is so lucid we're afraid of it today. It scares the hell out of every modern bureaucrat, because it tells them there comes a time when we must stop taking orders." -- Karl Hess

"A well-regulated population being necessary to the security of a police state, the right of the Government to keep and destroy arms shall not be infringed." </sarcasm> -- Vin Suprynowicz

"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive." -- Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams, 1787

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." -- H.L. Mencken 

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. ... God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion; what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?  Let them take arms." -- Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787

"The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and when the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction." -- Henry St. George Tucker, in Blackstone'ss 1768 Commentaries on the Laws of England.

"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government." -- Edward Abbey

"O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth!" -- Thomas Paine, Common Sense

"The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience." -- Albert Camus

"Government is not reason, and it is not eloquence; it is force.  Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master: never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." -- George Washington

"It is important to remember that government interference always means either violent action or the threat of such action. The funds that a government spends for whatever purposes are levied by taxation. And taxes are paid because the taxpayers are afraid of offering resistance to the tax gatherers. They know that any disobedience or resistance is hopeless. As long as this is the state of affairs, the government is able to collect the money that it wants to spend. 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

"A government does not create voluntary cooperation. A government coerces obedience and calls it cooperation." -- Russ Nelson

"The State is Not Your Friend." -- Dale Amon

"Whatever the State saith is a lie; whatever it hath is a theft: all is counterfeit in it, the gnawing, sanguinary, insatiate monster." -- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche 

"I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size.  I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom.  My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them.  It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden.  I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible.  And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents 'interests,' I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can." -- Barry Goldwater

"I would say that my position is not too far from that of Ayn Rand's; that I would like to see government reduced to no more than internal police and courts, external armed forces -- with the other matters handled otherwise.  I'm sick of the way the government sticks its nose into everything now." -- Robert A. Heinlein

"If government is the answer, it must have been a stupid question." -- Gary Batey

"Government regulation inhibits creativity, while free-markets and democracy stimulate imagination, invention, effort.  They are best because they leave most people most free." -- Jeane Kirkpatrick, 1926-2006
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"Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself." -- Milton Friedman, 1912-2006

“If you really want to engage in policy activity, don’t make that your vocation.  Make it your avocation.  Get a job.  Get a secure base of income.  Otherwise, you’re going to get corrupted and destroyed.” -- Dr. Milton Friedman

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock."
-- Thomas Jefferson


 
     "There are better ways to run things. It is time to abandon the institutions of political force and move on. The political state is in its twilight. It has served its limited historical purpose. As MacCallum put it, government is merely the 'unstable transition' between the society of kinship and the society of contract. The next plateau in social evolution -- if we can achieve it -- is a society based not on political force but on the voluntary alternatives of the marketplace.
     "And this, finally, is what a free society is all about." -- Richard Grant, The Incredible Bread Machine, p. 252

 


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