A little government involvement is just as dangerous as a lot -because the first leads inevitably to the second
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg
Here's your enemy for this week, the government says. And some gullible Americans click their heels and salute -- often without knowing who or even where the enemy of the week is
A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away
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
Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship.
Sure there are dishonest men in local government. But there are dishonest men in national government too.
There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks -- no form of government can render us secure. To suppose liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.
That no free government, or the blessing of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles
That the principle and construction contended for by sundry of the state legislatures, that the general government is the exclusive judge of the extent of the powers delegated to it, stop nothing short of despotism; since the discretion of those who administer the government, and not the constitution, would be the measure of their powers:
That the several states who formed that instrument, being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of its infraction; and that a nullification, by those sovereignties, of all unauthorized acts done under colour of that instrument, is the rightful remedy.
A wise and frugal government ... shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government
It is sufficiently obvious, that persons and property are the two great subjects on which Governments are to act; and that the rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted. These rights cannot be separated
When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated
The only greater evil than separation... is living under a government of discretion
Whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force
The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government
The way people in democracies think of the government as something different from themselves is a real handicap. And, of course, sometimes the government confirms their opinion
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys
Our government... teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy
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.
If you want to understand your government, don't begin by reading the Constitution. It conveys precious little of the flavor of today's statecraft. Instead, read selected portions of the Washington telephone directory containing listings for all the organizations with titles beginning with the word National
It's every American's duty to support his government, but not necessarily in the style to which it has become accustomed.
To hear some men talk of the government, you would suppose that Congress was the law of gravitation, and kept the planets in their places.
Many people say that government is necessary because some men cannot be trusted to look after themselves, but anarchists say that government is harmful because no men can be trusted to look after anyone else