Government Quotes

Read the best selected government quotes by some famous people of their times. These quotes about government will motivate and inspire you and you will be much wiser about the subject.


Good government is the outcome of private virtue. John Jay Chapman
I love my government not least for the extent to which it leaves me alone. John Updike
Any party which takes credit for the rain must not be surprised if its opponents blame it for the drought. Dwight Whitney Morrow
The government is huge, stupid, greedy and makes nosy, officious and dangerous intrusions into the smallest corners of life -- this much we can stand. But the real problem is that government is boring. We could cure or mitigate the other ills Washington visits on us if we could only bring ourselves to pay attention to Washington itself. But we cannot. P. J. O'Rourke
Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one. Thomas Paine
I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. Will Rogers
It is function of government to invent philosophies to explain the demands of its own convenience. Murray Kempton
Generosity is a part of my character, and I therefore hasten to assure this Government that I will never make an allegation of dishonesty against it wherever a simple explanation of stupidity will suffice. Leslie Baron Lever
Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. Frederic Bastiat
The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. Thomas Jefferson
It is perfectly true that that government is best which governs least. It is equally true that that government is best which provides most. Walter Lippmann
Those who govern, having much business on their hands, do not generally like to take the trouble of considering and carrying into execution new projects. The best public measures are therefore seldom adopted from previous wisdom, but forced by the occasion. Benjamin Franklin
Truth is the glue that holds government together. Gerald R. Ford
Every country has the government it deserves. Joseph De Maistre
Nothing is so galling to a people not broken in from the birth as a paternal, or in other words a meddling government, a government which tells them what to read and say and eat and drink and wear. Thomas B. Macaulay
I would not give half a guinea to live under one form of government rather than another. It is of no moment to the happiness of an individual. Samuel Johnson
Governments need to have both shepherds and butchers. Voltaire
In a healthy nation there is a kind of dramatic balance between the will of the people and the government, which prevents its degeneration into tyranny. Albert Einstein
It is doubtful that the government knows much more than the public does about how government [Economic] policies will work. W. Allen Wallis
In the councils of a state, the question is not so much, what ought to be done? As, what can be done? French Proverb
We must judge a government by its general tendencies and not by its happy accidents. Thomas B. Macaulay
A Government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from the earth. Abraham Lincoln
I say to myself that I mustn't let myself be cut off in there, and yet the moment I enter my bag is taken out of my hand, I'm pushed in, shepherded, nursed and above all cut off, alone. Whitehall envelops me. Richard Crossman
Remember that a government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away everything you have. Davy Crockett
The mechanism that directs government cannot be virtuous, because it is impossible to thwart every crime, to protect oneself from every criminal without being criminal too; that which directs corrupt mankind must be corrupt itself; and it will never be by means of virtue, virtue being inert and passive, that you will maintain control over vice, which is ever active: the governor must be more energetic than the governed. Marquis De Sade
Whenever you have an efficient government, you have a dictatorship. Harry S. Truman
Governments never learn. Only people learn. Milton Friedman
There is no nonsense so arrant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate government action. Bertrand Russell
Congress is so strange. A man gets up to speak and says nothing. Nobody listens, then everybody disagrees. Boris Marshalov
You can only govern men by serving them. The rule is without exception. Victor Cousin
Government is either organized benevolence or organized madness; its peculiar magnitude permits no shading. John Updike
When any government, or church for that matter, undertakes to say to it's subjects, this you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motive. Robert Heinlein
The punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the government, is to live under the government of worse men. Plato
Safety of the state is the highest law. Justinian
It is hard to feel individually responsible with respect to the invisible processes of a huge and distant government. John W. Gardner
It is the duty of government to make it difficult for people to do wrong, easy to do right. William E. Gladstone
The constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of people. William O. Douglas
The greater the hold of government upon the life of the individual citizen, the greater the risk of war.
Nations it may be have fashioned their Governments, but the Governments have paid them back in the same coin. Joseph Conrad
Mankind, when left to themselves, are unfit for their own government. George Washington
Men are to be guided only by their self-interests. Good government is a good balancing of these; and, except a keen eye and appetite for self-interest, requires no virtue in any quarter. To both parties it is emphatically a machine: to the discontented, a ''taxing-machine;'' to the contented, a ''machine for securing property.'' Its duties and its faults are not those of a father, but of an active parish-constable. Thomas Carlyle
To govern is to choose. To appear to be unable to choose is to appear to be unable to govern. Nigel Lawson
Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. Henry David Thoreau
In our consumer confidence surveys, we ask people whether they think government economic policy is good, fair, or poor. Increasingly, the answer we get is just plain laughter. Jay Schmiedeskamp
The ship of state is the only known vessel that leaks from the top. James Reston
No more distressing moment can ever face a British government than that which requires it to come to a hard, fast and specific decision. Barbara Tuchman
It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress. Mark Twain
Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those others that have been tried from time to time. Winston Churchill
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. P. J. O'Rourke
As long as our government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of persons and of property, liberty of conscience and of the press, it will be worth defending. Andrew Jackson
The monarchy is a labor intensive industry. Harold Wilson
Nothing turns out to be so oppressive and unjust as a feeble government. Edmund Burke
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
All good government must begin at home. H. R. Haweis
The contented and economically comfortable have a very discriminating view of government. Nobody is ever indignant about bailing out failed banks and failed savings and loans associations. But when taxes must be paid for the lower middle class and poor, the government assumes an aspect of wickedness. John Kenneth Galbraith
By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more. Albert Camus
John Hospers The less government we have the better. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. Ronald Reagan
The three great ends which a statesman ought to propose to himself in the government of a nation, are -- 1. Security to possessors; 2. Facility to acquirers; and, 3. Hope to all. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The auditor is a watchdog and not a bloodhound. Lord Justice Topes
Government is an evil; it is only the thoughtlessness and vices of men that make it a necessary evil. When all men are good and wise, government will of itself decay. Percy Bysshe Shelley
There is something to be said for government by a great aristocracy which has furnished leaders to the nation in peace and war for generations; even a democrat like myself must admit this. But there is absolutely nothing to be said for government by a plutocracy, for government by men very powerful in certain lines and gifted with the ''money touch,'' but with ideals which in their essence are merely those of so many glorified pawnbrokers. Theodore Roosevelt
Though the people support the government; the government should not support the people. Grover Cleveland
Of the best rulers, The people only know that they exist; the next best they love and praise the next they fear; and the next they revile. When they do not command the people's faith, some will lose faith in them, and then they resort to oaths! But of the best when their task is accomplished, their work done, the people all remark, ''We have done it ourselves.'' Lao-Tzu
An ambassador is an honest person sent to lie abroad for their country. Sir Henry Wotton
The government can destroy wealth but it cannot create wealth, which is the product of labor and management working with creation. Bill Murray
It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. Voltaire
Men are not governed by justice, but by law or persuasion. When they refuse to be governed by law or persuasion, they have to be governed by force or fraud, or both. George Bernard Shaw
A government is the only vessel that leaks from the top. James Reston
No government is safe unless fortified by goodwill. Cornelius Nepos
Large legislative bodies resolve themselves into coteries, and coteries into jealousies. Napoleon Bonaparte
Even to observe neutrality you must have a strong government. Alexander Hamilton
The best government is that which teaches us to govern ourselves. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Our Congress is the finest body of men money can buy. Maury Amsterdam
Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair. George Burns
Public instruction should be the first object of government. Napoleon Bonaparte
Society is well governed when its people obey the magistrates, and the magistrates obey the law. Solon
Freedom of men under government is to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society, and made by the legislative power vested in it; a liberty to follow my own will in all things, when the rule prescribes not, and not to be subject to the inconstant, unknown, arbitrary will of another man. John Locke
The object of government in peace and in war is not the glory of rulers or of races, but the happiness of the common man. Baron William Henry Beveridge
It is the duty of the President to propose and it is the privilege of the Congress to dispose. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Of all tasks of government the most basic is to protect its citizens against violence. John Foster Dulles
It is easy to rule over the good. Titus Maccius Plautus
Government can be bigger than any of the players on the field as a referee, but it has no right to become one of the players. Austin Igleheart
To administer is to govern: to govern is to reign. That is the essence of the problem. Comte De Mirabeau
Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights. Thomas Jefferson
It would be foolish to suggest that government is a good custodian of aesthetic goals. But, there is no alternative to the state. John Kenneth Galbraith
The whole duty of government is to prevent crime and to preserve contracts. Lord Melbourne
Every form of government tends to perish by excess of its basic principles. William J. Durant
To rule is not so much a question of the heavy hand as the firm seat. Jose Ortega Y Gasset
The government of the world I live in was not framed, like that of Britain, in after-dinner conversations over the wine. Henry David Thoreau
Fear is the foundation of most government. John Adams
The government must always be a step ahead of the popular movement. Count Boytzwnburg
A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away. Barry Goldwater
Office without pay makes thieves. German Proverb
It is very easy to accuse a government of imperfection, for all mortal things are full of it. Michel Eyquem De Montaigne
Beaverbrook is so pleased to be in the government that he is like the town tart who finally married the Mayor. Beverley Baxter
The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination. Voltaire
I have no ambition to govern men. It is a painful and thankless office. Thomas Jefferson
The whole country is one vast insane asylum and they're letting the worst patients run the place. Robert Welch
The body politic, as well as the human body, begins to die as soon as it is born, and carries itself the causes of its destruction. Jean Jacques Rousseau
Any cook should be able to run the country. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
The government is us; we are the government, you and I. Theodore Roosevelt
Nothing is more surprising than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few. David Hume
You could afford your house without the government if it weren't for the government. Rush Limbaugh
The art of government is not to let me grow stale. Napoleon Bonaparte
Not wishing to be disturbed over moral issues of the political economy, Americans cling to the notion that the government is a sort of automatic machine, regulated by the balancing of competing interests. C. Wright Mills
For its part, Government will listen. We will strive to listen in new ways -- to the voices of quiet anguish, to voices that speak without words, the voices of the heart, to the injured voices, and the anxious voices, and the voices that have despaired of being heard. Richard M. Nixon
It is often said that men are ruled by their imaginations; but it would be truer to say they are governed by the weakness of their imaginations. Walter Bagehot
The art of government is the organization of idolatry. The bureaucracy consists of functionaries; the aristocracy, of idols; the democracy, of idolaters. The populace cannot understand the bureaucracy: it can only worship the national idols. George Bernard Shaw
In quiet and untroubled times it seems to every administrator that it is only by his efforts that the whole population under his rule is kept going, and in this consciousness of being indispensable every administrator finds the chief reward of his labor and efforts. While the sea of history remains calm the ruler-administrator in his frail bark, holding on with a boat hook to the ship of the people and himself moving, naturally imagines that his efforts move the ship he is holding on to. But as soon as a storm arises and the sea begins to heave and the ship to move, such a delusion is no longer possible. The ship moves independently with its own enormous motion, the boat hook no longer reaches the moving vessel, and suddenly the administrator, instead of appearing a ruler and a source of power, becomes an insignificant, useless, feeble man. Count Leo Tolstoy
The government is best which makes itself unnecessary. Karl Wilhelm Von Humboldt
The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem. Milton Friedman
There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. Andrew Jackson
Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them. Ronald Reagan
Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent.H. L. Mencken
For Forms of Government let fools contest; whatever is best administered is best. Alexander Pope
A government, for protecting business only, is but a carcass, and soon falls by its own corruption and decay. Amos Bronson Alcott
We have the best government that money can buy. Mark Twain
I don't judge a regime by the damning criticism of the opposition, but by the ingenuous praise of the partisan. Jean Rostand
The worst thing in the world next to anarchy, is government. Henry Ward Beecher
A government must not waiver once it has chosen it's course. It must not look to the left or right but go forward. Otto Von Bismarck
Governing today means giving acceptable signs of credibility. It is like advertising and it is the same effect that is achieved -- commitment to a scenario. Jean Baudrillard
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
Well, fancy giving money to the Government! Might as well have put it down the drain. A. P. Herbert
Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies. Honore De Balzac
Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for. Will Rogers
What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? 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
An educated people can be easily governed. Frederick The Great (Frederick II)
The Athenians govern the Greeks; I govern the Athenians; you, my wife, govern me; your son governs you. Themistocles
The supply of government exceeds demand. Lewis H. Lapham
No man undertakes a trade he has not learned, even the meanest; yet everyone thinks himself sufficiently qualified for the hardest of all trades, that of government. Socrates
A man without a vote is man without protection. Lyndon B. Johnson
If you join government, calmly make your contribution and move on. Don't go along to get along; do your best and when you have to -- and you will -- leave, and be something else. Peggy Noonan
The basis of effective government if public confidence. John F. Kennedy
Today, if you invent a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse. Ronald Reagan
Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. Albert Einstein
Government has no other end, but the preservation of property. John Locke
That government is best which governs least. Henry David Thoreau
This American government -- what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its integrity? It has not the vitality and force of a single living man; for a single man can bend it to his will. Henry David Thoreau
That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part. Thomas Jefferson
Governments tend not to solve problems, only to rearrange them. Ronald Reagan
Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government. Milton Friedman
The point to remember is what government gives it must first take away. John S. Caldwell
But their determination to banish fools foundered ultimately in the installation of absolute idiots. Basil Bunting
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson
Thou camest out of thy mother's belly without government, thou hast liv'd hitherto without government, and thou mayst be carried to thy long home without government, when it shall please the Lord. How many people in this world live without government, yet do well enough, and are well look'd upon? Miguel De Cervantes
That state is best ordered when the wicked have no command, and the good have. Pittacus
Who so taketh in hand to frame any state or government ought to presuppose that all men are evil, and at occasions will show themselves so to be. Sir Walter Raleigh

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