Quotes about Government
There is an important sense in which government is distinctive from administration. One is perpetual, the other is temporary and changeable. A man may be loyal to his government and yet oppose the particular principles and methods of administration.
Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865), Congressional Record, April 15, 1942

While the people retain their virtue, and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government, in the short space of four years.
Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865), First Inaugural Adress, march 4, 1861

What we should be asking is not whether we need a big government or small government, but how we can create a smarter and better government.
Barack Obama (1961 - ), University of Michigan Commencement, 2010

When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening, foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us.
Barack Obama (1961 - ), University of Michigan Commencement, 2010

There is no nonsense so arrant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action.
Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

For every action there is an equal and opposite government program.
Bob Wells

Government is too big and too important to be left to the politicians.
Chester Bowles (1901 - 1986)

Many people consider the things which government does for them as social progress, but they consider the things government does for others as socialism.
Earl Warren (1891 - 1974)

After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood.
Fred Thompson, Speech before the Commonwealth Club of California

You know what's interesting about Washington? It's the kind of place where second-guessing has become second nature.
George W. Bush (1946 - ), Speech on May 17, 2002

I believe that truth is the glue that holds government together , not only our government but civilization itself. That bond, though strained, is unbroken at home and abroad.
Gerald R. Ford (1913 - 2006), Remarks on taking the oath of office, August 9, 1974`

If the government is big enough to give you everything you want, it is big enough to take away everything you have.
Gerald R. Ford (1913 - 2006)

In a political sense, there is one problem that currently underlies all of the others. That problem is making Government sufficiently responsive to the people. If we dont make government responsive to the people, we dont make it believable. And we must make government believable if we are to have a functioning democracy.
Gerald R. Ford (1913 - 2006), Address at Jacksonville University, December 16, 1971

The American wage earner and the American housewife are a lot better economists than most economists care to admit. They know that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.
Gerald R. Ford (1913 - 2006), Remarks to a Joint Session of Congress, August 12, 1974

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.
H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

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.
H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship.
Harry S Truman (1884 - 1972), Lecture at Columbia University, 28 Apr. 1959

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. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
James Madison (1751 - 1836), The Federalist Papers, 1788

Before my term has ended, we shall have to test anew whether a nation organized and governed such as ours can endure. The outcome is by no means certain.
John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Annual message to Congress on the State of the Union, January 30, 1961

You will find that the State is the kind of organization which, though it does big things badly, does small things badly, too.
John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 - 2006)

The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.
P. J. O'Rourke (1947 - )

Sure there are dishonest men in local government. But there are dishonest men in national government too.
Richard M. Nixon (1913 - 1994)

The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them right away.
Ronald Reagan (1911 - 2004)

So they [the Government] go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent.
Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965), Hansard, November 12, 1936

We must judge of a form of government by its general tendency, not by happy accidents. Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800 - 1859), Speech on Parliamentary reform, March 2, 1831

In the long-run every Government is the exact symbol of its People, with their wisdom and unwisdom; we have to say, Like People like Government.
Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881), Past and Present, 1843

Any government is potentially the worst client in the world you could ever possibly want to have.
Thomas Heatherwick, TED, Building the Seed Cathedral, March 2011

Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.
Tom Robbins (1936 - )

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.
Voltaire (1694 - 1778)

I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
Will Rogers (1879 - 1935), quoted in Saturday Review, Aug. 25, 1962

There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)

The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.
William H. Borah

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