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Quote Author Cited
Everyone is always in favour of general economy and particular expenditure. Anthony Eden
I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself. Ronald Reagan
Blessed are the young for they shall inherit the national debt. Herbert Hoover
A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing. Alexander Hamilton
The extravagant expenditure of public money is an evil not to be measured by the value of that money to the people who are taxed for it. Chester A. Arthur
I cannot separate the finances of India from those of England. If the finances of the Indian Government receive any severe and irreparable check, will not the resources of England be called upon to meet the emergency, and to supply the deficiency? Richard Cobden
We cannot allow the heavy weight of the debt to bring us to our knees.. Alejandro García Padilla
This is a wonderful year for raw truth. We don't have any money. Mario Cuomo
Fiscal prudence does not prevent government from providing shelter for the homeless, work for the idle, care for the elderly and infirm, and hope for the destitute. Mario Cuomo
The United States should be devoting a larger percentage of its vast resources to making the world safe for capitalism and democracy ... the proper role of an imperial America is to establish these institutions where they are lacking, if necessary ... by military force. Imposing democracy on all the world's "rogue states" would not push the U. S. Defense budget much above 5 percent of GDP... establishing the rule of law in such countries would pay a long run dividend as their trade revised and expanded. Niall Ferguson
Could we do without the social safety net, without Social Security, without Medicare, without farm subsidies, without unemployment compensation, without school lunch programs, without housing assistance? Of course we could. But we would not be a civilized society and we would not be an American nation any of us would be proud of. Gary Hart
When our economy is not growing, those least able to look after themselves are the first thrown overboard ... Gary Hart
... maybe we can all agree on one lesson from the Greek crisis, namely that, to maintain a friendship, you should lend only as much money as you are ready to give away anyway. Jochen Bittner
We cannot cut our way to prosperity. Barack Obama
I care not who forms the government of a country, so long as I control the purse strings. Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild
Cutting spending is harder than raising taxes. Every dollar of federal spending has a constituency. Haley Barbour
Americans know that war must be paid for and it is they who must pay for it. Woodrow Wilson
War costs money. That means taxes and bonds and bonds and taxes. It means cutting luxuries and other non essentials. Franklin D. Roosevelt
China, Japan, and Asia in general have been happy to hold U.S. debt instruments in recent decades, but they will not prop up our spending habits forever…. The greatest threat facing America today is not terrorism, or foreign economic competition, or illegal immigration. The greatest threat facing America today is the disastrous fiscal policies of our own government, marked by shameless deficit spending and Federal Reserve currency devaluation. Ronald E. Paul
A long term tax cut is not a tax cut at all unless it is accompanied by a spending cut. Milton Friedman
The real problem with the government is not the deficit; it is that the government spends too much money. Milton Friedman
The best thing to hold down spending is to have a Democratic President and a Republican Congress. Milton Friedman
He who has his thumb on the purse has the power. Otto Von Bismarck-Schoenhausen
Governments harangue about deficits to get more revenue so they can spend more. Allan H. Meltzer
Mr. Chairman, we have in this Country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks… The Fed has cheated the Government of these United States and the people of the United States out of enough money to pay the Nation's debt. The depredations and iniquities of the Fed has cost enough money to pay the National debt several times over. This evil institution has impoverished and ruined the people of these United States, has bankrupted itself, and has practically bankrupted our Government. Louis Thomas McFadden
When the Budget has once been approved by the President and transmitted to Congress, it is his budget estimate and no officer or official of the War Department would have any right to come up here and attempt to get a single dollar more than is contained in that estimate . K W. Walker
The Pentagon has a long tradition of dialing up the threat to get more dollars at budget time. John Pike
The Jews contribute more per capita to the revenues of Palestine than the Arabs, and the Government has thereby been enabled to maintain public services for the Arabs at a higher level than would otherwise have been possible. William Peel
A good paymaster is lord of another man's purse. Anonymous
I hope you are not bringing any new fandangled ideas like a better accounting system or an accrual basis or anything like that, because it would take away the flexibility of the governor. Anonymous
When you say fiscal responsibility, it seems to me that you really mean rich people keeping their money. Alice Adams
Curtailment of expense could be effected only on the principle that as the government did nothing well, it might as well do nothing. Henry Adams
Never base your budget requests on realistic assumptions, as this could lead to a decrease in your funding. Scott Adams
There is no escape from the cost of public needs. Jodi Allen
How do you balance the budget, cut taxes and increase defense spending at the same time? It's very simple. You do it with mirrors. John Anderson
Frugality, when all is spent, comes too late. Lucius Annaeus
The closest thing you ever get to a cut is a decrease in the rate of increase of government spending. Richard K. Armey
The federal government is currently operating on a budget passed in the dead of night just before Christmas. It comprised three massive documents, ran to a staggering 3,296 pages, weighed in at a hefty 43 pounds, and had a price tag of $650 billion. Congress had about three hours to look at it before voting on it. William L. Armstrong
One to mislead the public, another to mislead the Cabinet, and the third to mislead itself. Herbert Henry Asquith
Whatever pain we go through now, our suffering will provide for the future of the next generations. Ibrahim Babangida
Our national leaders could learn some good habits and important lessons from city hall to take the place of the various gimmicks being used in Washington to duck federal budget responsibility. Alan Beals
There are two ways to reduce expenditures. There is the intelligent way ... going through each department and questioning each program. Then there is the stupid way: announcing how much you will cut and getting each department to cut that amount. I favor the stupid way. Michel Belanger
You know if you let me write $200 billion worth of hot checks, I could also give you the illusion of prosperity. Lloyd Bentsen
We want no new types of public appropriations for sectarian purposes Paul Blanshard
... the Social Security trust fund is not spare money; it is spoken for. Alan S. Blinder
It’s better to spend the money we have now more wisely than to spend a lot more money after the fact on the dysfunction we’ve created. Earl Blumenauer
I personally do not worship at the alter of a balanced budget. David Bonior
In peace and war it's always money. David Brinkley
Our system of keeping the federal government's books is a monument to the creativity of mankind ... We've cut government spending for 15 years in a row, and yet have spent more money in each of those years. Hank Brown
Let us all be happy and live within our means, even if we have to borrow the money to do it with. Charles Ferrar Browne; Artemus
Our present financial condition is without parallel in history. No nation has ever before been embarrassed from too large a surplus in its Treasury. James Buchanan
All progress is based upon the universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income. Samuel Butler
Any government, like individuals and families, cannot spend more than they take in without courting disaster. Clarence A. Cannon
You may think my business is to make appropriations, but it is not. It is to prevent their being made. Clarence A. Cannon
Not one cent for scenery. Joseph Cannon
When Congress consents to the Executive making the budget it will have surrendered the most important part of a representative government. Joseph Cannon
There is no belt to tighten anymore. Cuauhtemoc Cardenas
[The] up-and-down pattern of [defense] spending over the last 18 years averages out to below zero percent real growth. In other words, if defense spending had followed a path of zero percent real growth, the U.S. probably could have obtained more defense for its dollar. Frank Carlucci
There are but two ways of paying debt—increase of industry in raising income. increase of thrift in laying out. Thomas Carlyle
As Secretary of Defense my job would be much easier if I didn't have to put up with [budget] cuts. Dick Cheney
In Congress we face the possibility of radical cuts based on nothing save grand compromises over what parochial interests need to be satisfied. Dick Cheney
We can't continue to spend where there isn't any money. Lawton M. Chiles Jr.
When it comes to budget cuts, everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. Jean Chretien
I'm sick of voting blank checks. James B. Clark
The best way for the Government to maintain its credit is to pay as it goes—not by resorting to loans, but by keeping out of debt. Grover Cleveland
Tonight, I come before you to announce that the federal deficit, once so incomprehensibly large that it had eleven zeroes, will be, simply zero. Bill Clinton
What should we do with this projected surplus? I have a simple four-word answer: Save Social Security first. Bill Clinton
A public debt is a kind of anchor in the storm; but if the anchor be too heavy for the vessel, she will be sunk by that very weight which was intended for her preservation. Charles Caleb Colton
It is necessary to watch people in Washington all the time to keep them from unnecessary expenditure of money. Calvin Coolidge
The appropriation of public money always is perfectly lovely until someone is asked to pay the bill. Calvin Coolidge
Borrowed money, even when owing to a nation by another nation, should be repaid. They hired the money, didn't they? Let them pay it. Calvin Coolidge
The government was unable to avert or to control the course of events. Alexander James Dallas
The Treasury was suffering under every kind of embarrassment. The demands upon it were great in amount, while the means for satisfying them were comparatively small, precarious in collection and difficult in their application. Alexander James Dallas
It contains almost 190,000 accounts. At the rate of one per minute, eight hours a day, it would take over a year to reflect upon these. Richard G. Darman
You will succeed only if you first build trust. It's like wolves. They show each other their necks and don't bite. Richard G. Darman
We were fighting a war. We did not have time for duplicate vouchers and double-entry bookkeeping. It is a hell-fired shame for everybody [on this Congressional committee] to be trying to pick flyspecks on the greatest army the world ever knew. We did more organization despite our unpreparedness than the French and the British. What do you suppose we went to war for? We went to France to win the war [World War I] and we did it. Charles Dawes
We're going to finally wrassle to the ground this gigantic orgasm that is just out of control. Dennis W. DeConcini
The federal budget is the workplan of the nation. Lewis Anthony Dexter
Don't worry about the specifics [of budgets]. Worry about the aggregate. Norman Dicks
We have no choice but to make our local government fit the size of our local economy. We must all bear our share of the pain. David Dinkins
You spend a billion here and a billion there. Sooner of later it adds up to real money. Everett Dirksen
No, Mr. Secretary. You are. Homer Dodge
I want the government to pinch pennies for a change instead of American families. Bob Dole
It's time to cut up Uncle Sam's credit card. Bob Dole
Only when the budget has been balanced and a substantial amount set aside for debt retirement, should we consider tax reduction. Robert Doughton
The good news is the Pentagon is going to make some significant budget cuts. The bad news is: They want to kill a plane that's built in your district. Thomas J. Downey
A policy of adequate governmental outlays at a time when private enterprises is curtailing its expenditures does not reflect a preference for an unbalanced budget. It merely reflects a desire and the need to put idle men, money and material to work. Marriner Eccles
We've got the budget deficit and we've got the human deficit. Marian Wright Edelman
You just don't see people running through the streets to have the deficit cut. Kathryn Eickhoff
Money is of no value; it cannot spend itself. All depends on the skill of the spender. Ralph Waldo Emerson
A budget in difficult times can and must serve the people for whom it is designed. Mike Espy
If someone owed you a large amount of money, you probably would make quite a few attempts to get it back. Not the federal government. J. Peter Grace
Balancing the budget is like going to Heaven. Everybody wants to do it, but nobody wants to do what you have to do to get there. Phil Gramm
To protect the national honor, every dollar of Government indebtedness should be paid in gold, unless otherwise expressly stipulated in the contract. Let it be understood that no repudiator of one farthing of our public debt will be trusted in public place, and it will go far toward strengthening a credit which ought to be the best in the world. Ulysses S. Grant
Cut it in half, and then look at it. If it's still moving, cut it in half again. Martin L. Gross
Figures won't lie, but liars will figure. Charles Henry Grosvenor
The government relying on it would be disappointed, and ruin soon stare them in the face. Thomas P. Grosvenor
Where is the money? Felix Grundy
The reason Congress hasn't balanced the budget is that the sky hasn't fallen lately. William Frenzel
When the greatest part of the [U.S.] budget pays for our defense and the livelihood of retirees, it is pointless to pretend that public spending is an embarrassment consisting only of welfare and waste. Benjamin H. Friedman
We as taxpayers don't have a line item veto. John Frohnmayer
Budgets are not bottomless pits. Isaac Fulwood Jr.
I do not pretend to step out of my own sphere and to control the internal management of other departments, but it seems to me that as Secretary of the Treasury, I may ask, that, while peace continues, the aggregate of the expenditure of those departments be kept within bounds such as will preserve the equilibrium between the national revenue and expenditure without recurrence to loans. Albert Gallatin
The money wanted by the public must be purchased at its market price. Albert Gallatin
Everybody's entitled to their own figures. Kika de la Garza
Cost reduction and cost control are by their very nature sort of anti-social activities. A. Ernest Fitzgerald
We must bite the bullet and provide the resources to make programs come alive. Arthur S. Flemming
The will is there; the money is not there. Raymond Flinn
To rob Peter and pay Paul. John Heywood
The national budget is perhaps the most important and least understood documents in Washington. Sonja Hillgren
It is a terribly hard job to spend a billion dollars and get your money's worth. Anna Rosenberg Hoffman
Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt. Herbert Hoover
There are only three ways to meet the unpaid bills of a nation. The first is taxation. The second is repudiation. The third is inflation. Herbert Hoover
A good budget is an oxymoron. Amory Houghton
How does a government reduce expenditures? To be absolutely flat about it, 99 per cent of it is accomplished by putting people out of work. Now that is a tough way to say it, but it is a fact. George M. Humphrey
Funding cuts translate into lives lost, not dreams deferred. Charles J. Hynes
I am one of those who do not believe that a national debt is a national blessing, but rather a curse to a republic; inasmuch as it is calculated to raise around the administration a moneyed aristocracy dangerous to the liberties of the country. Andrew Jackson
It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which, if acted on, would save one half the wars of the world. Thomas Jefferson
Nineteen years is the term beyond which neither the representatives of a nation nor even the whole nation itself assembled can validly extend a debt ... one generation is to another as one independent nation to another. Thomas Jefferson
The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of public moneys. Thomas Jefferson
To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. Thomas Jefferson
I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our constitution ... an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing. Thomas Jefferson
The maxim of buying nothing without the money in our pocket to pay for it, would make our country one of the happiest upon earth. Thomas Jefferson
Everyone has a different perspective and they all want their perspective to be addressed within the limited resources you have. Harvey Johnson
Like Ike [President Eisenhower] did. Talk economy and then spend away. Lyndon B. Johnson
One thousand dollars invested in salvaging an unemployable youth can return forty thousand dollars or more in his lifetime. Lyndon B. Johnson
We are going to put "thrift" back in the dictionary. Lyndon B. Johnson
The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose the supplies requisite for the support of the government. They, in a word, hold the purse: that powerful instrument by which we behold in the in the history of the British constitution an infant and humble representation of the people, gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. James Madison
Very few governments have the money to meet the needs of their people….The private sector has most of the resources. Andrew Young
There are no uncontrollable outlays except for debt interest. Outlays are what they are due to legislation. Paul W. McCracken
I wish our wallet could match our warmth. Barbara Mikulski
The budget is about day-to-day lives. Barbara Mikulski
The great amount of our revenue and the flourishing state of the Treasury are a full proof of the competency of the national resources for any emergency, as they are of the willingness of our fellow-citizens to bear the burdens which the public necessities require. James Monroe
As a general rule, the demands of the current year, especially in time of peace, should be provided for by the revenues of that year. James Monroe
Under certain circumstances loans may be resorted to with great advantage. James Monroe
When everybody is supposed to pay, nobody seems to get the bill. Bruce Morrison
I can’t come up here each year to the legislature and beg for money. Fiorello H. La Guardia
To add current expenses of the Government to the national debt ... and thereby pass the current cost of government to the next generation is not only bad financing but very bad statesmanship. Fiorello H. La Guardia
The only way to meet the situation [the financial crisis] is spend less money and to run the City of New York within the limits of our resources. Unless you do this, gentlemen, you will have a difficult problem confronting you by the end of this year and the taxpayers of 1922 and the years thereafter will have to pay the price of our present lack of prudence or our unwillingness to economize at the proper time. Fiorello H. La Guardia
Let us act with our eyes open. We are going to have a deficit next fiscal year and the year after that. Fiorello H. La Guardia
For heaven's sake, stop nickle-and-diming me to death. Melvin R. Laird
Christmas is a time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell the government what they want—and their kids pay for it. Richard Lamm
He [President Ronald Reagan] has tried to balance the budget on the backs of state and local government. Richard Lamm
No country can violate the laws of economic gravity too long. Richard Lamm
The Republicans can't say no to military spending, and the Democrats can't say no to social spending. Richard Lamm
Can the amazing national debt be paid by a little trifling sum squeezed from year to year out of America?.... Would it not be much superior wisdom, and sounder policy, for a distressed kingdom to retrench the vast unnecessary expenses continually incurred by its enormous vices? Samuel Langdon
I have seen the ravages of unemployment.... The government will never refuse to go as far as the resources of the country will permit [in order to help]. But do not ask it to commit acts that risk to compromise the balance of the budget. Pierre Laval
Gentlemen don't do that. John F. Lehman
May the debt of the United States be discharged with speed and punctuality; and let not the people be deceived, by having the funds, established for that purpose, put to other uses. John Leland; Jack Nipps
You only decide once how to dedicate the surplus. Jacob Lew
What concerns you and me is simply who is putting the money in, who is getting it out, and what good it does David Lewis
I am decidedly opposed to the people's money being used to pay the fiddler ... He that dances should always pay the fiddler. Abraham Lincoln
As an individual who undertakes to live by borrowing, soon finds his original means devoured by interest, and next no one left to borrow from—so it must be with a government. Abraham Lincoln
A behemoth budget does not mean there is much discretion in allocating it. Kenneth Lipper
International debts are like bills submitted to pay for the damage done on a wild party by one's grandfather. The payment seems to the debtor like pure loss, and when it is paid by one nation to another it seems the tribute by the conquered to the conqueror. Walter Lippmann
I've had a tough time learning how to act like a Congressman. Today, I actually spent some of my own money. Joseph P. Kennedy III
With inflation, debts and bills fly to the sky Chinese Proverb
Budget drives everything that we do. Patricia Dehmer
I have always opposed subsidies to private corporations. Alan Greenspan
The payment of Social Security benefits under law have little or nothing to do with the fiscal resources available. Alan Greenspan
You've got to ask for more money. Joe Knollenberg
We have trouble, my friends, in the country, because we have too much money owing, the greatest indebtedness that has every been given to civilization … Two hundred and seventy-two thousand millions of dollars of debts are owed by the various people of this country today. Why, my friends, that cannot be paid. It is not possible for that kind of debt to be paid. Huey P. Long
A public debt is a public curse and in a representative government greater than any other. James Madison
… there is such a general scarcity of Cash that nothing We have will Command it & Real Estates of Every kind are falling at least one half in value. Debtors that were a year or two ago responsible for £1000 can not now Raise a fourth part of the sum & those who had putt out their money upon Land Security of double the value are unable to get the principal as there is an Entire Stop to all sales by the sheriff for want of Buyers and Men of the best Estates amongst us can Scarce Raise money enough to defray the Necessary Expenses of their family’s. Our Stores in the Country that used to furnish Every necessary for the inhabitants are all shut up James Parker
I chose to keep teachers in classrooms rather than prisoners in prison.. Paul Patton
We must get rid of deficit spending which finances the political schemes of today by mortgaging the future of tomorrow. Leonard Rasch
Those who say we can continue to indefinitely borrow from our children and grandchildren and generations to come in fact are eroding our ability to do what we ought to do in education, in health care and in other things. Paul Simon
How many more infants must die every day in Africa because resources are being swallowed up in debt repayment. John Paul II; Giovanni Battista Montini
Any diminishment of the government forces stationed here endangers the safety of the state, for the militia are not & cannot for some time be made efficient as the Want of Arms & munitions of War, are sources of great embarrassment. William Charles Cole Claiborne
There are no straight line projections of cost in a war. Charles Krauthammer
I have tried every Method I Could think of to procure Arms for our Men, they really are not to be had in these Governments. George Washington
Tonight I come before you to announce that the Federal Deficit will be simply zero. Bill Clinton
The biggest enemy of the United States is not some terrorist hiding in a cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan but our own fiscal irresponsibility David Walker
Unless we get entitlement costs under control, Social Security will inevitably square off against national security. Robert Hormats
The more we spend on social spending the more we create an appetite for more social spending. Victor Davis Hanson
To deal with entitlements we must either raise taxes, cut benefits, or borrow inordinate amounts of money. Peter G. Peterson
I urge the Congress to avoid running up large costs for future generations of Americans. George W. Bush
A budget is a moral document of a nation’s priorities. Ted Kennedy
55 percent of the national budget consists of entitlements. These are established by law but do not get funds appropriated annually—not part of the usual give and take of the Congress and the administration. If you meet the criteria of the law, you get the money. Robert Jones Portman
Anybody can balance a budget if they raise taxes. Steve King
Health care is the Pac-Man of the budget. Robert Kerry
If we enact laws that will produce very large budget deficits and we are not able to rein them in, it will do grave damage and destabilize the economy. Alan Greenspan
Let’s make this the year where we are either going to get rid of the deficit or get rid of the idea that we are going to get rid of the deficit.. Herbert Stein
It is dangerous to play politics with the Budget. Clement Attlee
We’re not very good at cutting things. We’re not even good at reducing things. Michael Enzi
Can there be a more lamentable picture than that of a Chancellor of the Exchequer seated on an empty chest by a pool of bottomless deficiency fishing for a budget? Robert Peel
What would be better is to discipline our lawmakers in Sacramento so that they do not spend more money than they have. Arnold Schwarzenegger
You can’t give a man a blank check and then ask him why there’s no money in the bank. Al Sharpton
A dynamic economy, with more citizens working and paying taxes, will be our strongest tool to bring down budget deficits Ronald Reagan
Whenever you borrow money, the people you borrow it from have leverage over you. John Thune
One of the reasons that I was so successful at OMB was that I was very good at gaming the system. Barry B. Anderson
Budgeting is inherently complex. Barry B. Anderson
It is not the horse that draws the cart, but the oats. Russian Proverb
We cannot deal with the debt. The Democrats are not going to allow reductions in entitlements like Social Security. The Republicans will not allow one dime of additional taxes. We have a deadlock of democracy. Pat Buchanan
The $100,000,000 which have been expended in the late Mexican War, would have been sufficient to found 126 free Colleges, each as richly endowed as Harvard University - Library, Professorships, scientific schools and all. If sums of money were thus liberally expended, and for education and its appliances, instead of war and its horrible enginery, who can estimate the happy results which would be the fruit of such policy? Rochester American
The middle class is at the heart of our budget problem. Peter G. Peterson
If a national debt in considered a national blessing, then we can get on by borrowing. But as I believe it is a natural curse, my vow shall be to pay the national debt, to prevent a moneyed aristocracy from growing up around our administration that must bend to its views, and ultimately destroy the liberty of our country. Andrew Jackson
Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth Alan Greenspan
It is easier to use accounting gimmicks than it is to make hard political choices John Steele Gordon
Virtually all Federal accounting is still oriented toward preventing fraud and theft, not toward controlling costs. John Steele Gordon
In the 1860s we used the national debt to save the Union. In the 1930s we used it to save the American economy. In the 1940s we used it to save the world. John Steele Gordon
Let us have the courage to stop borrowing to meet continuing deficits. Revenues must cover expenditures by one means or another. Any government, like any family, can, for a year, spend a little more than it earns. But you know and I know that a continuation of the habit means the poor house. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Free from public debt … at peace with all the world Andrew Jackson
We have hardly enough money to last till the end of March. Albert Gallatin
We aren't living the gospel of democracy and free enterprise today. We are merely preaching it. We have made only half of the combination work, and we've done that superlatively well. Free enterprise booms. But democracy staggers and reels under oppressive debts and inordinate operating costs-both the consequences of political failure. T. Coleman Andrews
There is a yawning discrepancy of what Americans expect and for what they are willing to pay. Andrew J. Bacevich
The debt ceiling should never be part of the budget negotiation process. Robert E. Rubin
Budgets are moral documents. When you put your budget on the table, we see what you really are. Tavis Smiley
We all have to sacrifice to reduce the debt, but we can’t sacrifice our future. Barack Obama
Washington has to stop spending money we don’t have for projects we don’t want. Rick Perry
The era of deficit denial is over Erskine Bowles
Don't forget that some things count more than other things. William Saroyan
It’s all in there. We have harpooned every whale in the ocean. Alan K. Simpson
A budget must be more than a ledger sheet. It should have a heart and serve as a blueprint for a better quality of life for all residents. John R. Leopold
To get control of the deficit we have to do something about the cost of health care. That is the part of the government budget that is toltally out of control. There is NO WAY to control the budget unless we can bend the growing health care cost down. Nothing should be off the table, but no one has submitted a budget whtch tries to control health care cost. Pete Domenici
While a Treasury surplus is not the greatest evil, it is a serious evil. Benjamin Harrison
Financial markets will tolerate a Republican deficit but will run screaming in panic from a Democratic deficit a fraction its size. Gary Hart
While a Treasury surplus is not the greatest evil, it is a serious evil. Benjamin Harrison
It is no time now to use an apothecary's scale to weigh the rewards of the men who saved the country. [Civil War veterans] Benjamin Harrison
With regard to the instalments of the foreign debt, these ... ought to be paid by new loans abroad. Alexander Hamilton
We should not, cannot, and will not balance the budget on the backs of our veterans. Barack Obama
Don't forget that some things count more than other things. William Saroyan
The plutocracy has invented countless makeshift programs, such as generating enormous public debt that plutocrats know they will never be able to repay, levies on capital, taxes which exhaust the incomes of those who do not speculate, sumtuary laws which have historically proven useless, and other similar measures. The principal goal of each of these measures is to deceive the multitudes. Vilfredo Pareto
We spend millions of dollars to print this stuff (The Congressional Record). It’s all on line. We are tearing down trees to print material we do not need. Tom Coburn
When it was necessary to raise money for the prosecution of the war, and a loan was sought of two hundred millions of dollars, more than fourteen hundred millions were subscribed by the people of the United States, and for the first time in our history your government my government sells a three-per-cent. bond, a bond which sold at par, which is now worth a premium of five cents on every dollar, which profit has gone to the people. For it was a popular loan, and no citizen was able to receive more than five thousand dollars worth of bonds. William McKinley
I can not too cordially congratulate Congress and my fellow citizens on the near approach of that memorable and happy event -- the extinction of the public debt of this great and free nation. Andrew Jackson
Every dollar needlessly spent on our military … diminishes our overall security. Dwight D. Eisenhower
We have to make debt evil. Douglas Holtz-Eakin
If you don’t balance your budget in business, you go out of business. Mitt Romney
I could end the deficit in 5 minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election Warren Buffett
Can there be a more lamentable picture than that of a Chancellor of the Exchequer seated on an empty chest, by the pool of bottomless deficiency, fishing for a budget? Robert Peel
There are many communities in the United States where the average family income is pitifully low. It is in those communities that we find the poorest educational facilities and the worst conditions of health. Why? It is not because they are satisfied to live as they do. It is because those communities have the lowest per capital wealth and income; therefore the lowest ability to pay taxes; and therefore inadequate functioning of local government. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Money was the crux. Raising money to pay the cost of war was to cause more damage to 14th century society than the physical destruction of war itself. Barbara Tuchman
Money was the crux. Raising money to pay the cost of war was to cause more damage to 14th century society than the physical destruction of war itself. Barbara Tuchman
Next to the effectual establishment of the Union, the best possible precaution against danger from standing armies is a limitation of the term for which revenue may be appropriated to their support. James Madison
The cold war is over; Japan won! Paul Tsongas
The county will fail if we enact this budget. David L. Boren
Frugality is a great revenue. John Adams
One must not expect anything in these times, but be ready for everything. Charles G. Dawes
When national debts have once been accumulated to a certain degree, there is scarce, I believe, a single instance of their having been fairly and completely paid. The liberation of the public revenue, if it has ever been brought about at all, has always been brought about by bankruptcy; sometimes by an avowed one, but always by a real one, though frequently by a pretend payment. Adam Smith
A trifling debt makes a man your debtor; a large one makes him an enemy. Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Borrowing to build factories is not the economic equivalent of borrowing to buy television sets, and it’s amazing just how few modern economists can see the difference...Borrowing to produce is the way poor countries become rich. Borrowing to consume is the way rich countries become poor. Peter Schiff
The best scheme of finance is, to spend as little as possible; and the best tax is always the lightest. Jean-Baptiste Say
The command of a large sum is a dangerous temptation to a national administration. Though accumulated at their expense, the people rarely, if ever profit by it: yet in point of fact, all value, and consequently, all wealth, originates with the people. Jean-Baptiste Say
Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget. Joseph R. Biden Jr.
If you don’t have the budget, you can’t get anything done. That’s why bureaucrats are always fighting about budgets. Lee H. Hamilton
Not only have government bills been dishonored and the interest on the public debt remains unpaid, but … so completely empty is the Treasury and destitute of credit, that funds cannot be obtained to defray the ordinary expenses of the different departments. Alexander C. Hanson
Government spending is not wasteful. The question is, “Is it necessary?” Ben Nelson
We’re the healthiest horse in the glue factory. Erskine Bowles
It’s actually a lot easier to cut weapons systems than to cut personnel costs. If you try and cut military pay and benefits, you run into a buzz saw on Capitol Hill. Loren B. Thompson
None of us really understands what's going on with all these numbers …. People are getting from A to B and it's not clear how they are getting there.... David Stockman
A national debt is the price of liberty. Alexander Hamilton
The debt limit does not affect the deficits or surpluses. The critical revenue and spending decisions are made through the congressional budget process. Barteltt Bruce Reeves
We are the richest nation in the world. We can do anything we want to do, We can do 100 things we want to do. The only thing we can’t do is everything Jay S. Fishman
Governor Romney, how many fewer college degrees would it take to make America more competitive? Martin Joseph O'Malley
Debt is the prolific mother of folly and of crime; it taints the course of life in all its dreams. Benjamin Disraeli
When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Napoleon Bonaparte
All legislation looking to the perpetuation of our national debt, and of the national-banking system which feeds and fattens upon it, should be universally discouraged and denounced as a crime against the people, and all laws looking to their existence should be immediately repealed. James Baird Weaver
Between debt and taxes Americans had usually chosen debt. Paul Solmon
Our country is wallowing in a miasma of political and class conflict, of greed and special interest, with regard to budget deficits, inflation and rising unemployment … Carl T. Rowan Jr.
When you’ve changed the budget, you’ve really changed the government, and until you change the budget, you’ve just talked about changing government. Newt Gingrich
We are spending altogether too much money for government services which are neither practical nor necessary. In addition to this, we are attempting too many functions and we need a simplification of what the Federal government is giving the people. Franklin D. Roosevelt
With a Socialist government, there will not be a national surplus whilst there continues to be inequality. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
We give lip service to the importance of deficit reduction, but Americans oppose every single thing that you might do to reduce the deficit. Alan S. Blinder
Someone should put up a chart for Congress showing the difference between millions, billions, and trillions. Our problems are in trillions and Congress is arguing about millions. David Brooks
The Greeks do not have the option of borrowing because nobody will lend to them. Anne Applebaum
Entitlement programs are on autopilot. I’m alarmed. We’re close to the danger zone. Glenn Hubbard
There is only so much pain voters will tolerate. And there is insufficient reason to believe that today’s austerity will bring tomorrow’s prosperity. Robert Skidelsky
The revenue you take in should be enough to cover the revenue that you spend and go beyond that to get a reserve. In order to do that we [in California] need cuts and pension reforms, and taxes. Edmund G. Brown Jr.
The power of the purse is the only real power of government. Robert Byrd
We can’t even project [budget surpluses and deficits] accurately month-to-month, much less for an entire year. Robert Byrd
Why can we find emergency funds for every other country? Why can't we find emergency funds for our own country? Robert Byrd
In the Israeli system, if the Knesset cannot reach agreement on a budget by the end of the year, one-twelfth of the previous year’s budget is automatically appropriated each month for 6 months. If at the end of 6 months, there is still no agreement, we automatically call new elections. We have never had to call an election. Benjamin Netanyahu
They have under invested in fire for so long that the catch up costs seem staggering. The traditional inclination is to rely on emergency interventions rather than systemic reforms. Stephen J. Pyne
Defaulting on our [national] debt is defaulting on America. Thomas J. Donahue
Show me your budget and I’ll describe your strategy. Anonymous
Money can’t solve every problem, but it can solve quite a few. Andrea Louise Cambell
Because the resources available to the U. S. military will be increasingly limited, the objectives must be too. Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr.
I’m going to keep on working to get rid of the sequester. You get up and do your jobs every day; let’s make sure Washington gets up and does its job. And what makes me frustrated is sometimes the very folks who say they stand with our military proudly are the same ones who are standing in the way of fixing the sequester. It’s important to look at deeds and not words. Barack Obama
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid account for half the Federal spending. Mitt Romney
If we don’t take defense spending seriously, it undermines our credibility on other spending issues Mick Mulvaney
Whoever says we can do more with less is wrong. We will do less with less James R. Clapper
The largest investment that most communities have is their school buildings. Dannel Malloy
Massive Federal Budget Deficits are only the most conspicuous sign of a society that has promised itself more than it could afford. Robert Jacob Samuelson
I’m a hawk, but I’m a cheap hawk. I want to cut the Defense budget by 20 percent. Newt Gingrich
The debt ceiling serves no useful purpose. Alan Greenspan
Sir, I here enter my solemn protest against a low and calculating avarice entering this hall of legislation. It is only fit for shops and counting houses. John C. Calhoun
Priorities are reflected in the things we spend money on... A nation's budget is full of moral implications; it tells what a society cares about and what it does not care about; it tells what it's values are. J. William Fulbright
The fund that carried you triumphantly through the last war [with France] … you owe this to America William Pitt the Younger
Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea. Mark Blyth
The polarization of American politics is the proximate cause of the ongoing budget deficit…. Lately, the ideological center in Congress has thinned, and the distance between the parties has widened. Compromise has come to be seen as surrender—and the U. S. Government has all but come to a halt. Clive Crook
Contrary to … conventional wisdom, the consequence of past U. S. Defense cuts were not bad …. austerity can be useful in forcing Washington to think strategically, something it rarely does when times are flush. Melvyn P. Leffler
Austerity [in the Defense Department] meant that risks had to be managed, not eliminated. Melvyn P. Leffler
Unfortunately, infectious diseases don’t pay much attention to budget cycles. Mark Dybul
The Pentagon cannot acquire any equipment or technology without adequate funding. And the current budget process does not allow for the development and deployment of solutions to urgent problems on the battlefield. Ashton B. Carter
[Federal deficits] are like an athlete taking steroids. You get a short term boost and long term damage. Al Gore
We are broke—bankrupt—really bankrupt! James Baker
Never in the nation’s history had a president proposed large, simultaneous spending increases and tax cuts when the federal budget already had a deficit. Bill White (Texas politician)
The nation is in a situation similar to that of an employee who receives annual pay raises but cannot improve his or her standard of living because of the need to pay rising debt service to creditors. Bill White (Texas politician)
American economic history does not support the idea that a strong economy depends on chronic federal borrowing. Bill White (Texas politician)
The nation’s founding fathers deferred many of their own cherished plans until the nation paid off its debts. Bill White (Texas politician)
The fundamental problem of society is that demands are infinite and resources are always limited Bernard Crick
This is not a Budget, but a revolution; a social and political revolution of the first magnitude. Archibald Philip Primrose Rosebery
If we can afford tremendous sums of money to win the war, we can afford to invest whatever amount it takes to win the peace Henry A. Wallace
… significant spending decisions — expanding a business, buying a house or choosing how much to spend on consumer goods over the year — depend on expectations of income, employment and other economic conditions over the longer term, as well as longer-term interest rates. Janet Yellen
We desire to see France paid and Germany revived, and as the creditor of Europe we would not wish to assume the role of an oppressive creditor, but would maintain the principle that financial obligations between nations are likewise moral obligations, which international faith and honor require should be discharged. Calvin Coolidge
Finance ministers the world over, responsible for assuring the service of the internal debts by forcing down the standards of living, do not find the matter so simple. They observe that the average man today finds the problem of making both ends meet a serious one. They are well aware that he demands something out of life over and above the bare necessities, and they have a realistic view of the situation created when a government demands this margin in taxes or takes it by inflation. George Percival Auld
Only a small part of the direct costs of the war [WWI] were paid by taxation; the greater part were financed by government borrowings which spread the burden of payment over into the future. George Percival Auld
As a community we have been living beyond our means…. We have been living at a rate which is simply not justified by the amounts of goods and services we are producing. Charles Haughey
Foreign policy debates are frequently segregated from domestic policy ones, so commentators who propose increasing the defense budget or sending more foreign aid are seldom asked to explain which domestic programs they’d cut or which taxes they’d raise, in order to find the money. Peter Beinart
The return to collegiate management of finance would bring with it the continued domination of a minority over the majority, with no possibility of setting matters aright without recourse to revolutions provoked by feebleness, feuds, factions, hatreds, and vindictiveness… Isaac Jan Alexander Gogel
Your Minister of Finance must confess to Your Majesty that he is frozen with terror on examining the budget for the War, and must also that he knows of no means by which such expenses can possibly be met…. Isaac Jan Alexander Gogel
It is impossible, financially and politically, to lower expenditure to the level of our revenues in the calamitous times in which we live, and so, however painful and afflicting the idea may be, we must exist from day to day and simply await the outcome of events yet in the making … Cornelis Felix van Maanen
It is much more difficult to recede from a scale of expenditure once adopted than it is to extend the accustomed scale in response to an accession of wealth. Thorstein Veblen
To avoid large and unsustainable budget deficits, the nation will ultimately have to choose among higher taxes, modifications to entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, less spending on everything else from education to defense, or some combination of the above. Ben Bernanke
A man who murders another shortens by a few brief years the life of a human being; but he who votes to increase the burden of debts upon the people of the United States assumes a graver responsibility. William Jennings Bryan
Continuous paring of appropriations has reduced the Army virtually to the status of that of a third-rate power George C. Marshall
As quickly as you start spending Federal money in large amounts, it looks like free money. Dwight D. Eisenhower
The first order of business is the elimination of the annual deficit. Dwight D. Eisenhower
I did not come into government to win an award as the great accountant in the sky and balance budgets. Mario Cuomo
Rather than rewarding today’s voters with benefits financed by future generations, as Congress typically does, solving the climate problem will require costly actions now to protect those who will follow us. Robert N. Stavins
We need to show that Europe is investing in growth and not only in rigor and austerity. Matteo Renzi
Follow the money, and one arrives at a basic fact: the CIA’s edge is paramilitary. Jane Harman
Every public official concerned with administering public funds owes it to all our citizens to be prepared at any time to account to the last penny of the public money placed in his hands. Harry Hopkins
A recession forces excruciatingly difficult choices. Robert Casey
As with budget deficits or cost overruns on weapons purchases, members of the national security apparatus — elected and appointed officials, senior military officers and other policy insiders — accept war as a normal condition. Once, the avoidance of war figured as a national priority. On those occasions when war proved unavoidable, the idea was to end the conflict as expeditiously as possible on favorable terms. These precepts no longer apply. With war transformed into a perpetual endeavor, expectations have changed. In Washington, war has become tolerable, an enterprise to be managed rather than terminated as quickly as possible. Like other large-scale government projects, war now serves as a medium through which favors are bestowed, largess distributed and ambitions satisfied. Andrew J. Bacevich
The only way to get universal health coverage is to put people in jail who refuse to buy health insurance, and we're not going to do that. Mick Mulvaney
You can't balance the budget on the backs of nondefense discretionary spending. Rosa DeLauro
Last year 100,000 people gathered on The Mall to Protest the deficit. We Republicans, over and over, castigated President Obama for creating a Trillion dollar deficit. I was against big deficits then, and I am agaist them now. Just because it is now Republicans doing all the spending, I am still opposed.... Those Republcians who voted for a tax cut and a spending increase are hypocrites. Rand Paul
If you don't fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition ultimately. So I think it's a cost-benefit ratio. The more that we put into the State Department's diplomacy, hopefully the less we have to put into a military budget as we deal with the outcome of an apparent American withdrawal from the international scene. James Mattis