- Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall. 1987
- The nine most terrifying words in the English language
are, “I'm from the government and I'm here to
- The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate
barometer of social conscience or charitable concern.
- Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they
don’t need it and hell where they already have
- I hope we have once again 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
- Insanity is hereditory, you catch it from your kids.
- Getting shot hurts.
- The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t
control the economy without controlling people. And
they knew when a government sets out to do that, it
must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose.
- The best social program is a productive job for anyone
who’s willing to work.
- Welfare’s purpose should be to eliminate, as
far as possible, the need for
its own existence. 1970
- I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case
of national emergency - even if I’m in a Cabinet
- I don't know. I've never played a governor.
1966 When asked by a reporter what kind of governor
he would be.
- 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, subsidise it.
15 August 1986
- Cures were developed for which there were no known
1981 Commenting on Congress and the federal budget.
- We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because
we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar
debt because we spend too much. 1982
- Government is the people’s business and every
man, woman and child becomes a shareholder with the
first penny of tax paid. 1982
- I have seen the rise and fall of Nazi tyranny, the
subsequent Cold War and the nuclear nightmare that for
fifty years haunted the dreams of children everywhere.
During that time my generation defeated totalitarianism.
As a result, your world is poised for better tomorrows.
What will you do on your journey?
- Let us beware that while they [Soviet rulers] preach
the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence
over individual man, and predict its eventual domination
over all the peoples of the earth, they are the focus
of evil in the modern world [...] I urge you to beware
the temptation [...] to ignore the facts of history
and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply
call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby
remove yourself from the struggle between right and
wrong, good and evil. 1983
- It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide
of history [... It is] the march of freedom and democracy
which will leave Marxism- Leninism on the ash heap of
history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle
the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people.
- The years ahead will be great ones for our country,
for the cause of freedom and the spread of civilization.
The West will not contain Communism, it will transcend
- There are no such things as limits to growth, because
there are no limits on the human capacity for intelligence,
imagination and wonder. 1983
- 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
- The other day, someone told me the difference between
a democracy and a people’s democracy. It’s
the same difference between a jacket and a straitjacket.
- How do you tell a Communist? Well, it’s someone
who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist?
It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin. 1987
- Freedom is the right to question and change the established
way of doing things. It is the continuous revolution
of the marketplace. It is the understanding that allows
to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions. 1988
- Public servants say, always with the best of intentions,
“What greater service we could render if only
we had a little more money and a little more power.”
But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function,
government does nothing as well or as economically as
the private sector. 1964
[see also Keynes
- Surround yourself with the best people you can find,
delegate authority, and don’t interfere. 1986
- We are for aiding our allies by sharing our material
blessings with nations which share our fundamental beliefs,
but we are against doling out money government to government,
creating bureaucracy, if not socialism, all over the
- I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough
to take care of itself.
- I hope you’re all Republicans.1981
To surgeons as he entered the operating room following
an assassination attempt.
- Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression
is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter
- I'm afraid I can’t use a mule. I have several
hundred up on Capitol Hill.
Refusing a gift of a mule.
- What makes him think a middle-aged actor, who’s
played with a chimp, could have a future in politics?
On Clint Eastwood’s bid
to become mayor of Carmel [Once, Reagan also played
in a film with a chimp, in Bedtime with Bonzo.]
- When asked, “How could
an actor become president?”
How can a president not be an actor?
- From his letter to the American
people revealing his Alzheimer’s diagnosis:
In closing, let me thank you, the American people, for
giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as
your president. When the Lord calls me home, whenever
that day may be, I will leave with the greatest love
for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its
future. I now begin the journey that will lead me into
the sunset of my life. I know that for America there
will always be a bright dawn ahead. November
- Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because
America was too strong.
- From a speech made near the
Berlin Wall in 1987:
General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for
the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here
to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this