Tom Purcell, 11/28/2016 [Archive]

Wisdom the GOP Ignores at Its Peril

Wisdom the GOP Ignores at Its Peril

By Tom Purcell

Now that Republicans will be running the White House, the House and the Senate, they'd better succeed in streamlining and simplifying our bloated government. Quotes from some of our greatest minds can guide them.

While President Obama sought to make government cool again, many great minds have long been wary of government:

"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." ---- Ronald Reagan

"A government big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take everything you have." ---- Barry Goldwater

"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government." ---- Edward Abbey

Ronnie, we miss you, but your spirit guides us still. Barry, you'd roll in your grave if you saw how big our government has gotten. And Eddie, our IRS recently turned against people whose nonprofit organizations promoted the "wrong" political point of view.

Being self-employed for many years, I've found that high income taxes and complex rules have been the bane of my existence. Republicans had better heed these quotes as they reform our tax system:

"Did you ever notice that when you put the words 'the' and 'IRS' together, it spells 'THEIRS'"? ---- unknown

"What at first was plunder, assumed the softer name of revenue." ---- Thomas Paine

"It would be a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their income." ---- Ben Franklin

Hey, guys, too many politicians and bureaucrats think we owe them MORE of our hard-earned dough. Tommy, you'd be shocked at the level of plunder. And Ben, the only Americans who enjoy an income tax around 10 percent these days are the ones who moved to Russia.

As Republicans attempt to roll back the massive expansion of government that occurred under Obama's presidency, here are some points to consider:

"The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it's so rare." ---- Daniel Patrick Moynihan

"Government is inherently incompetent, and no matter what task it is assigned, it will do it in the most expensive and inefficient way possible." ---- Charley Reese

"Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us." ---- Leo Tolstoy

Hey, Leo, folks often forget how nasty government can be ---- particularly the millions of college-age Americans who think socialism is hip and that "the rich" should pay off the thousands they borrowed to get graduate degrees in the dining habits of sub-Saharan cross-dressers.

Here are more thoughts that had better motivate Republicans:

"The primary function of the government is ---- and here I am quoting directly from the U.S. Constitution ---- 'to spew out paper.'" ---- Dave Barry

"The government is good at one thing: It knows how to break your legs, then hand you a crutch and say, 'See, if it weren't for the government you wouldn't be able to walk.'" ---- Harry Browne

"Government cannot make man richer, but it can make him poorer." ---- Ludwig von Mises

Hey, Republicans, the American citizens have spoken and we demand a return to the principles of SMALL government. You had better stay on your toes and pay attention to these quotes:

"One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation." ---- Thomas Reed

"That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." ---- attributed to Thomas Jefferson, but first appeared in United States Magazine and Democratic Review in 1837

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government ---- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." ---- attributed to Patrick Henry, but actual source unknown


©2016 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of "Misadventures of a 1970's Childhood" and "Wicked Is the Whiskey," a Sean McClanahan mystery novel, both available at, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. For info on using this column in your publication or website, contact or call (805) 969-2829. Send comments to Tom at

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