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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A few good Reagan quotes

Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.

Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.

Government always finds a need for whatever money it gets.

Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.

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.

Governments tend not to solve problems, only to rearrange them.

I've never been able to understand why a Republican contributor is a 'fat cat' and a Democratic contributor of the same amount of money is a 'public-spirited philanthropist'.

Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hit man.

I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.

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!

One way to make sure crime doesn't pay would be to let the government run it.

Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing.

Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15.

The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would steal them away.

The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.

There seems to be an increasing awareness of something we Americans have known for some time: that the 10 most dangerous words in the English language are, "Hi, I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help."

There are those in America today who have come to depend absolutely on government for their security. And when government fails they seek to rectify that failure in the form of granting government more power. So, as government has failed to control crime and violence with the means given it by the Constitution, they seek to give it more power at the expense of the Constitution. But in doing so, in their willingness to give up their arms in the name of safety, they are really giving up their protection from what has always been the chief source of despotism — government. Lord Acton said power corrupts. Surely then, if this is true, the more power we give the government the more corrupt it will become. And if we give it the power to confiscate our arms we also give up the ultimate means to combat that corrupt power. In doing so we can only assure that we will eventually be totally subject to it. When dictators come to power, the first thing they do is take away the people's weapons. It makes it so much easier for the secret police to operate, it makes it so much easier to force the will of the ruler upon the ruled.

If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth. And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except to sovereign people, is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election. Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so.

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden.

You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we're not bound by that same limitation? We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow.

I intend to go right on appointing highly qualified individuals of the highest personal integrity to the bench, individuals who understand the danger of short-circuiting the electoral process and disenfranchising the people through judicial activism.

"We the people" tell the government what to do, it doesn't tell us. "We the people" are the driver, the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world's constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which "We the people" tell the government what it is allowed to do. "We the people" are free.

Every now and then when I was in government, I would remind my associates that "When we start thinking of government as 'us' instead of 'them,' we've been here too long." By that I mean that elected officeholders need to retain a certain skepticism about the perfectibility of government.

I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I'm in a cabinet meeting.

So much wisdom in those words. He was a man who understood the importance of government. I wish the current President had that level of wisdom and understanding.

Some of these my be misquoted or misattributed. If you can show me any errors please let me know.

3 comments:

commoncents said...

Nice blog you have! Keep up the great work!!
COMMON CENTS
http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

The Hermit said...

He was a good old guy, even though he did totally make a disaster out of the Lebanon intervention.

Bitmap said...

I would take him over any President since. He believed that the nation was great because of individuals rather than because of the government.

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