Go ahead, cut education, federal funding for municipal projects, Medicaid, food stamps and unemployment benefits. That may make you feel like you’re striking a blow for “ending the culture of dependency,” but kids still have to learn, aging classrooms still need to be renovated, books still need to be bought, teachers still need to be paid, bridges and roads still need to be built and repaired, and poor and out-of-work people will still get sick and hungry and need diapers. Having the feds stop paying to solve these problems doesn’t make the problems go away; it just transfers the onus of solving these problems to the states.
Ron: My idea of a perfect government is one guy who sits in a small room at a desk, and the only thing he’s allowed to decide is who to nuke. The man is chosen based on some kind of IQ test, and maybe also a physical tournament, like a decathlon. And women are brought to him, maybe…when he desires them.
Ron: I’ve been quite open about this around the office: I don’t want this parks department to build any parks because I don’t believe in government. I think that all government is a waste of taxpayer money. My dream is to have the park system privatized and run entirely for profit by corporations, like Chuck E. Cheese. They have an impeccable business model. I would rather work for Chuck E. Cheese.
V: People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.
Leslie Knope: This is where the rubber of government meets the road of actual human beings.
Cher: So like, right now for example. The Haitians need to come to America. But some people are all, “What about the strain on our resources?” Well it’s like when I had this garden party for my father’s birthday. I put R.S.V.P. ’cause it was a sit-down dinner. But some people came that like did not R.S.V.P. I was totally buggin’. I had to haul ass to the kitchen, redistribute the food, and squish in extra place settings. But by the end of the day it was, like, the more the merrier. And so if the government could just get to the kitchen and rearrange some things we could certainly party with the Haitians. And in conclusion may I please remind you it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty! Thank you very much.
Whistler: I want peace on earth and good will toward man.
Bernard Abbott: We are the United States Government. We don’t do that sort of thing.
Dave: I don’t want to tell some eight-year-old kid he’s gotta sleep in the street because we want people to feel better about their car. Do you want to tell them that?
Secretary of Commerce: No sir. No I sure don’t.
Now, people ask me all the time how we got four surplus budgets in a row. What new ideas did we bring to Washington? I always give a one-word answer: Arithmetic.
We cannot afford to be a country of isolationists right now. 9/11 showed us that try as we might to ignore the rest of the world, our enemies will no longer ignore us. And so we need to maintain a strong foreign policy, relentless in pursuing our enemies and hopeful in promoting our values around the world. But to guard against isolationist sentiments in this country, we must change conditions in Iraq and the policy that has characterized our time there – a policy based on blind hope and ideology instead of fact and reality.
Americans called for this more serious policy a few Tuesdays ago. It’s time that we listen to their concerns and win back their trust. I spoke here a year ago and delivered a message about Iraq that was similar to the one I did today. I refuse to accept the possibility that I will have to come back a year from now and say the same thing. There have been too many speeches. There have been too many excuses. There have been too many flag-draped coffins, and there have been too many heartbroken families. The time for waiting in Iraq is over. It is time to change our policy. It is time to give Iraqis their country back. And it is time to refocus America’s efforts on the wider struggle yet to be won.
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 other forms that have been tried from time to time.
Algernon: Stop him? Me? It’s more than my job’s worth to stop him once he gets like this. He’s out to rule the world, if he can get a government grant.
Kent: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: democracy simply-doesn’t-work.
In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.
Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair.
Sherlock Holmes: Try not to start a war before I get home – you know what it does to the traffic.
I’m asking citizens to go to their offices and say: You’ve disappointed me, and there will be consequences.
These senators have heard from their constituents — who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them.
Nations touch at their summits.
Bishops move diagonally. That’s why they often turn up where the kings don’t expect them to be.
I came to office with one deliberate intent: to change Britain from a dependent to a self-reliant society — from a give-it-to-me, to a do-it-yourself nation. A get-up-and-go, instead of a sit-back-and-wait-for-it Britain.
For my part, I favour an approach to statecraft that embraces principles, as long as it is not stifled by them; and I prefer such principles to be accompanied by steel along with good intentions.
What government has to do is to set the framework for human talent to flourish.
Constitutions have to be written on hearts, not just paper.
Perhaps my early apathy and indifference are a result of what Thatcher deliberately engendered, the idea that “there is no such thing as society”, that we are alone on our journey through life, solitary atoms of consciousness.
Her death must be sad for the handful of people she was nice to and the rich people who got richer under her stewardship. It isn’t sad for anyone else.
No, this election, and every election, is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives.
Because when you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military in your command, you can’t make snap decisions. You can’t have a thin skin or a tendency to lash out. You need to be steady, and measured, and well-informed.