A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the Public Treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the Public Treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy always followed by dictatorship.

- Alexander Tyler,"The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic" People once blamed or thanked God for everything that happened beyond their control. Now we blame or thank Government instead.

        - Peter Hitchens, "The Express"

We know from history that every new program creates constituencies who will fight like hell to prevent a final, program-ending, victory. The war on poverty did much good and much bad, but it didn't solve poverty in part because those who were invested in the war kept redefining the poverty upwards so they could keep waging war against it.
        - Jonah Goldberg, "National Review"

Mere parsimony is not economy. Expense, and great expense, may be an essential part in true economy.
        - Edmund Burke

Can the real Constitution be restored? Probably not. Too many Americans depend on government money under programs the Constitution doesn't authorize, and money talks with an eloquence Shakespeare could only envy. Ignorant people don't understand The Federalist Papers, but they understand government cheques with their names on them.
        - Joseph Sobran

"The optimist view of politics assumes that there must be some remedy for every political ill, and rather than not find it, will make two hardships to cure one."
        - Lord Salisbury

"Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program."

Faced with some problem or other, one of Margaret Thatcher's colleagues proposed creating a special cabinet department to deal with it. "Good God, no," said the Prime Minister. "Then we'll never get rid of it."
        - Mark Steyn

Forecasting by bureaucrats tends to be used for anxiety relief rather than for adequate policy making.
        - Nassim Nicholas Taleb, "The Black Swan"

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

"No one who's seen it in action can say the phrase "government help" without either laughing or crying."

        - Mark Twain

Jefferson believed that “no man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session,” so he wisely insisted that the capital be built in malarial swampland. Consequently, the seat of the government remained empty for nearly half the year. Today, thanks in part to the unintended consequences of air-conditioning, we have permanent government of career politicians, a thing the Founders never intended and which sees no natural boundary to its authority.
        - Jonah Goldberg, "National Review"

"A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business."
        - Eric Hoffer

"It is a general popular error to imagine the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare."

"In the United Kindgom we have a basically nonconformist conscience, and the face that taxation, controls amd certain features of the Welfare State have turned the majority of us into petty criminals, liars and work-dodgers is, I am sure, having a bad effect on the psyche of the kingdom."
        - Iam Fleming, creator of James Bond

Whenever I say to someone that I do not believe that there is a universal human right to healthcare, that person always asks whether, then, I want to see people dying in the street from treatable disease. I in turn ask that person whether he can think of any reason for not allowing people to die in the street other than that they have a right to treatment. The fact that, as often as not, the person has great difficulty with this question suggests not only that our state, but our minds and moral imaginations have become highly bureaucratised.
        - Theodore Dalrymple, "The Spectator"

Having worked in the British public service for the last decade and a half, perhaps I am hypersensitive to untruth and react to it as someone who is allergic to peanuts reacts to peanuts. This is unfortunate because, like peanuts, untruth is everywhere. I think all governmental pronouncements should carry a warning for people like me: ‘May contain traces of untruth.’
        - Theodore Dalrymple, "The Spectator"

Human beings will always shape their daily world in a way that makes life bearable for them and their closest families. In some countries it is through corruption, in others through ignoring the rules, cheating them or simply paying up. Anybody in government should have a sign by their desk saying "People do whatever it takes".
        - Libby Purves, "The Times"

"The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern."
        - President Ronald Reagan, 1981.

"If we have learned anything in the past quarter century, it is that we cannot Federalize Virtue."
        - President George Bush, 1991

Some people say there's not enough generosity to take care of all needs; therefore, we need government. That proposition differs little from saying that if people do not give enough voluntarily, then government intimidation, threats, and coercion should be used to take their money. Good people must ask if that proposition should serve as the foundation for a moral society.
        - Walter Williams

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help".
        - Ronald Reagan, 1986.

Everything the government touches turns to crap; It's called the 'Reverse Midas Touch'.
        - Paul Craig Roberts, Cato Institute

"For every human problem there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong."
        - H. L. Mencken

"The greatest harm can result from the best intentions. Kindness and good intentions can be an insidious path to destruction."
        - Terry Goodkind

"Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm — but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves."
        - T.S. Eliot, 1950.

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt."

- Cicero, 63 BC "Economic history is a long record of government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of economics." "Any proposed policy, or past policy, must be judged in terms of how it will in fact operate, not how it might operate under ideal conditions." Most of the energy of political work is devoted to correcting the effects of mismanagement of government. "Nothing is easier than spending public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody."
        - Calvin Coolidge

"Cures were developed for which there were no known diseases."

"Government does not solve problems, it subsidizes them."

        - Ronald Reagan

When a private entity does not produce the desired results, it is (certain body parts excepted) done away with. But a public entity gets bigger.

        - PJ O'Rourke, "All the Trouble in the World"

The theory is that election to Congress is tantamount to being dispatched to Washington on a looting raid for the enrichment of your state or district, and no other ethic need inhibit the feeding frenzy.

"Philosophers should consider the fact that the greatest happiness principle can easily be made an excuse for a benevolent dictatorship. We should replace it by a more modest and more realistic principle - the principle that the fight against avoidable misery should be a recognized aim of public policy, while the increase of happiness should be left, in the main, to private initiative." - Karl Popper "The State is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else. Everyone wants to live at the expense of the State. They forget that the State lives at the expense of everyone." The amount of money required to bring every poor person in the country above the official poverty line is a fraction of what is spent by government on the welfare state. Put bluntly, the poor are in effect being used as human shields in the political wars over government spending, which extends far beyond anyone who could even plausibly be called poor. Politicians will spend money wherever that is likely to increase their chances of getting re-elected... The great allure of government programs in general for many people is that these programs allow decisions to be made without having to worry about the constraints of prices, which confront people at every turn in a free market. They see prices as just obstacles or nuisances, instead of seeing them as messages conveying underlying realities that are there, whether or not prices are allowed to function. But what politician wants to hear that? Politics is priceless.
        - Thomas Sowell

Some rice farmers from Congressman Ron Paul's district were in his office the other day, asking for this and that from the federal government. The affable Republican from south Texas listened nicely, then forwarded their requests to the appropriate House committee. It may or may not satisfy their requests in some bill dispensing largesse to agricultural interests. Then Paul will vote against the bill. He believes, with more stubbornness than evidence, that the federal government is a government of strictly enumerated powers, and nowhere in the Constitution's enumeration (Article I, Section 8) can he find any reference to rice. So there. "Farm organizations fight me tooth and nail," he says, "but the farmers are with me."
        -  George F. Will, profiling former Libertarian candidate Ron Paul,"Newsweek"

The perception that there were substantial flaws in the fabric of the welfare state was not wrong. Why, in Britain, did social democratic education policy turn out to give children of doctors and lawyers the right to go to Oxford without paying for it? The system was flawed when social democratic industry policy used the nationalized "commanding heights" of the economy not to accelerate technological progress and keep employment high, but rather to retard the shift of labor out of "sunset" industries.
         - Brad de Long

As I was leaving for the Housing Now! demonstration my wife said, "Will there be lots of people from South Carolina at the housing march? Where Hurricane Hugo just destroyed everybody's house?" I had to explain that there wouldn't be any people from South Carolina in the march demanding houses from the government because the people from South Carolina were too busy building houses for themselves.

"In recent years we have witnessed numerous marches on Washington in which one group or another has demanded new "rights." Frequently, such rights have not meant freedom from state control, but rather entitlement to state action, protection, or subsidy. In the process of yielding to the 'will of the people' and creating new rights, the state invariably enlarges itself and its bureaucracy. Each new right seems to demand a new agency to guarantee it, administer it, or deliver it." "With the federal deficit running at several hundred billion dollars per year, Congress passed a transportation bill that, according to news reports, includes $30 million for a 'hightech' moving sidewalk in Altoona, which happens to be in the district of Rep. 'Bud' Shuster, the ranking Republican on the surface transportation subcommittee." "In 1983 $21 billion was spent in agricultural subsidies - almost equal to the net income of all American farmers." "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." If you left it up to the public, there would be hardly any art. Certainly there would be no big art, such as the modernistic sculptures that infest many public parks. You almost never hear members of the public saying, "Hey! Let's all voluntarily chip in and pay a sculptor upwards of $100,000 to fill this park space with what appears to be the rusted remains of a helicopter crash!" It takes concerted government action to erect one of those babies. Alexis de Tocqueville found ours the most literate nation on earth, 30 years *before* the founding of the first tax-funded school in Massachusetts. "In 1870 there was 92 per cent literacy in England. Without compulsory education, you had to learn in order to survive."

        - Andrew Wilson, "The Daily Telegraph"

"Government is so incompetent, it can't even give something away. Government may promise to give all students a shot at a top college, but clearly it can't make unqualified students qualified simply by forcing their admission to top schools."

"In 1940, teachers were asked what they regarded as the three major problems in American schools. They identified the three major problems as: Littering, noise, and chewing gum. Teachers in 1993 were asked what the three major problems in American schools were, and they defined them as: Rape, assault, and suicide." Any reform that is acceptable to the educational establishment, and that can gain a majority in a legislature, federal or state, is bound to be worse than nothing. - Irving Kristol's first law of educational reform "Have you ever noticed how statists are constantly 'reforming' their own handiwork? Education reform. Health-care reform. Welfare reform. Tax reform. The very fact that they're always busy 'reforming' is an implicit admission that they didn't get it right the first 50 times." "The University of North Carolina gives more than $3 million in athletic scholarships yearly to around 700 athletes, but only some $600,000 in academic merit scholarships among the rest of its 15,000 students. Clemson University paid young black men from Columbia, Sougt Carolina, to be on campus and pretend to be members of a black fraternity so the university would look more appealing to visiting black athletes." Britain's National Health Service hospitals make £78 million a year from parking fees — £63 million from patients and visitors and £15 million from their own staff. Many charge the full rate for cancer sufferers who have to make daily visits, MPs on the health select committee found. Parking rates vary from 30p to £4 an hour and 24-hour stays cost up to £30. The NCP short-stay car park at Gatwick costs £3.70 an hour while drivers can park for £4 a day at Alton Towers. Relatives who cannot afford to travel or park are charged up to 49p a minute to call patients' bedside telephones while mobiles remain banned by most hospitals.
        - from "The Times"

"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.'"

In the long run, the public interest depends on private virtue. "If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free." But let us not forget the moral dimension of health care reform. Everyone, rich or poor, needs health care to live. And everyone, rich or poor, needs food to live. Therefore, next year, the Clinton administration will introduce federal preparation of everybody's breakfast. - PJ O'Rourke, "Health Care Reform" in Age And Guile "A federally administered health care system would have all the compassion of the IRS, the efficiency of the Postal Service, and at Pentagon prices." If even one new drug of the stature of penicillin has been unjustifiably banished to a company's back shelf because of exceedingly stringent regulatory requirements, that event will have harmed more people than all the toxicity that has occurred in the history of modern drug development." "The higher entry standards imposed by licensing laws reduce the supply of professional services. The poor are the net losers, because the availability of low-cost service has been reduced. In essence, the poor subsidize the information research costs of the rich." "As you increase the cost of the license to practice medicine, you increase the price at which the medical service must be sold and you correspondingly decrease the number of people who can afford to buy the service." I find it ironic that many people who have spent years fighting to keep government from legislating restrictions on the private medical decisions concerning abortion between women and their physicians are now willing to effectively outlaw private medical practice and place abortion, along with all other medical practice, directly within the purview of government. The task of weaning various people and groups from the national nipple will not be easy. The sound of whines, bawls, screams and invective will fill the air as the agony of withdrawal pangs finds voice. A 10-year-old could have worked out how unviable this project was: but, of course, 10-year-olds are short on testosterone and high on common sense.

        - Kevin Myers, on Concorde, "The Telegraph"

It is often easier for our children to obtain a gun than it is to find a good school.

- Joycelyn Elders Maybe that's because guns are sold at a profit, while schools are provided by the government. - David Boaz #

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