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Favorite Quotes

Here are some of my favorite quotes.

Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people’s minds & then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.

Arundhati Roy

It is flawed by one thing: the abstraction of patriotism. People who will damn the government from morning till night, and oppose the State in a million and one ways will, at a time of national crisis, become incredibly patriotic, and begin to say they will do anything for the State. And they begin to talk of duty, service, sacrifice … all of the words that are the worst words in the world, it seems to me, in a human sense. … I don’t know why this is, unless it is that these are such good-hearted people that they really believe that the American state is totally different from any other state—and it’s certainly somewhat different. And they feel that it is important to preserve—they feel they’re preserving the country, but the only language that’s available is, to preserve the State. I have an idea that one of these days, there will be another language, in which we can talk about preserving the country—the landscape, the neighborhoods, the people, the communities—without talking about preserving the State. At which point there will be a lot of radical farmers, factory workers, and small-town residents in this country.

Karl Hess

On speaking about communism: "We pretend to work; they pretend to pay us."

Vladimir Voinovich

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 (1903)

The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money.

Margaret Thatcher

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, Brazilian statesman

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, Nobel laureate

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

Barry Goldwater

Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed.

Robert A. Heinlein

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.

Robert A. Heinlein

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of many by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away mans initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

Attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but actually penned by William J. H. Boetcker.

Government cannot make man richer, but it can make him poorer.

Ludwig von Mises

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

P. J. O'Rourke

There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it, A politician who portrays himself as "caring" and "sensitive" because he wants to expand the Government's charitable programs is merely saying that he's willing to try to do good with other people's money. Well, who isn't? And a voter who takes pride in supporting such programs is telling us that he'll do good with his own money - if a gun is held to his head.

P. J. O'Rourke

The Tenth Commandment [thou shalt not covet] sends a message to collectivists, to people who believe wealth is best obtained by redistribution. And the message is clear and concise: Go to hell.

P. J. O'Rourke

Government's view of the economy should be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.

Ronald Reagan (1986)

Give me control over a man's economic actions, and hence over his means of survival, and except for a few occasional heroes, I'll promise to deliver to you men who think and write and behave as I want them to.

Benjamine A. Rooge

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend of the support of Paul.

George Bernard Shaw

If you have been voting for politicians who promise to give you goodies at someone else's expense, then you have no right to complain when they take your money and give it to someone else, including themselves.

Thomas Sowell (1992)

The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.

Norman Thomas - Socialist Party Presidential candidate (1948)

No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.

Mark Twain (1866)

In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of citizens to give to the other.

Voltaire (1764)

I think the terror most people are concerned with is the IRS.

Malcolm Forbes, when asked if he was afraid of terrorism

Our forefathers made one mistake. What they should have fought for was representation without taxation.

Fletcher Knebel, Historian

No republic has long outlived the discovery by a majority of its people that they could vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.

Alexander Tytler

Ships are safe in harbors, but that's not what ships are for...


The future belongs to people who see possibilities before they become obvious.

Ted Levitt (Professor Emeritus Harvard Business School)

Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, CONFUSES the distinction BETWEEN Government AND Society. As a result...EVERY time We object to a thing being done by Government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.

Frederic Bastiat