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Quote Author Cited
Don't undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible. Edwin Land
Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises. Samuel Butler
Act quickly, think slowly. Germaine Greer
No grand idea was ever born in a conference, but a lot of foolish ideas have died there. F. Scott Fitzgerald
You people are telling me what you think I want to know. I want to know what is actually happening. Creighton Abrams
If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you. Calvin Coolidge
The finest eloquence is that which gets things done. David Lloyd George
Delay is the deadliest form of denial. C. Northcote Parkinson
As long as our government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of persons and of property, liberty of conscience and of the press, it will be worth defending. Andrew Jackson
Blame is for God and small children. Dustin Hoffman
It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it. Arnold J. Toynbee
The best is the enemy of the good. Voltaire
What the Puritans gave the world was not thought, but action. Wendell Phillips
A decision is what a man makes when he can't find anybody to serve on a committee. Fletcher Knebel
If an expert says it can't be done, get another expert. David Ben-Gurion
To govern is always to choose among disadvantages. Charles de Gaulle
Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning. Winston Churchill
Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so. Galileo Galilei
When you come to a fork in the road, take it. Yogi Berra
That is the best government which desires to make the people happy, and knows how to make them happy. Thomas Babington Macaulay
You can never plan the future by the past. Edmund Burke
Government is either organized benevolence or organized madness; its peculiar magnitude permits no shading. John Updike
Investigation may be likened to the long months of pregnancy, and solving a problem to the day of birth. To investigate a problem is, indeed, to solve it. Mao Zedong
He listens well who takes notes. Dante Alighieri
A day may sink or save a realm. Alfred Lord Tennyson
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full. Henry A. Kissinger
Enthusiasm for a cause sometimes warps judgment. William Howard Taft
There are no favorites in my office. I treat them all with the same general inconsideration. Lyndon B. Johnson
Delay is preferable to error. Thomas Jefferson
Congress, the press, and the bureaucracy too often focus on how much money or effort is spent, rather than whether the money or effort actually achieves the announced goal. Donald Rumsfeld
Never confuse movement with action. Ernest Hemingway
The secret of success is constancy to purpose. Benjamin Disraeli
I have built my organization upon fear. Al Capone
Unlike presidential administrations, problems rarely have terminal dates. Dwight D. Eisenhower
The remedy is worse than the disease. Francis Bacon
Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend. Theophrastus
An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less. Nicholas M. Butler
You can't run a business or anything else on a theory. Harold S. Geneen
Governments need to have both shepherds and butchers. Voltaire
A government must not waiver once it has chosen it's course. It must not look to the left or right but go forward. Otto von Bismarck
When we got into office, the thing that surprised me most was to find that things were just as bad as we'd been saying they were. John F. Kennedy
The troubles which have come upon us always seem more serious than those which are only threatening. Livy
Hasten slowly. Augustus
It is easier to criticize than to correct our past errors. Livy
The man whose authority is recent is always stern. Aeschylus
Don't fight the problem, decide it. George C. Marshall
Life is made up of a series of judgments on insufficient data, and if we waited to run down all our doubts, it would flow past us. Learned Hand
I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done. Buddha
In crises the most daring course is often safest. Henry A. Kissinger
Heaven never helps the men who will not act. Sydney Smith
Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business. Calvin Coolidge
You can get assent to almost any proposition so long as you are not going to do anything about it. Nathaniel Hawthorne
Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything. John Kenneth Galbraith
Truth lies within a little and certain compass, but error is immense. Henry St. John
I know of no way of judging the future but by the past. Patrick Henry
No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth! Ronald Reagan
Being rapacious and arrogating subject's goods and women is what above all else ... renders the Prince hateful ... and leaves a mind obstinate to vengeance. Niccolo Machiavelli
All governments, without exception, are stable only insofar as they can effectively reward and punish. Evan Meredith Jenkins
You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. Wayne Gretzky
What I saw was a cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made. Now it is paying the consequences of making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is America is paying the consequences. Lawrence Wilkerson
Little changes are the enemies of great changes. Bertolt Brecht
The test of a good colonial policy is that it shall prepare colonies for independent self—government. William E. Gladstone
Settle all things, both great and small, by consultation. Without prior consultation, take no important step. Effendi Abbas; Abdul Baha
The views of several individuals are assuredly preferable to one man, even as the power of a number of men is of course greater than the power of one man. Abdul Baha; Effendi Abbas
Unity was the real key to the success of the United States. The constitution of 1787 was in many respects the imposition of a central national government upon the quarrelsome states... In a country so constituted, the weaknesses of one state were compensated for by the strengths of another. Robert Lambart Harvey
Bureaucracy and social harmony are inversely proportional to each other. Leon Trotsky
We cannot assume that past successes will insure future successes. Dottie Lamm
A guilty party is being sought. Such action is a favorite means of consolation in the face of calamity. Karel Capek
Everything looks like a failure in the middle Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind Immanuel Kant
While one has to work from the roots upwards to build a solid organization, at the start one has no choice but to work from the top downwards, since until individuals had learnt to think for themselves, masses could be manipulated. Kemal Ataturk
In the Navy when you say right full rudder and everyone goes right. It's wonderful. In the private sector [and government] no one pays any attention to you. James D. Watkins
The Turkish state has neither a crowned head nor a dictator. Kemal Ataturk
I have a telephone and I'll run the country by myself. Boris Yeltsin
There is no school that teaches you how to run a state. You make mistakes, but you learn on the job. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Good plans shape good decisions. That's why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true. Lester R. Bittel
The government has to be good, and just, and gentle. Robert F. Drinan
Most of the energy devoted to political work is devoted to correcting the effects of mismanagement of government. Milton Friedman
When I have a bad day I look back six months and see where we were and ask myself if we are moving in the right direction. James Jones
Administrators are another curious consequence of a bureaucracy which has forgotten its reason for being Neil Postman
I used to try and get things done by saying please. Now I dynamite them out of the way. Huey P. Long
Soviet power, at the head of which Ilyich (Lenin) then stood, was faced with the problem of creating a type of state machinery such as the world had never before seen, one which relied on the masses and which would remake the entire social fabric in a new, socialist way, and reshape all human relations. First of all, however, it was necessary to defend Soviet power against the enemy's attempts to overthrow it by force, and to undermine it from within. We had to strengthen our ranks. Nadezhda Krupskaya
No sitting administration likes to see itself studied; no administration welcomes investigations. Alvin Felzenberg
The time seems right for a new conception of association within the Commonwealth, not necessarily owing allegiance to the Crown, especially for those countries which have no ties of blood, culture, or religion Hubert Elvin Rance
A fool may sometimes give a wise man counsel Vietnamese Proberb
All executive power --- from the reign of ancient kings to the rule of modern dictators --- has the outward appearance of efficiency William O. Douglas
Praise in public; rebuke in private. Anonymous
Most of the time we do not know what we have learned till long after we learned it. John Brady Kiesling
We need a firm hand in Germany. Joseph Goebbels
Our affairs are attached to the destiny decreed by Allah, even our best plans may lead us to destruction. Ali ibn Abi Talib
Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down. Ray Bradbury
Our elite is primarily and increasingly managerial. A managerial elite manages. A crisis, unfortunately, requires thought. Thought is not a management function. John Ralston Saul
There is no silver bullet. I know people in Washington want grand solutions for everything. Louis Uchitelle
The majority in every society is always the backward. The diligent are no more than thirty percent of the society. It is a natural law that the diligent breed will exploit the backward breed as best they can, like the fish at sea, where the strong eat the weak. It is inconsequential whether the diligent are capitalists and merchants, as in the bourgeois government, or whether the diligent are the managers and supervisors, the intellectuals and the allotters as in the communist government. Ultimately, the diligent will exploit the laboring backward to the best of their ability. Yehuda Ashlag
Imagination … which is ever wandering beyond the bounds of truth, joined to self-love and that self-confidence we are so apt to indulge, prompt us to draw conclusions that are not immediately derived from facts ... Antoine Lavoisier
The buck stops here. Anonymous
If you cannot make a positive contribution, at least do not impede. Kurdish Proverb
The long run may be too long. R. W. Apple, Jr.
Organizational changes to fix the problems usually create new vulnerabilities in the process of fixing the old ones. Richard K. Betts
I had learned from LBJ that courage is as important as tenacity if you are to get anything done in government. Joseph A. Califano Jr.
It is easy to say that something should be done. However to say what, when and how is more difficult. Kofi Annan
God so loved the world, that he formed a committee, that whosoever attendeth on it should not perish, but have everlasting life in which to await a decision. Jonathan Hayward
Sometimes ruin comes for lack of judgment. Book of Proverbs; Solomon
I wasn’t hired to do well in the polls. I was hired to do a good job. Michael Bloomberg
I’m the first to say that I’ve no idea what I’m doing. There is no manual here for how to be mayor. Gavin Newsom
None of us are naïve enough to believe that moving around boxes on organization charts will change behavior. You have to change culture. John F. Lehman
In his anger William ordered that all crops and herds... and food of every kind should be brought together and burned to ashes, so that the whole region north of Humber might be stripped of all means of survival. Ordericus Vitalis
What gets measured, gets done. David Satcher
The rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield. Warren Buffett
It is the duty of those serving the people in public place to closely limit public expenditures to the actual needs of the Government economically administered. Grover Cleveland
Our Defense Department is the best in the world at winning wars and protecting the country. However on basic management, and fiscal activities, their grade would be a D…. The Pentagon is the last obstacle we have to overcome in order to audit the Defense Department. They are unauditable today. David Walker
I do not deny that we may make mistakes of procedure as we carry out the policy. I have no expectation of making a hit every time I come to bat. What I seek is the highest possible batting average, not only for myself but for the team. Franklin D. Roosevelt
The most difficult thing for a manager to determine is when a fact is really a fact. Harold S. Geneen
Being a cabinet minister is not like running a company. A country is not a company. Thierry Breton
We will govern as if we had a majority. You simply carry on with your agenda. David J. Anderson
The way to get the communists out of the government is to get rid of the government jobs. Frank Chodorov
Civilizations do not give out, they give in. They come apart not in a flash but by the inch. In a society where anything goes, everything eventually will. John Underwood
Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped. African Proverb
People understand that the real threats to the integrity and dignity of Parliament are its elected members. Kenneth Whyte
The networks are rescuing people and the government can’t. Why don’t the networks run FEMA? Nancy Giles
The transition from cause to effect, from event to event, is often carried on by secret steps, which our foresight cannot divine, and our sagacity is unable to trace. Joseph Addison
Tell your friends a lie; if they keep it secret, tell them the truth. Portuguese Proverb
Good data is hard to find. Hard data is good to find Donald Snyder
No matter how far you have gone on the wrong road, turn back. Turkish Proverb
Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts Albert Einstein
People have made a public career out of fighting government. They slam the government and they try to destroy the bargaining rights of government employees. This is an era of unfounded anger toward government. It needs to be brought into check. Tom Keefe
Having stovepipes—not sharing information—that was the main failure of FEMA in Hurricane Katrina. David Paulson
There is no question that FEMA and the National Emergency Response System did not fail America the day that Katrina hit. They failed the day before and the days before that. David E. Liebersbach
When the terrain differs from the map, you have to go with the terrain. David Grange
Success is ninety-nine percent failure. Soichiro Honda
A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Samuel Goldwyn
Having always observed that public works are much less advantageously managed than the same are by private hands, I have thought it better for the public to go to market for whatever it wants which is to be found there; for there competition brings it down to the minimum of value. I have no doubt we can buy brass cannon at market cheaper than we could make iron ones. Thomas Jefferson
Tell that staff of yours that nobody ain’t going to divide us. I’ll tell mine the same. Lyndon B. Johnson
We will never accept any religious government in Iraq. Never. This is a red line for us. We will never live inside an Islamic Iraq. Jalal Talabani
The object of government in peace and in war is not the glory of rulers or of races, but the happiness of the common man. William Beveridge
The Sovereign has, under a constitutional monarchy such as ours, three rights—the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, the right to warn. Walter Bagehot
Where some people are very wealthy and others have nothing, the result will be either extreme democracy or absolute oligarchy, or despotism will come from either of those excesses. Aristotle
There is, of course, always the possibility, that two such powerful and well--financed agencies as CIA and DIA will become rivals and competitors. Allen Welsh Dulles
…if I should once permit such political considerations to interfere with the administration of justice in this office, where could I stop? If I should once begin to allow my official conduct to be swayed by considerations such as those, I feel it would end by eventually leading me wholly astray. Henry L. Stimson
Totalitarianism liquidates its internal enemies or smashes opposition as soon as it arises; it uses methods that are simple and infallible because they are undemocratic. But democracy can defend itself from within only very feebly; its internal enemy has an easy time of it because he exploits the right to disagree that is inherent in democracy. Jean-Francois Revel
The degree of influence with government, is dependant upon a variety of resources- of time, of money, of learned capacity- that are distributed unevenly between different sections of the population. David Beetham
… the sole end of government is the protection and security of the people; whenever therefore that power which was originally instituted to effect these important and valuable purposes is employed to harass and enslave the people, … it becomes a curse rather than a blessing. Massachusetts
I don’t allow my staff to criticize each other…. Evan Rosalyn … She knows that nothing can make me madder then for her to criticize staff. Jimmy Carter
Why should I reward someone who doesn’t like the President, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the President. Alphonso Jackson
Big corporations are all to be nationalized. Joseph Goebbels
Roosevelt was usually available to each member of the staff. James H. Rowe Jr.
Franklin, you may have to assume dictatorial powers. Walter Lippmann
Would you please tell Sinclair to go home and let me run the country. Theodore Roosevelt
The last thing we need to do now is reorganize and create a new department. Tom Ridge
The United States is a very difficult country to govern. Charles de Gaulle
The state’s secret privilege is the most basic of government privileges—it protects survival of the state, from which all other institutions derive. Brian Z. Tamanaha
Don’t look down over here Clement. Whenever you see something large, private and working well, you want to nationalize it. Winston Churchill
Government is a trust from God, and verily government will be at the day of resurrection a cause of inquiry, unless he who hath taken it be worthy of it and have acted justly and done good. Muhammad
In the Middle East persons were more trusted than institutions. Thomas Edward Lawrence; Lawrence of Arabia
Inconsistencies of opinion, arising from changes of circumstances, are often justifiable Daniel Webster
The collective operates a barber shop, giving free haircuts and (if desired) free shaves twice weekly. Money is abolished and has been replaced by vouchers. Food, meat, and all other provisions are distributed in quantity when plentiful or equitably rationed when in short supply. The collective allows 5 liters of wine per person weekly. Medical care and medicines are free. Even postage stamps are free. There is no rent. Housing, building repairs, water, gas, electricity -- all are supplied gratis, not only to the collectivists but also to the “individualists.” The village generates its own power from a waterfall. There is no scarcity of clothing. By arrangement with a Barcelona textile plant, oil is exchanged for cloth, dresses, etc. Garments are distributed in rotation to 40 persons daily. Augustin Souchy
The organization of order is not the exclusive monopoly of the State Sam Dolgoff; Sam Weiner; Sholem Dolgopolsky
A wise man should constantly discharge the paramount duties, but not always the minor ones; for he who does not discharge the former, while he obeys the latter alone, becomes an outcast. Manu
Credulity is the man’s weakness, but the child’s strength. Charles Lamb
Nothing can be created out of nothing. Titus Lucretius Carus
Instead of more money, what Africa really needs is governments that are responsible to their own voters, that are largely self-financing, that are internationally respectable, and that can attract home some of the hundreds of thousands of talented Africans who currently live in the West. New infusions of aid would likely just perpetuate the kleptocratic regimes that have slowly strangled the continent since independence. Stephen Ellis
Almost every politician running for office comes out with a set of plans so that they can demonstrate how serious they are about fixing the state’s problems. But once the election is over and the candidate takes his or her oath, you rarely here a peep about those plans again. They end up on a shelf somewhere gathering dust. Joe Manchin
The best ideas are useless unless carried out. Michael R. LeGault
Send a wise man and don't advise him. He should know what to do. Arab Proverb
Every opportunity passed is lost. Corsican Proverb
Get advice, then make your own decision. Corsican Proverb
Man plans, but God decides. Croatian Proverb
This plan is subject to change without notice as all plans are. George S. Patton
Unfortunately, the original Patriot Act did not require these funds to be allocated on the basis of risk. Billions have been distributed with virtually no risk assessment, and little planning. Nor has the federal government set preparedness standards to help state and local governments use the money wisely. The District of Columbia used part of its grant to buy leather jackets and to send sanitation workers to self-improvement seminars. Newark bought air-conditioned garbage trucks. Columbus, Ohio, bought body armor for fire department dogs. These are not the priorities of a nation under threat. Thomas Ken; Lee H. Hamilton
There are three agencies of government that have to be changed. They are the CIA, the FBI and the Draft Boards under General Hershey. Richard Joseph Daley
If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one. Anonymous
Listen to your enemies, for they first find your faults. Anonymous
As soon as control eases, there is chaos. [Yi fang, jiu luan.] Anonymous
He may find fault, but let him mend it if he can. Anonymous
Politician's success formula: Long hours, short memories. Anonymous
The man who straddles the fence too long usually develops a sore crotch. Anonymous
To his own people he did evil; in yokes without relief he ruined them all. Anonymous
Better a thousand enemies outside the house than one inside. Anonymous
That is what all of us must learn to do in the United States; to limit objectives, to get ourselves away from the absolute, to find out what is within our powers. Dean Acheson
The rule that feeble and incompetent governments acquire strength by exercise, especially in war, has been well understood. Henry Adams
While all other sciences have advanced, that of government is at a standstill—little better understood, little better practiced now than three or four thousand years ago. John Adams
May Honor be given to whom Honor may be due. Samuel Adams
Beware! The royal Dahomean dynasty has stumbled but has not fallen. . Agoli-Agbo
Dictators are the last to know. Fouad Ajami
Old mismanagement is no excuse for the continuance of it. Albert of Saxe-Coburg
I have had sufficient experience of the freaks of fortune; and as I have never trusted greatly to prosperity, I shall suffer less inconvenience from adversity. Rinaldo degli Albizzi
A President in a ... crisis makes, say, 10 bets a day. Maybe I made the wrong choice three times. Raul Alfonsin
If one doesn’t examine one’s mistakes and look back, how else does one have vision? Kofi Annan
What is the greatest achievement in ruling an empire? That the subjects should live continually in a state of peace, and justice be administered speedily in cases of dispute. Letter of Aristeas
Hire a staff that's more like you than you are. Richard K. Armey
Bigness should be gauged by reference to the work that is to be done. Richard Arnold
[Referring to the Pentagon:] It's a mammoth place that makes an incredible number of mistakes. Leslie Aspin
I can conceive of nothing worse than a man-governed world—except a woman-governed world. Nancy Astor
The central purpose of a chairman should be to ensure that the shortest possible time should elapse between the beginning of any meeting and its end. Clement Attlee
A wrongdoer is often a man who has left something undone, not always one who has done something. Marcus Aurelius
A country is not a business and a government should stand for much more than economic efficiency. Jack Austin
Errors using inadequate data are much like those using no data at all. Charles Babbage
Measure not dispatch by the times of sitting, but by the advancement of business. Francis Bacon
The four pillars of government are ... religion, justice, counsel, and treasure. Francis Bacon
In government change is suspected. Francis Bacon
The vices of authority are chiefly four: delays, corruption, roughness and facility [weakness]. Francis Bacon
Administration is the essence of government, and its quality is a prime condition of civic comfort. Stanley Baldwin
Divided responsibility is no responsibility. Ludwig Bamburger
Make no small plans. Daniel Barber
You get blamed for whatever happens on your watch. Fred Barnes
You’re in charge of things that go boom and I have things that go clink. William P. Barr
I spent 90 percent of every day saying no to dopey ideas. Gary Bauer
Running a country is much more difficult than running a campaign. Paul Begala
Being Attorney General is a lot better than being a judge. You can get something done. If you have an idea, you’ve got thousands of people you can put to work on the idea. Griffin Bell
I think he's an entertainer. I would prefer if he were a performer. Carol Bellamy
No one wants to be at the wrong end of finger-pointing. Robert S. Bennett
When you put your Senate staff together, do not use the staff from your campaign. Lloyd Bentsen
It's not the quantity of your decisions; it's the quality. Lloyd Bentsen
Government is the art of the momentarily feasible, of the least bad attainable, and not of the rationally most desirable. Bernard Berenson
The state of affairs in our nation's capital is a national disgrace. It is an international embarrassment and dishonors the name of our first president, George Washington. Douglas K. Bereuter
Please don't be deterred in the fanatic application of your sterile logic. Aneurin Bevan
There are times when one must govern liberally and times when one must be dictatorial. Otto Von Bismarck-Schoenhausen
It is owing to the great obstinacy of individuals that it is difficult to govern with the Constitution in Prussia. A constitutional crisis is no disgrace: it is an honor. We are, perhaps, too cultured to endorse a Constitution. Otto Von Bismarck-Schoenhausen
The fact that you can't do everything doesn't mean that you shouldn't do what you can do. Tony Blair
If you are a U. S. senator, you can give an ideological response to a serious problem and probably never be held accountable for it. Whereas the [state] governors are dealing with the real world—they have to run things, to make them work. James J. Blanchard
Dialoging is the first principle of good government. Michael Bloomberg
If there are no superior people to look after a population, the common people have no security. Chaophraya Bodin
And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader. Book of Chronicles
As I watched some of the Watergate hearings I kept asking myself what all these people—[John] Dean and others—were doing there in the first place. Was there really an honest job that needed doing? Daniel J. Boorstin
If the rest of Washington ran as efficiently as this football team there wouldn't be any deficit. Jeff Bostic
It is worse than a crime. It is a blunder. Antoine Jacques Claude Joseph
Decisiveness is the best way to get things done. Boutros Boutros-Ghali
I don't want to get into the blame game. That's not my job. Nicholas Brady
Organization can never be a substitute for initiative and for judgment. Louis D. Brandeis
Government is not an exact science. Louis D. Brandeis
You can always use more money. Paul Bremer
That nation where among forests of hands the tyrant of the State, is voted in, its only candidate, And spit goes ice-cold on the tongue Joseph Brodsky
I know of no group or class that we do not reach—and we please none. Prentiss M. Brown
Whoever is in charge thinks the system is just great. Zbigniew Brzezinski
I don't worship at the alter of efficiency. Pat Buchanan
The actions you plan to take and the actions you actually decide to take [in a crisis] are not always the same. McGeorge Bundy
Public life is a situation of power and energy; he trespasses against his duty who sleeps upon his watch as he that goes over to the enemy. Edmund Burke
Not men but measures"—a sort of charm by which many people get loose from every honorable engagement. Edmund Burke
The age of chivalry is gone. That of sophists, economists and calculators has succeeded and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Edmund Burke
Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more of it there must be without. Edmund Burke
The best laid plans o’ mice an’ men Gang aft a-gley Robert Burns
I’m a gut player. I rely on my instincts. George W. Bush
Government functions best as a catalyst, not a cure. We need a smarter, more effective government, not a bigger one. George W. Bush
People say I'm indecisive, but I don't know about that. George W. Bush
A whistle-blower is a public servant of the highest order. George W. Bush
It's not fair to judge my whole career by a rehash on Iran. How would you like it if I judged your career by those seven minutes when you walked off the set in New York? George W. Bush
The characteristic feature of the experiment in Russia ... is not that it is communist, but that it is being carried on with a plan in the face of a planless opposition. Nicholas M. Butler
Nothing in Chicago seems to be working the way it’s supposed to. Jane Byrne
The highest wisdom of a State is a wise and masterly inactivity … John C. Calhoun
No government at any level has all the answers. Kim Campbell
It is less important to find solutions than scapegoats. Roberto de Oliveira Campos
Be true to your word. It’s very important. Andrew Card
He was in charge of everything and I was to be wherever he wasn’t. Andrew Card
Disclosure is the antidote to partiality and favor. Benjamin N. Cardozo
If I could find out who leaked the contents of this report, he or she would be a former employee of the Pentagon. Frank Carlucci
The best way to address a problem is at its initial stages. Jimmy Carter
[The test of government] ... is not how popular it is among the powerful and privileged few, but how honestly and fairly it deals with the many who must depend upon it. Jimmy Carter
I praise loudly; I blame softly. Catherine II
It is the part of the wise man ... not even to venture all his eggs in one basket. Miguel de Cervantes
There's a remedy for everything except death. Miguel de Cervantes
Staff expands to fill the office space available.... The basic obligation of Congress is to the tax payers, not to its own creature comforts. John Chafee
The great secret in life, I think, is to choose the right, people around you to do the job. Prince Charles
[Discussing specific weapons systems:] I voted for them when I was in Congress. Now that I'm secretary [of defense] I have to figure out a way to pay for them. Dick Cheney
Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend's forehead. Chinese Proverb
I never do any brainwork that anyone else can do for me Winston Churchill
is like trying to drive a car at night without headlights. Henry Cisneros
It never occurred to any of us to consult in this emergency farmers, doctors, lawyers, shoemakers, or even statesmen. We could not escape the belief that the prospect of obtaining what we needed might be somewhat improved by making application to those whose business and surroundings qualified them to intelligently respond. Grover Cleveland
In the White House there is always struggle and contention. Clark M. Clifford
The era of big government is over. Bill Clinton
What matters most is finding practical, pragmatic solutions .... Ideological purity is for partisan extremists. Bill Clinton
As President I'll make mistakes because I'm going to do things ... and people who do things err. Bill Clinton
There comes a time where delay, to get a slightly better decision, is worse than action to get a pretty good decision. Bill Clinton
We spend a lot of money fixing things after they're broken. Bill Clinton
When you're President you have to make a lot of tough decisions. You have to keep lining them up and making them. Bill Clinton
As we seek to improve the management of the federal government, we should keep in mind that the government is not a private corporation. What may make sense for a large corporation may not always make sense for the federal government. In our quest for efficiency, we must not lose sight of the reasons why we enacted certain federal programs in the first place. William S. Cohen
It is therefore necessary that memorable things should he committed to writing, and not wholly betaken to slippery memory which seldom yields a certain reckoning. Edward Coke
The ruler over a country of a thousand chariots must give diligent attention to business; he must be sincere; he must be economical; he must love his people; and he must provide employment for them at the proper season. Confucius; Kung Fu-tse
The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the Government. Every dollar that we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager. Every dollar that we prudently save means that their life will be so much the more abundant. Economy is idealism in its most practical form. Calvin Coolidge
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Calvin Coolidge
There is one rule of action more important than all others. It consists in never doing anything that someone else can do for you. Calvin Coolidge
There are few people so adoring as staff on the payroll. Terry Cooper
Let all things be done decently and in good order. I Book of Corinthians
Already I realize the tremendous effort it requires not to be taken over by the Civil Service. My Minister’s room is like a padded cell, and in certain ways I am like a person who is suddenly certified a lunatic and put safely into this great vast room, cut off from real life ... Of course, they don’t behave quite like nurses because the Civil Service is profoundly deferential – “Yes, Minister! No, Minister! If you wish it, Minister! Yes minister.” Richard Crossman
Mr. President, we can't advise you properly on what we should seek with the Soviets until we know what we're planning for on our side. William J. Crowe Jr.
Look at our Lord's disciples. One denied Him, one doubted Him, one betrayed Him. If our Lord couldn't have perfection, how are you going to have it in city government? Richard Joseph Daley
We have shaken things up when necessary. Richard M. Daley
People and nations act on the basis of what they feel rather than what is real. William C. Davis
Almost everything the government runs becomes mediocre in time ... bureaucracy leads to mediocrity. Michael De Bakey
Deliberation is the work of many men. Action of one alone. Charles de Gaulle
How else can I manage, if I don't know what's going on out there? Shirley A. DeLibero
Shall we ever have the government that will not be satisfied to be practical? .... Who can estimate all that the practical people have done to us... Jean Paul Desbiens; Frere Untel
Government ... simply has no bottom line. Donald Devine
The proposed system [of American government] is like the solar system, in which the states are the planets, and they ought to be left to move more freely in their proper orbits. John Dickinson
It is better to start doing what one has to late than not at all. Dionysius of Halicarnassus
Something will turn up. Benjamin Disraeli
To the brave nothing is difficult. Benjamin Disraeli
The Communist leaders handle national property as their own, but at the same time they waste it as if it were somebody else's. Such is the nature of ownership and government of the system. Milovan Djilas
There's a big difference between saying you are for something and saying how you're going to achieve it. Christopher Dodd
Trying to do more with less only means we will do nothing. Jack G. Downing
Reports tell you what your subordinates want you to know. Peter Drucker
This election is not about ideology. It's about competence. Michael Dukakis
We must have a Secretary of Defense who will manage, and not be managed, by the Pentagon. Michael Dukakis
No Secretary of State can give constant personal care to more than a few problems among the global abundance. Abba Eban
Government is about hard choices. Alan Ehrenhalt
Organization cannot make a genius out of a dunce. Dwight D. Eisenhower
..Well, we've had a good growl. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Success is ... what we can make of the mess we have made of things. T. S. Eliot
I will never break the word of a prince spoken in a public place, for my honor's sake. Elizabeth I
Government has come to be a trade, and is managed solely on commercial principles. A man plunges into politics to make his fortune, and only cares that the world shall last his days. Ralph Waldo Emerson
If there is one universal test of national genius, it is success. Ralph Waldo Emerson
The more reason, the less government. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Better take counsel early than repent late. English Proverb or Saying
Work all by counsel and you shall not rue. English Proverb or Saying
Desperate situations always lead to desperate acts. Saeb Erekat
Our government wasn't created to be efficient. It was created to preserve the individual. Samuel J. Ervin Jr.
It isn't easy, you know, to govern Egypt. Farouk I
There was a time that you could say the least government was the best—but not in the nation's most populous state. Dianne Feinstein
If experts were usually right, socialism would prevail. George Gilder
We live in an atmosphere of organization .... Men are learning the disadvantages of isolated action. Whether or not we approve of trusts and trades-unions and similar combinations, and whatever their motives, they rest on a foundation which is sound alike from the business and religious standpoint; namely, the principle of union and co-operation. John M. Glenn
Whenever people get frustrated with substance, they tend to want to move boxes around [i.e. reorganize]. Dan Glickman
All professional men are handicapped by not being allowed to ignore things which are useless. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
One must be something in order to do something. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Thinking is easy; action is difficult; to act in accordance with one’s thought is the most difficult thing in the world. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Taking risk is good, and America is a country based on boldness and looking to the future. Daniel Goldin
I was a business man. When they elected me, it took me two years to learn about how government ran. Barry Goldwater
Actually, I'm going around in circles. Mikhail Gorbachev
Without glasnost there is not, and there cannot be, democratism, the political creativity of the masses and their participation in management. Mikhail Gorbachev
There are many people who want simple solutions, but there are none ... nor will there be. Mikhail Gorbachev
We need citizens willing to make Congress accountable for the travesty which passes for government today. J. Peter Grace
We ... ought not to be rigidly bound by the rules laid down under circumstances so different for emergencies so utterly unanticipated. Ulysses S. Grant
It is important that any long term tax reduction or spending initiative be phased in. Alan Greenspan
Very low probability events occur very rarely, but sometimes they do happen. Alan Greenspan
The minister should not press his personal views unduly about what is not essential. Edward Grey; Viscount Fallodon
If officials on the spot commit in good faith an error of judgment, which is worse—to support them or to throw them over? Edward Grey; Viscount Fallodon
Could Hamlet have been written by a committee, or the Mona Lisa painted by a club? Could the New Testament have been composed as a conference report? Creative ideas do not spring from groups. A. Whitney Griswold
Generally speaking, government programs have the reverse result from the goal. Martin L. Gross
In the governing of souls, we need a cup of science, a barrel of wisdom, and a sea of patience. Francis de Sales
Government ... is neither business, nor technology, nor applied science. It is the art of making men live together in peace and with reasonable happiness. Felix Frankfurter
With respect to the true monarchical government, it is the best or the worst of all others, accordingly as it is administered. Frederick II
You have these great institutions spinning around you with great centrifugal force. You have to try to keep them spinning around the center. Donald S. Frederickson
While Washington's establishment ... is whipped into motion by the mere whiff of an emotional issue or scandal, there is no reward in today's Capitol for fixing the broken mechanics of government or solving the huge problems that haunt us. Tom Freedman
Peru needs an emperor. Alberto Fujimori
If I find out where every dollar goes, and how it is used, I shall understand the apparatus thoroughly. James A. Garfield
What is done cannot be effaced. We have to act upon a moral field prepared for us ... Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil; 3rd Marquess Salisbury
The country is carried comfortably down the river, and the function of Government is to occasionally put out an oar to prevent running into the bank. Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil; 3rd Marques Salisbury
You should never trust the experts. If you believe the doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil; 3rd Marques Salisbury
The problem with communicating without a coordinator is that everyone has to read everyone else's mind. Kristine Gebbie
There was a time that you could say the least government was the best—but not in the nation's most populous state. German Proverb; Dianne Feinstein
The issue isn't more or less government. It's dumb vs. smart government. James J. Florio
It's only when you push at the edges that you excel. James J. Florio
You can make more money selling advice than taking it. Malcolm Forbes
If you don't have problems, you don't have opportunities. Walter J. Hickel
Nothing is going the way it was supposed to. Hirohito
We shall determine all matters of state by public discussion, after assemblies have been convoked far and wide. Hirohito
I beseech you not to blame me if I be desirous to strike while the iron is hot. Edward Hoby
The thing the Pentagon should be seeking is success, not avoiding failure. Richard Holbrooke
Our string has run out. There is nothing more we can do. Herbert Hoover
One who brandishes a pistol must be prepared to shoot. Herbert Hoover
Wisdom ofttimes consists of knowing what to do next. Herbert Hoover
I expect you to be a leader, to supervise by example, to lead, not simply order others to do hard jobs. I will hold you personally responsible for the operations under you. If one of your men makes an error, you as well as he will be accountable. J. Edgar Hoover
There is a certain method in his madness. Horace; Quintus Horatius Flaccus
We have moved toward a kind of scorpions-in-a-bottle Government where you have two branches [executive and legislative] that don't understand many of the legitimate needs of the other branch. Michael J. Horowitz
A right decision at the wrong time is a wrong decision. Amory Houghton
The government is mainly an expensive organization to regulate evildoers, and tax those who behave; government does little for fairly respectable people except annoy them. Edgar Watson Howe
I'm a person who believes in close monitoring and knowing what everyone on the staff is doing. Henry Edward Hudson
In government, consensus is more important than command; persuasion not only works better than arrogance, it's vital to the democratic process. Ellen Hume; Jane Mayer
Economy in government does not mean spending little ... It means spending what you have and spending it well. Hubert Horatio Humphery
The worst enemy of life, freedom and the common decencies is total anarchy; their second worst enemy is total efficiency. Aldous Huxley
A hole is only as big as you dig it. Irish Proverb
Mere precedent is a dangerous source of authority. Andrew Jackson
There are no necessary evils in government. It's evils exist only in its abuses. Andrew Jackson
No matter how lofty you are in your department, the responsibility for what your lowliest assistant is doing is yours. Bessie Rowland James
Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. Book of James
I’m hands on. I want to know what the facts are. William Janklow
I have felt so much for you that I cannot withhold the expression of my sympathies …. All you can do is to order,—that execution must depend on others Thomas Jefferson
That government is best which governs least. Thomas Jefferson
Become reality driven. Don’t kid yourself or others. Gary Johnson
Nothing is more important than to stop neutralist talk wherever we can by whatever means we can. Lyndon B. Johnson
I will do my best. That's all I can do. I ask for your help and God's. Lyndon B. Johnson
Sure we make mistakes. But point them out and we will correct them. Let's not throw the baby out, though, with the dishes. Lyndon B. Johnson
Governments are not like a business. They don’t look like a business, work like a business, think like a business, and they don’t have a bottom line. Jan Jones
When a government agency is more efficient, they’re not necessarily going to get that money back. So they don’t always have an incentive. Jan Jones
Policies absent people have no meaning. Vernon Jordan
The Navajo Nation spends most of its time jumping through hoops. Peter MacDonald
Injuries should all be done together in order that men may taste their bitterness but a short time and be little disturbed. Benefits ought to be conferred a little at a time, that their flavor may be tasted better. Niccolo Machiavelli
A wise man will see to it that his act always seems voluntary and not done be compulsion, however much he may be compelled by necessity. Niccolo Machiavelli
Attention shouldn't be on finding ways to build a better government; we should be looking at how to get government out of our lives. Connie Mack
The nanny state Ian Macleod
Fearing the weakness of democracy, men have always sought safety in technocrats. But ... [we] have not overthrown the divine right of kings to fall down before the divine right of experts. Harold MacMillan
Governments do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. James Madison
Government is too slow to keep up with the digital environment. Ira Magaziner
[Describing her role:] It's like running a big corporation and a little country at the same time. Wilma Mankiller
Punishment alone governs all created beings. Code of Manu
You have in your hands what may be easily made the foundation of the noblest realm of Europe .... if you would take the government of it into your own hands. Margaret of Anjou
Patience is also a form of action. Auguste Rodin
Every man, and every body of men on earth, possesses the right of self-government... Thomas Jefferson
The freedom and happiness of man... are the sole objects of all legitimate government Thomas Jefferson
It is the obligation of every government to yield protection to their citizens as the consideration for their obedience Thomas Jefferson
How can we so organize political institutions that bad or incompetent rulers can be prevented from doing too much damage? Karl Popper
A government is republican in proportion as every member composing it has his equal voice in the direction of its concerns: not indeed in person, which would be impracticable beyond the limits of a city or small township, but by representatives chosen by himself and responsible to him at short periods. Thomas Jefferson
The line has not been exactly drawn which separates those important subjects, which must be entirely regulated by the legislature itself, from those of less interest, in which … power may be given to those who are to act under such general provisions to fill up the details. John Marshall
They say, and do not. Book of Matthew
How do I decide what's most important for me to do when I come in in the morning? That's easy. I read the Washington Post. Charles William Maynes
Delegation of authority is a fact of modern life. Mathew D. McCubbins
Predictions are so often, so wrong ... The future is just too complicated. Derick McGinty
I concentrate on the task before me rather then those dim in the future. Mack McLarty
Listening ... is good government. Chris McNair
As I look down the path to the future I see before me the footprint of the hand of fate. John McSheehy
Our system of checks and balances .... The people keep the politicians from stealing too much, and the politicians keep the people from getting too crazy. H. L. Mencken
The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and human. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression. H. L. Mencken
To govern is to chose. Pierre Mendes-France
Any plan conceived in moderation must fail when the circumstances are set in extremes. Klemens von Metternich
My constant efforts are directed against ultras of all kinds. Klemens von Metternich
The good news always comes to the top. What I need to know is the bad news. Robert Mueller
You can't run a city by people who do not live there. Harvey Milk
The habit of analysis has a tendency to wear away the feelings. John Stuart Mill
But political checks will no more act of themselves, than a bridle will direct a horse without a rider. John Stuart Mill
Every executive function, whether superior or subordinate, should be the appointed duty of some given individual. It should be apparent to all the world who did everything, and through whose default anything was left undone. Responsibility is null when nobody knows who is responsible. Nor, even when real, can it be divided without being weakened. John Stuart Mill
Political checks will no more act of themselves than a bridle will direct a horse without a rider. If the checking functionaries are as corrupt or as negligent as those whom they ought to check, and if the public, the mainspring of the whole checking machinery, are too ignorant, too passive, or too careless and inattentive, to do their part, little benefit will be derived from the best administrative apparatus. Yet a good apparatus is always preferable to a bad. John Stuart Mill
There should not be several departments independent of one another to superintend different parts of the same natural whole. John Stuart Mill
So spake the Fiend [the devil], and with necessitie, The Tyrant's plea, excus'd his devilish deeds. John Milton
A public fund is collected by no fewer than two [persons], and disbursed by no fewer than three. Mishnah
You don't have smooth sailing in the American system no matter who's in charge. George J. Mitchell
The smallest errors are always the best. Jean Molière
Your report! 'Tis my report. It is no report at all until I have accepted it. James Monroe
No wind makes for him that hath no intended port to sail into. Michel de Montaigne
The essence of government is making necessary choices between competing uses of public resources. Jonathan Moore
I can solve every problem a year later. Mike Moore
When the mayor's concerned about something, eveybody's concerned about it. Mary Moran
A man always has two reasons for what he does—a good one and the real one. J. Pierpont Morgan
I don't get ulcers. I give 'em. Ernest N. Morial
Waste of public money is like a sin against the Holy Ghost. John Morley
I believe in limited objectives and in getting things done. Robert Moses
If you can't get along with the head of the government with which you are working, you won't get anything done—nothing! Robert Moses
It has proved politically wiser to set goals than to start programs. Daniel P. Moynihan
Okay, we've won. What do we do now? Brian Mulroney
If there is a wrong way to do something, then someone will do it. Edward A. Murphy Jr.
Many people think Africans are incapable of running things, and even I wonder sometimes. Yoweri Museveni
I say that the most inefficient, wasteful self-government is worth more than the most efficient dictatorship. Fiorello H. La Guardia
Government should adhere to the new dictum, don’t just do something, stand there. Arthur Laffer
There is nothing more innately human than the tendency to transmute what has become customary into what has been divinely ordained. Suzanne LaFollette
This is not just our battle. It is an issue for opinion makers outside the government, it is a battle for the Congress—to keep making the distinction between the immediate and the important. W. Anthony Lake
The earlier you start to solve a problem, the less draconian the solution needs to be. Richard Lamm
It is axiomatic in politics that the earlier one addresses a problem, the more the alternatives and the easier the solutions. Richard Lamm
We live in a world of competing sorrows ... to govern is to choose. Richard Lamm
In government it is order that matters. Lao Tzu
The people are difficult to govern: It is because those in authority are too fond of action [change]. Lao Tzu
Govern the state by being straightforward; wage war by being crafty; win the empire by not meddling. Lao Tzu
The instruments of state prove too big to do the small things and too small to do the big things. Lewis H. Lapham
We’ve got to learn to govern in Internet time. Mike Leavitt
You will always find some Eskimos ready to instruct the Congolese on how to cope with heat waves. Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
One technical expert is worth twenty Communists. Vladimir Lenin
Take actions that will give people hope. John Lewis
Sometimes it is better to delay. Libyan Proverb
Campaigns are partisan. Governing should not be partisan. Joseph I. Lieberman
Errors will occur in spite of utmost fidelity. Abraham Lincoln
Have you already in your mind a plan wholly or partially formed? If you have, prosecute it without interference from me. If you have not, please inform me, so that I, incompetent as I may be, can try and assist you in the formation of some plan for the army. Abraham Lincoln
I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me. Abraham Lincoln
I hope to stand firm enough not to go backward, and yet not go forward fast enough to wreck the common cause. Abraham Lincoln
In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere. Abraham Lincoln
We need government to do for the people what they cannot do for themselves. Abraham Lincoln
We have not fully pleased anybody and that's a good sign. Solomon Liss
I am not bound by instructions from the State Department. I am a member of the President's cabinet and take instructions only from him. Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
[William Jennings Bryan] thinks that to say something is to do something, which is an imperfect view of administration. Henry Cabot Lodge
Why the hell didn't I know about this? John F. Kennedy
Tomorrow morning, we’re going to try to integrate the University of Mississippi. Get me a memo on … what we can do if the governor sends the National Guard there. Have it on my desk at 8 in the morning. Robert Kennedy
I have watched as the Government stepped up the process of dismantling the State, throwing thousands of people onto the scrapheap, abolishing job creation and training programs.... I watched them maniacally cutting back programs ranging from industry R&D to family planning to dental hospital services for the poor. I watched this Government create a crisis of confidence in the higher education sector and attack our public school system. Cheryl Kernot
I have to take decisions—not back hunches. Tom King
There is not only a right thing to do. There is a right time to do it. William Lyon Mackenzie King
How long halt ye between two opinions? Book of Kings
Our government is a little more chaotic than most other governments in the world. Jeane Kirkpatrick
A lot can be accomplished with current resources if we don't stand around wringing our hands because of lack of funding or complex requirements. Dennis Kissinger
The fulfillment of America’s ideals will have to be sought in the patient accumulations of partial successes. Henry A. Kissinger
Competing pressures tempt one to believe that an issue deferred is a problem avoided. More often it is a crisis invited. Henry A. Kissinger
A safe word whispered by a crawling confessor, an attack of nerves on a cloudy day, the appearance of a well-made soldier at the levee, have often sufficed to make and break administrations. Anonymous
The principal concern of Mexico’s political elite today is how to build governing majorities and achieve consensus. M. Delal Baer
Striking a balance between governability and historical reckoning is most difficult during the early years of a democratic transition. M. Delal Baer
A small city, is better off with a government “for the people” than it is being ruled by a few people, or by only one. A larger city, according to the scale of magnitude, is better ruled by a few good rich men, rather then by the populace, or by one person. The largest cities or peoples are best ruled by a single king. Bartolo of Sassoferrato
I can only go one way, I've not got a reverse gear. Tony Blair
We have responsibility that when somebody hurts, government has got to move. George W. Bush
The present King and Queen are popular, very, and increasingly so, but they have no message for the Labour Party who believe them, and rightly I fear, to be but the puppets of a Palace clique…. Still, it is the aristocracy which still rules England although nobody seems to believe it. Henry Channon
It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem Gilbert K. Chesterton
Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still. Chinese Proverb
Getting rid of a problem in one area improves the situations in ten areas. Chinese Proverb
If one were to be penalized in any way by one's superior, one would have no good words to say about that superior Chinese Proverb
it is … not a good idea to resort to tossing coins. Chinese Proverb
It is not the knowing that is difficult, but the doing. Chinese Proverb
One man will carry two buckets of water for his own use, Two men will carry one for their joint use; Three men will carry none for anybody's use. Chinese Proverb
It’s very hard to predict the weather. Predicting human affairs is very difficult. Noam Chomsky
Santa Fe is a quiet little town, and is kept clean and in good order. The governor, Lopez, was common soldier at the time of the revolution, but has now been seventeen years in power. This stability of government is owing to his tyrannical habits, for tyranny seems as yet better adapted to these countries than republicanism. The governor’s favorite occupation is hunting Indians … Charles Darwin
Better reap two days too soon than one day too late English Proverb or Saying
Cursing the weather is not good farming English Proverb or Saying
He who would climb the ladder must begin at the bottom English Proverb or Saying
Last ship, best ship. English Proverb or Saying
Too many people in this town think about politics when they make every decision. Don Evans
A well conducted government must have an underlying concept so well integrated that it could be likened to a system of philosophy. All actions taken must be well reasoned, and all financial, political and military matters must flow towards one goal, which is the strengthening of the state and the furthering of its power. Frederick II
He is guilty if he wastes the money of the people, the taxes which they have paid, in luxury, pomp, and debauchery. He who should improve the morals of the people, be the guardian of the law, and improve their education should not pervert them by his bad example. Frederick II
The sovereign is the foremost judge, general, financier, and minister of his country, not merely for the sake of his prestige. Therefore, he should perform with care the duties connected with these offices. He is merely the principal servant of the State. Frederick II
Whenever you can, count. Francis Galton
A little too late, is much too late. German Proverb
Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. Arnold H. Glasow
At least when you have public utilities, the money they take stays in the community. Peter Gleik
Hofstadter's Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law. Douglas Hofstadter
If we just charged everyone one percent of the value of contracts they execute, that is all the money we would need for operating our government. Dave Hollist
The absolute subordination of the Civil Service from the highest to the lowest, their unquestioning obedience to the King, together with their absolute responsibility not only for then- own actions, but also for those of their colleagues and their inferiors, created among them an extremely strong sense of professional honour, solidarity, arid of' professional pride. The influence of the nobility and of Society diminished unceasingly. The service of the King required undivided attention Isaac Isaacsohn
It appears to me one of those questions which present great inconveniences whichever way it is decided. Thomas Jefferson
I believe in markets before mandates. Mike Leavitt
We southern people must be slaves in effect, or cut the Gordion’s knot at once . Henry Lee
This state shows every need for a constructive administration, devoted to the protection and expansion of labor and capital, industry, and agriculture, all working toward the efficiency of our courts, public schools, freedom in religious beliefs and reduction in taxation and burdens of government, and toward liberating our state and our institutions from the ever growing modern tendency of monopoly and concentration of power Huey P. Long
Gentlemen, by royal order you have all been relieved of your functions. Ramon Maria Narvaez
… like looking for an atheist in heaven Juan Prim
If it was not easy to make a king, it will be even more difficult to make a republic in a country where there are no republicans. Juan Prim
Some believe there have been vagrant and jesuiticall priests, who have made it their businesse, for some yeares past, to go from Sachim to Sachim, to exasperate the Indians against the English and to bring them into a confederacy, and that they were promised supplies from France and other parts to extirpate the English nation out of the continent of America. Edward Randolph
The deficit had become a symbol of our inability to control and manage the cost of government. Robert E. Rubin
All this activity is directed by the King in person, and only by him. Besides, he looks after the whole public administration in all its branches With such care and thoroughness that not a thaler [note: a monetary unit] is spent unless he has given his signature. Those who do not see it cannot believe that there is any man in the world, however intelligent and able he may be, who can settle so many things personally in a single day as Frederick William the First, who works from 3 o'clock in the morning till 10, and spends the rest of' the day in looking after and drilling his army.... Count Friedrich Heinrich von Seckendorf
Government is not the enemy. Government is simply a tool that can be used wisely or unwisely. Paul Simon
Most of the misery and poverty in the world is due to bad government. George Soros
One may sin by greed and the desire for power, but one may also sin in these matters through fear, indecision, and cowardice! John Paul II; Giovanni Battista Montini
Nothing had done more to prevent the restoration of political equilibrium of law and order, under a strong central authority, than the ascendancy in public affairs of the student class, and particularly that undisciplined section of it which combines crude ideas of Republicanism with a smattering of Western science. J. O. P. Bland
The Bakufu has shown great disregard of public opinion in concluding treaties without waiting for the opinion of the Court, and in disgracing princes so closely allied by blood to the Shogun. The Mikado's rest is disturbed by the spectacle of such misgovernment when the fierce barbarian is at our very door. Therefore, assist the Bakufu with your advice; expel the barbarians, content the mind of the people, and restore tranquility to His Majesty's bosom. Ii Kamon no Kami
we must not be bureaucratic in our methods of mobilizing the masses. Bureaucratic leadership cannot be tolerated in economic construction any more than in any other branch of our revolutionary work. The ugly evil of bureaucracy, which no comrade likes, must be thrown into the cesspit. Mao Zedong
The higher bodies must be familiar with the life of the masses and with the situation in the lower bodies so as to have an objective basis for correct guidance. Mao Zedong
in all cases and at all times the military ought to be under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power Delaware
All affairs which concern this state only are to be determined by our representatives coming from all parts of the state; all affairs which concern the Union at large are to be determined by representatives coming from all parts of the Union. Thus, then, the general government is to be taken care of, and the state governments to be preserved. James Iredell
I have never been a believer that serious government problems are solved by reorganization or shifting around bureaucracy. Theodore C. Sorensen
Abolish the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency. Ronald E. Paul
Now we’re going to get big government. Ronald E. Paul
Most men, being the ruled, not the rulers, want good government. If, without constraint, they choose bad government, it is by mistake George W. Cable
No man known or suspected to be hostile to "the Compromise Measures, including the Fugitive Slave Law," is allowed to hope for any office under the present Administration. William Lloyd Garrison
Only when the modern bureaucracy was highly developed could the complete abolition of the parish priests as a political institution be contemplated. Karl Kautsky
Had the investigation been left to the government, the current administration would have concealed its own mistakes and blamed its predecessors, That is not a criticism of the Bush White House. Any administration would do the same. Richard A. Posner
Our hope is that the dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry will maintain itself long enough to abolish itself when it has fulfilled its function and reached its goal. For whereas during the two opening periods of the revolution the path of the governments led from the fine ideal of democracy to the harsh and cruel reality of dictatorship, the path of the soviet dominion will lead from the harsh and cruel reality of dictatorship to the beautiful and realized dream of democracy. Clara Zetkin
Washington’s largest industry is inertia. James Jay Carafano
Each prince shall possess and exercise in peace according to the customs of the land the liberties, jurisdiction, and authority over counties Frederick II
The government of England is one of the wisest in Europe, because there is a body there that examines this government continually and that continually examines itself. Charles de Montesquieu
The War Office is a very slow office, an enormously expensive office, and one in which the Minister's intentions can be entirely negated by all his sub-departments, and those of each of the sub-departments by every other. Florence Nightingale
When in crisis did government get smaller? Peter G. Peterson
If I find you not attending cabinet meetings three times you are out of government. Idi Amin Dada
Don't Politicize Churches! Houses Of Worship Should Not Be Part Of A Political Machine Americans United for Separation of Church and State
The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity James Madison
The civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the State James Madison
The secular law has as its task not to turn the world lying in evil into the Kingdom of God, but to prevent it from turning into hell. Russian Orthodox Church
The temporal power and the priesthood relate to each other as body and soul; they are necessary for state order just as body and soul are necessary in a living man. It is in their linkage and harmony that the well-being of a state lies Basil I
Them’s that got the gold makes the rules. Clarence Dickinson Long
The administrative process is, in essence, our generation’s answer to the inadequacy of the judicial and legislative processes. It represents our efforts to find an answer to those inadequacies by some other method than merely increasing executive power. James M. Landis
Government today no longer dares to rely for its administration upon the casual office-seeker. Into its services it now seeks to bring men of professional attainment in various fields and to make that service such that they will they will envision governance as a career. James M. Landis
Good governance is an important precondition for success of government but it is not sufficient. Economic growth is necessary. Obiageli Ezekwesili
The system of checks and balances has sometimes been misused by those who are antithetical to any progress. David Paterson
Take ye counsel together in all matters, inasmuch as consultation is the lamp of guidance which leadeth the way, and is the bestower of understanding. Bahai Universal House of Justice
I made up my mind, but I made it up both ways. Casey Stengel
The stronger the hold we are able to keep here the better the inhabitants will be pleased... They can't conceive an independent Arab government. Nor, I confess, can I. There is no one here who could run it Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell
We are caught in the Middle East in supporting the bad guys in order to get rid of the worse guys. Dinesh D'Souza
No American President should ever take any option off the table. John Edwards
With Yeltsin, the Soviet Union broke apart, the country was totally mismanaged, the constitution was not respected by the regions of Russia. The army, education and health systems collapsed. People in the West quietly applauded, dancing with and around Yeltsin. I conclude therefore that we should not pay too much attention to what the West is saying. Mikhail Gorbachev
It's better to act and to regret / Than to regret not to have acted Mellin de Saint-Gelais
The best is the enemy of the good enough. Russian Proverb
Society is produced by our wants and government by our wickedness….government in its best state is a necessary evil; in its worse state an intolerable one. Thomas Paine
If you are the mayor of a city, one of the things you do is to try and gouge as much money out of the Federal Government as you can. That is your job. John Mueller
To have success, there must be a very clear mission, a staff who understands the mission, enough autonomy to do the mission, and accountability for the success of the mission.. John B. Taylor
When governments state that certain events have not happened, and yet we have the victims before us to testify that they did, government loses its credibility, and it loses its authority. We see before us today governments that lack natural authority and have to make up for that by the use of force. They do not have the support of the people because they are not trusted by the people. We hear many fine words seeking national unity, cooperation and harmony, yet, almost in the same breath orders are given to military units to shoot civilians, protesters are rounded up, many disappear, many are tortured. No government which governs by the use of force can survive except by force. There is no going back because force begets force and the perpetrators of crimes live in fear that they might become victims in their turn. Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo
The essence of oligarchical rule is not father-to-son inheritance, but the persistence of a certain world-view and a certain way of life ... A ruling group is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its successors... Who wields power is not important, provided that the hierarchical structure remains always the same George Orwell Blair
Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship. Harry S Truman
The simple question is: will you change your Ministers and keep the Empire, or keep your Ministers and lose the Kingdom? William Pitt the Younger
The best … Committees consist of three persons, two of whom are always absent! Peter de Noronha
Devote that intelligent mind of yours to the problems of the state Alfred E. Smith
Our most important, and sometimes most severe, judges are our subordinates. Paul D. Eaton
Too many conservatives in our country want to run up enormous deficits in the hope that someone else will pay for it. This is not conservativism; it is alchemy or lunacy. Michael Bloomberg
The great obstacle in the way of reform is neither American nor English, it is simply human. All that we know, by past experience, of the attempts of man to provide himself with a government, makes it most unlikely that an effort, repeated every four years, on the part of one hundred millions of people, to elect a single officer as the chief of state, should succeed. It seemed reasonable enough when the Constitution was framed for 3,000,000 people, leading a simple agricultural life. All democracies of which the world has had any experience, have been small … Our desire to create a ‘world Power’ out of the Federal machine is a fiasco, full of shame and disappointment. Edwin Lawrence Godkin
In former days all appointments to the bureaucracy were made by the political party in power. When that party was defeated, all the bureaucrats in office were immediately thrown out and their places were filled by faithful heelers of the victorious party. It was not a very noble system. It was not conducive to efficient governmental administration…. It did have certain virtues, however. It prevented anyone from becoming a bureaucrat for life and so losing completely the point of view of the man on the street. It also permitted the elected officials to reward their political workers by changing, instead of increasing, the bureaucracy. Thomas H. Barber
Lincoln left the bulk of the nominations for presidential as well as for subordinate offices to his political friends and advisors. The military forces as well as the civilian establishment were exploited freely, and political generals were notoriously numerous. With more offices at his disposal than any president up to that time, … Lincoln appears to have used — or permitted the use of — the appointing power at his command as deliberately as they could have been used for practical, and usually partisan, political purposes. Paul P. Van Riper
Regardless of how principled and ideological a political party may be, an essential point of party politics is to find jobs for the faithful of the winning party. If jobs cannot be found, the party system withers and dies, leaving only a self-perpetuating bureaucratic oligarchy behind. A system of minimal government can provide jobs for the winning party by throwing out the jobholders of the losing faction. But if civil service law freezes jobholders in place, the function of providing jobs for the winners can only occur by expanding the number of jobs: that is, at the expense of the taxpayers and of the productive, private sector. The "spoils system" allows all the costs to be imposed upon the losing party, and not at all on the body of the taxpayers. Surely a just and admirable system: who better to bear the costs of political defeat than the losing party? Murray Rothbard
By its nature, government is not subject to the profit-and-loss test, to the domination by the consumers, of the free market …. it need serve no one except itself. The only limit on government is the enormously wide one of people rising up to refuse to obey its orders (including taxes); short of such revolution, however, there is little to limit government or to check the entrenchment or burgeoning of its elite. Murray Rothbard
Whoever reviews the operations of government in this country since the Revolution, will find few, even of the most questionable measures of administration, about which the best instructed judgment might not have doubted at the time, but of which he may affirm, with certainty, that they were indifferent to the greatest part of those who concurred in them. William Paley
There is a rich and haughty King who is blessed with such neighbours as are not likely to disturb him and has nothing to fear from his miserable subjects; but the whole body of that state is full of boils and wounds and putrid sores. There is no real strength in it. The people are so unwilling to serve him that he is said to have put to death above fourscore thousand of his own soldiers within the space of fifteen years for flying from their colours, and if he were vigorously attacked, little help could be expected from a discontented nobility or a starving and despairing people. Algernon Sidney
A Popular Assembly without a Senate cannot be wise. A Senate without a Popular Assembly will not be honest. James Harrington
It was a republic, but unlike any other republic that had ever existed. There were neither taxes nor police, nor an army, nor an administrative officer, nor a foreign policy, nor indeed any joint means of coercion; only the heads of the scattered settlements—settlements divided one from another by snow mountains and lava fields and belts of black volcanic sand and pebbles — met together once a year in a common assembly and agreed to obey and enforce a common law. Herbert A. L. Fisher
The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern. John Emerich Edward Dalberg; Lord Acton
If the people are not getting what the people need, you shouldn’t be paying for it. Beverly Watts Davis
There is no one who is not convinced of the importance of good order in the state and who does not sincerely wish to see that state well ordered in which he has to live. ;, .d. justice;, .d. order;, .d. managing government;, .d. State;, .d. progress;, There is no one who is not convinced of the importance of good order in the state and who does not sincerely wish to see that state well ordered in which he has to live. Jean Domat
A bureau that benefits a well organized interest group will fare better in getting the sinews for administration than a bureau whose benefits are diffused over unorganized consumers or whose function is to restrain rather than to confer benefits. James W. Fessler II
The federal government does not give us the worth of our money …. The government illustrates nearly every evil of taxation, and dispenses a minimum return. It has ceased to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people Atlanta Constitution
This is a business that is much easier planned than executed. John Armstrong Jr.
Good consequences are sometimes the result of mistakes. John Armstrong Jr.
O kings of the earth! We see you increasing every year your expenditures, and laying the burden thereof on your subjects. This, verily, is wholly and grossly unjust . . . do not rob them to rear palaces for yourselves. Bahaullah; Husayn Ali Nuri
Remember that you cannot please everybody because you are likely to end up pleasing nobody. Anson Chan
Government is merely a means to an end. James Mill
The size of government is not altogether that large in this country. Alan Greenspan
Since human memory is short and does not suffice for a crowd of things, the authority of those who preceded our age, the divine emperors and kings, has decreed that those things were to be written down which the progress of fleeting time generally removes from the knowledge of men. Frederick I Barbarosa
Long live Religion, Long Live our Most Holy Mother of Guadalupe. Long Live Ferdinand VII. Long Live America and death to bad government. Miguel Hidalgo
The United States must create a permanent nation-building agency. Francis Fukuyama
I recommend to you the subdivision of our territorial area into counties, suited to the wants and convenience of the people, with provision for the more minute subdivisions of townships, districts and precincts for municipal government and police. These subdivisions ought to be as small as the density of population may render possible. It is in these complete little republics where the sovereign power of the people is always in exercise, where self government has perpetual vitality and independent freedom is practiced and enjoyed. William Gilpin
It is necessary to judge accurately the things that rest on opinion Parmenides
Between the people and their enemies there can be nothing in common but the sword; we must govern by iron those who cannot be governed by justice; we must oppress the tyrant... Louis Saint-Just
Government doesn’t always work the way its supposed to. Sometimes you have to use brute force, bring people together … Jamie Gorelick
We wanted to make it quite clear and beyond any possibility of doubt or question that the British Government and the British people desire the Indian peoples to have full self-government Richard Stafford Cripps
We are convinced that the institution of monarchy is incompatible with the spirit and needs of modern times which demand an egalitarian relationship between one citizen and another Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah
Public authorities should not simply wait until they are asked for information. They should develop policies that take essential information to the people before they ask for it. Such positive actions can be much more cost-effective, and of greater practical utility, than is the case when departments wait passively for the submission of inquiries. Jeremy Pope
How can you govern if you always have to feed the news cycle? Sander Vanocur
Mr. Madison, I think, was one of the best men that ever lived. I never saw him in a passion, and never knew him to strike a slave, although he had over one hundred; neither would he allow an overseer to do it. Whenever any slaves were reported to him as stealing or "cutting up" badly, he would send for them and admonish them privately, and never mortify them by doing it before others. They generally served him very faithfully. He was temperate in his habits. I don't think he drank a quart of brandy in his whole life. Paul Jennings
No altered system will work a miracle. Any wild experiment will only add to the confusion. Our best assurance lies in efficient administration of our proven system Warren G. Harding
I would like government to do all it can to mitigate; then, in understanding, in mutuality of interest, in concern for the common good, our tasks will be solved Warren G. Harding
A regret for the mistakes of yesterday must not, however, blind us to the tasks of today. Warren G. Harding
Where no counsel is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Book of Proverbs
He who serves two masters has to lie to one. Portuguese Proverb
Sales and production work is amenable to merit pay. Try it with white collar knowledge workers, teachers, government officials, computer programmers and writers and you have a disaster after your first assessments. Merit pay requires performance measurement, and that means ranking staff. The half that come out below average are immediately angry at the system that labels them as below average. The second quartile looks at the first quartile and finds colleagues who to them are little or no better than they, and a few who don’t work as hard. Some of the people who are at the top and get bonuses like the system that is so perspicacious as to reward them. However, most in the top quartile because they don’t agree that the ones who rank higher than they are really any better become negative. So over 75 percent of the workforce is unhappy and thinks the system is invalid or the raters are biased or just arbitrary. Before you ever consider installing merit pay, find an organization like yours that has it and talk to the workers—not the executives—those who have been assessed for their merit. Ramona E. F. Arnett
The idea of a merit rating is alluring. The sound of the words captivates the imagination: pay for what you get; get what you pay for; motivate people to do their best, for their own good. ... The effect is exactly the opposite of what the words promise. W. Edwards Deming
It is yourselves who have called us to this office, and being called by you, we have an authority from God. John Winthrop
The Manners of Women, are the surest Criterion by which to determine whether a Republican Government is practicable in a Nation or not. John Adams
…Impeachment is a political, rather than a legal proceeding. Jody C. Baumgartner
Modern administrative government springs from the inadequacy of a simple tripartite form of government to deal with modern problems …. It vests the necessary powers with the administrative authority it creates, not too greatly concerned with the extent to which such action does violence to the traditional tripartite theory of government organization. James M. Landis
The Government are very keen on amassing statistics; they collect them, add them, raise them to the nth power, take the cube root and prepare wonderful diagrams. But what you must never forget is that every one of those figures comes in the first instance from the village watchman, who just puts down what he damn pleases. Josiah Stamp
Well then, the ayes have it. Harold Howe
The challenge of our times is to leave nothing to chance. Thomas J. Ridge
I stick by my principles, and one of my principles is flexibility. Everett Dirksen
It is better to be approximately right than to be precisely wrong. Warren Buffett
Fanny Mae was torn between its two duties: to make as much money as they could and to protect the mortgage market. Paul A. Volcker
His major flaw may be that he is a prisoner of his own convictions…. He refuses to endorse laws with which he disagrees. Erwin Hargrove
If we politicians cannot solve the problems of the economy, terrorism and the environment, then we shall have failed in our duty. Nicolas Sarkozy
I have been wrong enough times to know that it is always a possibility. John Ashcroft
Do you know, I have often thought that I am the cleverest woman who ever lived and that others cannot compare with me. Although I have heard much about Queen Victoria . . . still I don't think her life is half as interesting and eventful as mine. Now look at me, I have 400 million people all dependent on my judgment. Tzu-Hsi
It is important to view philanthropic ventures with an eye for business. Geoffrey Lamb
The key to my motivation has always been to look at how far I had still to go rather than how far I had come. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
I have always considered the price of perfection prohibitive and allowed mistakes as a part of the learning process. I prefer a dash of daring and persistence to perfection. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Good governance can eliminate injustice, destitution and poverty. Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
If Columbus had an advisory committee, he would probably still be at the dock. Arthur Goldberg
You have to fix everything all at the same time. You cannot deal with one problem to the exclusion of all the others. Mitch Landrieu
We are imperfect. We cannot expect perfect government William Howard Taft
Are our problems moving faster than our ability to solve them? Marco Rubio
The responsibility of a public official is to make the country work! Lee H. Hamilton
There are certain emergencies of nations, in which expedients, that in the ordinary state of things ought to be forborne, become essential to the public weal. Alexander Hamilton
Nations in general, even under governments of the more popular kind, usually commit the administration of their finances to single men or to boards composed of a few individuals, who digest and prepare, in the first instance, the plans of taxation, which are afterwards passed into laws by the authority of the sovereign or legislature. Alexander Hamilton
Abuses and perversions will of course arise and multiply in the administration of the public bounty DeWitt Clinton
I realized that I should give serious attention to financial recovery … For ever since I took command of my affairs I had daily uncovered new evidence of … wastefulness. Louis XIV
The United States is running a 21st century government under 1940s rules. Robert C. Lieberman
There is no use arguing. It is only a matter of time before I get my way. Henry A. Kissinger
Many things complicated by nature are restored by reason. Livy
Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally then to succeed unconventionally. John Maynard Keynes
there is a real question as to whether "bigness" in a body politic is not an evil in itself, quite aside from the policies pursued in its name. George F. Kennan
Solving new problems is what keeps us moving forward as individuals and as a society. Garry Kasparov
Everything looks like a failure in the middle. Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Beyond a certain point there is no return. This point has to be reached. Franz Kafka
There are two rules for mayors: Be there and do something. E. J. Dionne Jr.
Not everything that counts can be counted. Standard Chartered Bank
Traditional autocrats leave in place existing allocations of wealth, power, status, and other re-sources which in most traditional societies favor an affluent few and maintain masses in poverty. But they worship traditional gods and observe traditional taboos. They do not disturb the habitual rhythms of work and leisure, habitual places of residence, habitual patterns of family and personal relations. Jeane Kirkpatrick
If one looks with a cold eye at the mess man has made of history, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that he has been afflicted by some built-in mental disorder which drives him towards self-destruction. Arthur Koestler
Good organization does not necessarily mean it will produce good policy. But bad organization will almost never produce good policy. Bruce Riedel
Those who apply themselves too much to little things often become incapable of great ones Francois de La Rochefoucauld
An opportunity missed once will present itself again, whereas a too hasty action can never be recalled. Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
The greatest events occur without intention playing any part in them; chance makes good mistakes and undoes the most carefully planned undertaking. The world's greatest events are not produced, they happen. Georg C. Lichtenberg
Before one blames, one should always find out whether one cannot excuse. To discover little faults has been always the particularity of such brains that are a little or not at all above the average. The superior ones keep quiet or say something against the whole and the great minds transform without blaming. Georg C. Lichtenberg
One Representative to thirty thousand inhabitants is a very inadequate representation… Mercy Otis Warren
The Cherokees, the only tribe I know to be contemplating the establishment of regular laws, magistrates, and government, propose a government of representatives, elected from every town. But of all things, they least think of subjecting themselves to the will of one man. Thomas Jefferson
Government does not have basic business sense. Wally Herger
In the United States no trend ever arrives at its logical conclusion. George Herman
I've had to learn to understand Presidents. Richard Helms
Those only deserve a monument who do not need one. William Hazlitt
Decision, activity, secrecy and dispatch will characterize the proceedings of one man in a much more eminent degree than the proceedings of any greater number and in proportion as the number is increased. Alexander Hamilton
Energy in the executive is a leading character in the definition of a good government. Alexander Hamilton
You have received an order from your Commander in Chief. Alexander Haig
None of us posses a crystal ball. Dwight D. Eisenhower
I loved being governor. It’s like running your own little country. Jon Huntsman, Jr.
You can’t prepare for the best case; you have to prepare for the worst case. Michael Bloomberg
Don’t expect to succeed with most of your efforts. Ted Williams, the best baseball hitter of all time, in his best hear only hit 407. He did not succeed 60 percent of the time. Sargent Shriver
We have Triple A Credit but we do not have a Triple A Government Barack Obama
Economy is demanded in every branch of the government at all times, but especially in periods like the present, of depression in business and distress among the people. The severest economy must be observed in all public expenditures, and extravagance stopped wherever it is found, and prevented wherever in the future it may be developed. If the revenues are to remain as now, the only relief that can come must be from decreased expenditures. But the present must not become the permanent condition of the government. William McKinley
The report of the Post Master General presents a gratifying picture of the condition of the Post Office Department…. The Department has been redeemed from embarrassment and debt, has accumulated a surplus exceeding half a million dollars, has largely extended and is preparing still further to extend the mail service, and recommends a reduction of postages equal to about 20%. Andrew Jackson
A plan must have the assumptions specified. Donald Rumsfeld
Societies' abilities to cope with the unknown depend on the flexibility of their institutions and individuals, and on their capacity to experiment freely with alternative forms of adaptation to the risks which threaten them. William C. Clark
As the true magnitude of the witch problem became more apparent, the Church enlisted the Inquisition, an applied institution specifically designed to address pressing social concerns. The Inquisition became the growth industry of the day, offering exciting work, rapid advancement, and wide recognition to its professional and technical workers. Its creative and energetic efforts to create a witch-free world unearthed dangers in the most unlikely places; the rates of witch identification, assessment and evaluation soared. William C. Clark
We think that computer models represent reality especially if we developed the models. Michael Crichton
Down to Gehenna or up to the Throne, / He travels the fastest who travels alone. Rudyard Kipling
White males are most responsible for the destruction of human life and environment on the planet today. Yet who is controlling the supposed revolution to change all that? White males. Robin Morgan
Getting the U. S. Government to do anything is like herding ducks with a broom. Barry McCaffrey
Don't be so foolish as to ask for more time: calamities will not wait. Honore de Mirabeau; Honore Gabriel Victor Requiti
The modern state...has made salvation its function. Therefore, Man is to be saved from poverty, sickness, death, ignorance, sin, war, superstition, and all things else by the saving state, which works steadily to create its divine order, the saving society. Every area the state wishes to invade and possess in the name of the welfare of man becomes its legitimate jurisdiction. A total sovereignty is asserted in the name of man. The state steadily denies the need of Christian theological order as it claims jurisdiction over every area … Rousas John Rushdoony
The problem comes from the lack of transparency and accountability of government. Vladimir Putin
Testing can be used to show the presence of bugs, but never to show their absence! Edsger Dijkstra
Two types of choices seem to me to have been crucial in tipping their outcomes towards success or failure: long-term planning, and willingness to reconsider core values. Jared Diamond
The manager's function is not to make people work, but to make it possible for people to work. Tom DeMarco
If I missed once, I might never catch up again. Elizabeth II
A lot of the ideas for solving many of our problems are already in place, but ideas don’t travel. Bill Clinton
Done is better than perfect! Facebook
Evaluations, in essence, are … ways of being, modes of existence of those who judge and evaluate Gilles Deleuze
Procrastinate now, don't put it off. Ellen DeGeneres
I admit that there was a mistake. But I had my ideology. I wanted to free my country. Nuon Chea
Government service in all its branches, state and federal, would have to be thrown open to all on the basis solely of merit, and promotions made accordingly. It would probably be necessary to have drastic laws against manifestations of color prejudice and discrimination, just as we have legislated against kidnapping, arson and murder which are certainly no more serious from the viewpoint of national welfare. George S. Schuyler
In the early history of the organization of the government, its statesmen seem to have divided on the line which should separate the powers of the National government from those of the State governments, and though this line has never been very well defined in public opinion, such a division has continued from that day to this. Samuel Freeman Miller
Wherever a legislature has the right to accomplish a certain result, and that result is best attained by means of a corporation, it has the right to create such a corporation Samuel Freeman Miller
Private interests must be made subservient to the general interests of the community James Kent
Because all of us believe that our democratic form of government can cope adequately with modern problems as they arise, it is patriotic as well as logical for us to prove that we can meet new national needs with new laws consistent with a historic constitutional framework clearly intended to receive liberal and not narrow interpretation. Franklin D. Roosevelt
It seems appropriate to call attention at this time to the fine spirit shown during the past year by our public servants. I cannot praise too highly the cheerful work of the civil-service employees, and of those temporarily working for the Government. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Access to government-held information allows citizens to hold their government accountable for policy decisions and public expenditures…. Access to information bridges the gap between state and society …. Jimmy Carter
Are great things ever done smoothly? Time, patience, and indomitable will must show. Swami Vivekananda; Narendra Nath
In a day when you don't come across any problems — you can be sure that you are traveling in the wrong path. Swami Vivekananda; Narendra Nath
The State machine breaks often down in consequence of mistakes made forty and fifty years ago … Leopold II
Whenever a question is of some importance, it should not be decided on the day when it is submitted to you. Whenever it is not an urgent one, I make it a rule not to let any question be forced upon my immediate decision; … And even when in my mind I am disposed to accede, still I always keep the papers with me some little time before I return them. Leopold II
Discretion--humble as it seems, it has often brought about successes in which talent failed and genius did not succeed. Discretion in the great affairs of the world does wonders, and safety depends frequently and is chiefly derived from it.... Leopold II
Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise. John Tukey
We have been abandoned by our own country. Hurricane Katrina will go down in history as one of the worst storms ever to hit an American coast, but the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history. Aaron Broussard
All Americans want our government to have a moral compass. Jim Wallis
To give a person an opinion one must first judge well whether that person is of the disposition to receive it or not. Yamamoto Tsunetomo
I fired him because he wouldn't respect the authority of the president … I didn't fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that's not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail. Harry S Truman
Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship. Harry S Truman
A burden in the bush is worth two on your hands. James Thurber
Never compare one person with another. Teresa of Avila
Rank beliefs not according to their plausibility but by the harm they may cause. Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Management of many is the same as management of few. It is a matter of organization. Sun Tzu
In 1776 our fathers endeavored to retire the gods from politics …. It was a notice to all churches and priests that thereafter mankind would govern and protect themselves. Politically … it appealed from the Providence of God to the Providence of Man. Robert G. Ingersoll
As for us BRITONS, thank Heaven, we have a better Sense of Government deliver’d to us from our Ancestors. We have the Notion of A PUBLIC and A CONSTITUTION; how a Legislative, and how an Executive is model’d. Earl of Shaftesbury; Anthony Ashley
…to hold that government may be founded upon community is to hold that there may be a black swan or a castle in the air. James Harrington
…he who goes about to introduce monarchy where the condition of the people is equal shall never bring it to pass, unless he cull out such of them as are the most turbulent and ambitious, and make them gentlemen or noblemen, not in name but in effect, that is by enriching them with lands, castles, and treasures, that may gain them power amongst the rest and bring in the rest unto dependence upon themselves, to the end that, they maintaining their ambition by the prince, the prince may maintain his power by them. James Harrington
…well-ordered republics have to keep the public rich and their citizens poor… Niccolo Machiavelli
The league will have to finally decide whether it will remain a body representing the upper classes of Indian Muslims or Muslim masses who have so far with good reason, taken no interest in it. Muhammad Iqbal
The people have every right to meet in a peaceful manner and express and ventilate their grievance and criticize the policy and actions of any civilized Government. Muhammad Ali Jinnah
In an over-organized society, the individual is altogether crushed out of existence. He gains the whole wealth of social thought around him and loses his own soul. Muhammad Iqbal
You are free, free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed - that has nothing to do with the business of the State …. the first duty of a government is to maintain law and order, so that life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the State Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Let’s have a moratorium on press conferences …. Get off your asses and let’s do something and fix the biggest doggone crisis in the history of this country. Ray Nagin
The art of government is the organization of idolatry. The bureaucracy consists of functionaries; the aristocracy, of idols; the democracy, of idolaters. The populace cannot understand the bureaucracy: it can only worship the national idols. George Bernard Shaw
The most basic building block of any successful government is, first and foremost, a moral authority over the people it leads. Pradip Phanjoubam
We in Congress don’t have much influence on the Supreme Court. We confirm judges and then we never hear from them. They don’t call. They don’t write. Arlen Specter
The key to good management is keeping the guys on your team who hate your guts away from the guys who haven't made up their minds. Casey Stengel
No plan is then too futile, too absurd, or too fatuous for their adoption; the most frivolous causes will raise them to hope, or plunge them into despair — if anything happens during their fright which reminds them of some past good or ill, they think it portends a happy or unhappy issue, and therefore (though it may have proved abortive a hundred times before) style it a lucky or unlucky omen. No plan is then too futile, too absurd, or too fatuous for their adoption; the most frivolous causes will raise them to hope, or plunge them into despair — if anything happens during their fright which reminds them of some past good or ill, they think it portends a happy or unhappy issue, and therefore (though it may have proved abortive a hundred times before) style it a lucky or unlucky omen. Baruch Spinoza
The universal basis of co-operation is the proportioning of benefits received to services rendered. Herbert Spencer
Most problems do not get solved. They get superseded by other concerns. Thomas Sowell
It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little. Sydney Smith
Absolute authority will be delegated. Full responsibility will be assumed. Those who succeed will receive advancement and satisfaction of desire. Those who fail will die. E. E. Smith
Fear is in almost all cases a wretched instrument of government, and ought in particular never to be employed against any order of men who have the smallest pretensions to independency. Adam Smith
Chiang Kai-shek does not like my policies but he cannot do anything to me. I am too far away from his reach. Sheng Shicai
Who reflects too much will accomplish little. Johann Friedrich von Schiller
There are no checks and balances if the government is wrong, if a private entrepreneur makes a mistake, he goes bankrupt, the losses are cut, if he bets wrong, he loses, if the government bets wrong, they just get bigger, they just appropriate more money, it's a bottomless pit, because they either get it from the tax payers or run it off a printing press. Peter Schiff
Anything worth doing is worth doing twice, the first time quick and dirty and the second time the best way you can. Arthur Leonard Schawlow
the cause must be ascertained, before the remedy is devised. Jean-Baptiste Say
There is always something to upset the most careful of human calculations. Ihara Saikaku
Back of every mistaken venture and defeat is the laughter of wisdom, if you listen. Every blunder behind us is giving a cheer for us, and only for those who were willing to fail are the dangers and splendors of life. Carl Sandburg
It's better to act and to regret / Than to regret not to have acted Mellin de Saint-Gelais
We must not say every mistake is a foolish one. Marcus Tulliuis Cicero
Learning from mistakes means having to admit them first. Sanjay Gupta
If you get all the facts, your judgment can be right. If you don't get all the facts, it can't be right. Bernard Baruch
Amid a multitude of projects, no plan is devised. Publius Syrus
Many receive advice, few profit by it. Publius Syrus
The road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action. Dag Hammarskjold
We shall either find a way or make one. Hannibal
The question today is not whether the government is too small or too small, but whether or not it works Barack Obama
Don’t ever ask a barber if you need a haircut. Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Time drinketh up the essence of every great and noble action which ought to be performed, and which is delayed in the execution. Indian Proverb
Somebody’s got to start paying a price around here! Lindsey Graham
I want you to cut through red tape. I want you to cut through bureaucracy. There is no excuse for inaction at this point. Barack Obama
I think that we are coming out of this thing in pretty good shape, believe it or not. Lorenzo Langford
This was worse than anything I thought I would ever see. Chris Christie
A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later. George S. Patton
Do what is beyond your strength even should you fail sometimes. Charles Stewart Parnell
Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion C. Northcote Parkinson
Pay and Chase Anonymous
Why is there so much resistance among people who work in the Government to the seemingly obvious fact that, in our democracy, if the Government lies, it will eventually get caught Richard Holbrooke
Size—sheer, unmanageable size—is the root problem [of the State Department] in Washington and overseas today. Richard Holbrooke
Theories and grand ideas are important, but they seldom unfold as planned. Colin Powell
More and more people in our party understand that we’ve got to have a defense of what government does well, from never missing a check in Social Security to the very reliable Medicare, to the air we breathe and the water we drink, and helping kids to College with Pell Grants. We should not be backing off. Sherrod Brown
Some [slaves] require a vigor of discipline to make them do reasonable work. Thomas Jefferson
I love industry and abhor severity Thomas Jefferson
People here were willing to assume minor roles for the sake of a common enterprise. This spirit of teamwork must have been characteristic of the 19th century and was what made great industrial empires possible.] Stanislaw Ulam
Validity was restored to the laws, authority to the courts, and dignity to the Senate Velleius; Marcus Velleius
The maxim ‘Nothing avails but perfection’ may be spelled shorter: ‘Paralysis.’ Winston Churchill
Make sure that everyone who should know what you are doing knows what you are doing. Gary Johnson
A man may plan as much as he wants to, but nothing of consequence is likely to come of it until the magician circumstance steps in and takes the matter off his hands. Mark Twain
Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes Oscar Wilde
I saw, though too late, the folly of beginning a work before we count the cost, and before we judge rightly of our own strength to go through with it. Daniel Defoe
It is not wise to neglect the present for the future, for who knows what the future will be. H. Rider Haggard
… a resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible. Thomas Hardy
We need to know what are the best jobs for which we can train young people so that the jobs will be available in growing numbers, are not dead end jobs, the jobs will not be obsoleted by automation, and there are no artificial ethnic or racial barriers to employment. Your Bureau of Labor Statistics has been working on this for 8 weeks now, and you come with your staff and say that you do not have sufficient data to make this judgment. Well if there were sufficient data, we could apply it and make the decisions without you. The reason we need your expertise is that your intuition and experience should enable you to make a better guess with the insufficient information than we would make who have no experience. Adam Yarmolinsky
Whatever advice you give, be brief. Quintus Horatius Flaccus
There are limits to all things. I do not choose to be dictated to as to who I may or may not receive in my own house.... I shall use my own discretion.... You will, of course, use yours as to the composition of your Government. Henry John Temple
There are two ways to fail. The first is to not make your plan. The second is to make your plan and your plan is not big enough. Most people fail in the second way. They make their plans by month, by quarter and by year. Mark Zuckerberg
I'm not into this detail stuff. I'm more concepty. Donald Rumsfeld
Just get me a fucking faith-based thing. Got it? Karl Rove
The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Ideas appropriate to a past social order have a strange power of influencing thought and action within a later institutional framework. Eric Roll
Letting the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back. Will Rogers
Responsibility is a unique concept... You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you... Hyman Rickover
The man in charge must concern himself with details. If he does not consider them important, neither will his subordinates. Hyman Rickover
… failure is a very condition of his life; one can never dream of eliminating it without immediately dreaming of death. This does not mean that one should consent to failure, but rather one must consent to struggle against it without respite. Simone de Beauvoir
If you have short term political problems, you behave in a short term way. Jeremy Grantham
Military decisions are much more difficult and more often wrong than civilian decisions. Robert McNamara
The lesson is very clear. We all make mistakes. Robert McNamara
Every crisis has within it, opportunity. Every crisis has within it, danger. Condoleeza Rice
Pay attention to matters of importance. Solon
Forgiveness is better than revenge Pittacus of Mytilene
Vision without execution is hallucination. Stephen Case
He goeth furthest who knows not whither he is going. Oliver Cromwell
Simplicity! Oliver Cromwell
A government enterprise can never be “commercialized” no matter how many external features of private enterprise are superimposed on it. Ludwig von Mises
The foresight goggles have been discontinued. They fog up a lot. Invesco
Enterprises that depend on many rarely succeed. Francesco Guicciardini
Always to distrust is an error, as well as always to trust. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A spark neglected makes a mighty fire. Robert Herrick
Postponed is not abandoned. German Proverb
Government is operating under uncertainty David Brooks
We need to have some people fired for reasons of public trust. Thomas Massie
If heads don’t roll, nobody makes any changes Charles Grassley
The important thing is the solution to the problem, not who gets the credit. Alice E. Kober
There are plenty of team players in government who do whatever the leader says. There are too few difficult members, who have complicated minds, unusual perspectives, the toughness to withstand the party-line barrages and a practical interest in producing results. David Brooks
It’s like volleyball. There are setters and spikers. The chief of staff is a setter, putting the ball in the air so the Senator can spike it. Edward E. Kaufman
Free enterprise picks investments successfully by running millions of experiments, and the survival of a product depends on its producing more value per dollar of cost than other products do. Competition ruthlessly prunes products that fail to meet this threshold. The public sector works in the opposite way; it undertakes large investment with virtually no competition. Edward W. Conrad
We only value something when we measure it. Taylor Ricketts
I’m going to abolish the DAS in the next 3 or 4 months. I want to create a new and completely different intelligence agency. By abolishing the DAS we can take away the bad culture that has developed. Juan Manuel Santos
Unilateralism in secret is sometimes necessary at the height of a crisis. Jack Goldsmith
Why did we do the bailouts? It was all about the bondholders. They [the Treasury Department officials] did not want to impose losses on bondholders and we did. We kept saying, “There is no insurance premium on bondholders”… For the little guy on Main Street who has bank deposits, we charge the banks a premium for that, and it gets passed on to the customers. We don’t have the same thing for bondholders. They’re supposed to take losses. Sheila Bair
Spending a few hundred million dollars more a year on evaluations could save tens of billions of dollars by teaching us which programs work and generating lessons to improve programs that don’t Jeffrey B. Liebman
Action is typical of the American style, thought and planning are not; it is considered heresy to state that some problems are not immediately or easily solvable. Daniel Bell
It was my idea to keep the [Justice] Department purely a law office and not have it engage in the administration of legislation. This was based on my view that the best quality in a lawyer’s advice is disinterestedness. Robert Houghwout Jackson
Don’t ignore planning for unlikely events. Over long periods of time the highly improbable gets more probable to occur at least once. Lewis D. Eigen
If you succeed at most of your activities, your goals are set much too low. Lewis D. Eigen
The deepening political crisis in our country has been a matter of grave concern to me for quite some time, and I now consider it necessary in the national interest for the African National Congress and the government to meet urgently to negotiate an effective political settlement. Two central issues will have to be addressed at such a meeting: firstly, the demand for majority rule in a unitary state; secondly, the concern of white South Africa over this demand, as well as the insistence of whites on structural guarantees that majority rule will not mean domination of the white minority by blacks. The most crucial task which will face the government and the ANC will be to reconcile these two positions. Nelson Mandela
The 6 Ps: Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance Colbert I. King
The different forces, however, which are doing secret service work, or investigation of different kinds are not the parts of the government which it would seem wise to me to consolidate. There have grown up under various forms of government in different parts of the world, secret investigation branches under one head, and they times have practically superseded all the other arms of the government and have spread terror among the population. It seems to me that it is better for us to have these necessary forces divided up under different department heads. There may be a certain amount of rivalry but that will do no harm, and if the heads have the proper spirit of cooperation the men themselves will understand that when they need to assist each other, they should do so in the interests of law and order and justice which they are all serving. As long as they remain separate there will, however, be no danger of a secret octopus growing up to control in harmful ways. Eleanor Roosevelt
You can't run a government solely on a business basis ... Government should be human. It should have a heart. Herbert H. Lehman
Crisis management … is the worst type of policy because you will miss things. Mark Begich
We inspector generals have the power of the pen, the power to persuade. But we do not have the authority to implement our recommendations or prosecute wrong-doing. Phyllis Wong
People get tired of authoritarianism…. I believe that consultation is very important. Pope Francis I
… experience should teach us that it is always the unexpected that does occur! Eleanor Roosevelt
Fire management resembles public health. There is ample money and will for response when the crisis is at hand, But little for the patient labor of prevention, vaccinations, and general wellness. Worse the costs of emergencies is stripping away all resources for everything else. Stephen J. Pyne
The only people who aren’t criticized are those who do nothing, and I would hate to see the agency [CIA] get in that state. Hubert Humphrey
Government is on a collision course with the future Gavin Newsom
The only stupidities that are not easily solved are those created by very intelligent men. Donald Rumsfeld
A colonel or general with 30 years of fighting and leadership experience and 3 years of procurement experience has to run a DOD procurement shop and go up against a company vice president, a divisional vice president, and the executive vice president who gets advice from a President—all of whom have collective experience of over 100 years screwing the government on contracts and procurement. Milton Fogelman
It is interesting to see all you fellows here . It will even be more interesting to see how many of you will be here a few months from now. Walter Smith
We must solve problems before they occur, rather than scrambling to deal with crises after they erupt.. John Edwards
Whatever works should be copied. Juan Manuel Santos
This can has been kicked down the road for 60 years. Enough is enough!!! Rick Snyder
The question of our time is rapidly becoming can government get things done? Bret Stephens
Data not only measures progress—it inspires it. Once you start measuring problems, people are more inclined to take action to fix them, because nobody wants to end up at the bottom of a list of rankings. Hillary Clinton
Every good cause is worth some inefficiency Paul Samuelson
The fact that policies often fail for no good reason is annoying but less depressing than the view that it is a big conspiracy against the poor… Name your favorite enemy… capitalism, corruption … Our view is easier. You think hard about the problems and you can solve them. Esther Duflo
You make progress; then you get courage to make more. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Khomeini had spent far more time thinking about the religious penalties for fornicating with animals than how to run a modern economy. Karim Sadjadpour
All our public systems—administrative, justice, education, and political systems are closed systems designed to produce mediocrity. Rahul Gandhi
What I learned with tech companies is I gotta give people room to experiment, and also what might later on be a mistake. Edwin M. Lee
The Soviet Union has indeed been our greatest menace — not so much because of what it has done, but because of the excuses it has provided us for our own failures. J. William Fulbright
I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of "Admin." The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the offices of a thoroughly nasty business concern. C. S. Lewis
It is simply irresponsible to respond to public criticism by simply giving someone a demerit. Yeh Kuang-shih
In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail. Cassius Longinus
Between too early and too late, there is never more than a moment. Franz Werfel
When we own up our mistakes some people interpret it as if we are wrong. They too commit mistakes. E. M. S. Namboodiripad
To govern well, one must see things as they are. Jose Marti
Even when the experts all agree, they may well be mistaken. Bertrand Russell
We must delegate control of the population as a whole to specialists—to police, priests, teachers, therapies, and so on, with their specialized reinforcers and their codified contingencies B. F. Skinner
Get rid of that son of a bitch Richard Nixon
… minor incidents—the kind you can never really foresee—combine to lower the general level of performance, so that one always falls short of the intended goal. Lawrence David Freedman
The hype that accompanied the promotion of successive strategic fashions exaggerated the importance of the enlightened manager and played down the importance of chance and circumstance in explaining success. Lawrence David Freedman
Strategy draws its inspiration each century, or rather at each moment of history, from the problems which events themselves pose. Raymond Aron
We pay a price as taxpayers when we don’t let our acquisition workforce get the same top-level training that private industry’s people have. Daniel I. Gordon
Beyond going around doing things as Secretary of State, you have to recognize that you had managerial responsibilities. George P. Shultz
This office has in recent decades, in my view, been seriously misused and distorted George F. Kennan
Some folks can have all the money in the world, and still not know what to do with it. Roland Martin
I’ll take care of South America. Just leave it to me. Oliver North
It’s [the CIA] an organization that thrives on deception. How do you manage an organization like that? John J. Hamre
it’s very easy to blame people. Ariel Sharon
The more the government plans fail, the more the planners plan. Ronald Reagan
It is impossible for a Minister to please the many without displeasing the few Olympe de Gouges
For too long the federal government has measured quantity, not quality: What it puts in rather than what it gets out. Al Gore
The quality revolution that swept American business somehow bypassed the Federal government. Al Gore
We want the government of this country to realize that it has customers and that it has to be customer friendly. Al Gore
There are limits beyond which your folly will not carry you. Isaac Asimov
Policy flip-flops debase the currency of United States credibility. James Baker
Unlike private enterprise which quickly modifies its actions to meet emergencies — … the law-made instrumentality lumbers on under all varieties of circumstances at its habitual rate. By its very nature it is fitted only for average requirements, and inevitably fails under unusual requirements. Herbert Spencer
For the first ten years or so, you would always question whether the decisions were right or wrong, but you have to learn to put things behind you once a decision is made. You can't be wishy-washy about it Anson Chan
When the public or the Council pass the buck up to me I am going to act. William Dow
For the first time the committee [Federal Reserve] was using communication — mere words — as its primary monetary policy tool. Janet Yellen
If you put government in charge of a desert, soon there will be a shortage of sand. Adrian Woolridge
If [written] lines could value life, or thanks could answer praise, I should esteem my pen’s labor the best employed time that many years had lent me …. Your most loving cousin and sovereign. ER Elizabeth I
No two men ever devised plans of action to accomplish a particular object without finding that there were differences in their plans. That is peculiarly the case in international affairs. Elihu Root
Simply eight young men … standing amidst the ruins of one administration with the foundation of another not yet laid …. No police were functioning through the country, no system of justice was operating, the wheels of the administration hung idle, battered out of recognition by the clash of rival jurisdictions. Kevin O'Higgins
To solve a major crisis, you have to do things you would never do in normal times or even in a modest crisis…. What feels just and fair is often just the opposite of what is required for a just and fair outcome. It is why policy makers generally tend to make crises worse, and why the politics of crises management is always untenable. Tim Geithner
The most essential thing in my government is that the ministers and heads of departments proceed in the same direction, think and act like myself. Louis Napoleon
We can’t just run the government on political rhetoric and ideology. Michael Nutter
No government of which I am a member will ever be a government of reaction. Andrew Bonar Law
The Administration of Government, is nothing else but the Attendance of the Trustees of the People upon the Interest and Affairs of the People Marcus Porcius Cato
It is never well to take drastic action, if the result can be achieved with equal efficiency with less drastic action.. Theodore Roosevelt
The insistence on a perfect cure often results in no betterment whatsoever. Theodore Roosevelt
Any plan is better than no plan. Ramona E. F. Arnett
An uncontrollable situation, in which there are no clearly defined spheres of authority, has come about in the country. Under these conditions, normal life is impossible. Gennady Yanayev
We have to begin having the State Department in on joint plans so that our foreign policy and military plans would be in step …. I will not go along with the past practice of not informing the State Department as to Army and Navy joint plans . . . George C. Marshall
The decision had my approval; it was discussed in the cabinet; it was approved by the President. The only trouble with you is that you don't have the perspicacity of a columnist. Now get out of here. George C. Marshall
Influence inside depends on outside loyalty. W. Averell Harriman
The expert is out to point out all the difficulties and dangers. W. Averell Harriman
Any staff that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is bound to get burned out. Leon Panetta
In our government we drive decisions either by leadership of by crises. If the leadership is not there, we rely on crises. Leon Panetta
Washington is broken but America still works. Fareed Zakaria
There is a cost to every decision, and whether or not you impose a public health order has costs to industry and the public. Margaret Chan
Truth is the glue that holds government together. Compromise is the oil that makes governments go. Gerald R. Ford
Thanks to my football experience, I know the value of team play. It is, I believe, one of the most important lessons to be learned and practiced. Gerald R. Ford
In a political sense, there is one problem that underlies all of the others. The problem is making government sufficiently responsive to the people. Gerald R. Ford
Government is not guaranteed to work right. Marion Barry
First you have to do what you're supposed to do before you can do what you'd like to do. Mario Cuomo
Have read it carefully. None of the items does damage to the fundamental interest of our country. Endorsed. Ciici
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. William Bruce Cameron
It is time to acknowledge that the reorganization that took place in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was a mess. David Rothkopf
An inquiry is much sooner forgotten than an insult. Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield
The important decisions of the country are being made by a smaller and smaller group in the White House…. The Executive Branch has lost the ability to use the resources that are there [The Civil Servants]. Walter Russell Mead
My most important responsibility is not to manage my generals but to control The Kaiser [Wilhelm II]. Helmuth von Moltke
We want to give people an opportunity to be heard on issues that may be taken under advisement and voted upon by the board during the meeting, by hearing the public first rather than after the actions have been taken. John J. Degnan
I have found in my years of working in the government than when I face a choice of explanations of venality or incompetence in explaining some government activities, it is almost always incompetence that explains it. It often appears to be venality because we do not realize how incompetent government and large private organizations can be sometimes. Lewis D. Eigen
One cannot advance without mistakes... It is necessary to make mistakes. The party cannot be educated without learning from mistakes. This has great significance. Mao Zedong
I pretend to be a gentleman, and, when the other fellow finds out, it is too late. Harry Hopkins
I'm not going to last six months here, so I'll do as I please. Harry Hopkins
Well they are all working but don’t ask me what they are doing. Harry Hopkins
One man of tolerable Abilities may work great Changes, and accomplish great Affairs among Mankind, if he first forms a good plan, and … makes the execution of that same plan his sole Study and Business. Benjamin Franklin
Security today is important, but 90 percent of security involves other co functions of government. Ashraf Ghani
If we believe a thing to be bad, and if we have a right to prevent it, it is our duty to prevent it and to damn the consequences. Alfred Milner
The Internet greatly facilitates betting pools called information or prediction markets that permit people to bet on the occurrence of future events. Such markets already gauge election results more accurately than polls do. If legalized and modestly subsidized, they could also foretell many policy results better than politicians or experts alone. We could then better predict the consequences of changes John McGinnis
Historically our government—the FBI for example—has not always earned that trust. Bill Gates
I hope to see no in-fighting and lots of cooperation. We can either all be part of the problem, or part of the solution, but I think we will all work together well on the same team. Joseph Dougherty
Crises there will continue to be ... Threats of new kinds will always appear. Dwight D. Eisenhower
It’s worth remembering that America has the toughest system of intelligence supervision in the world—way tougher than France, tougher than Germany. No one else has this combination of a court with judges who are not appointed by the government, who are appointed by the Supreme Court. You have congressional scrutiny—and it may well be that Congress is in different hands from the party that holds the White House—plus you have executive power in the White House. And then you have a very strong professional code within the NSA. What we have seen from the Nixon experience was this: when Nixon tried to politicise the CIA, trying to overrule it, trying to politicise the FBI, it ended in disaster. And I think that although the American record over the last 50 years certainly has some black spots, I would far rather live under the American system of intelligence oversight than I would under the French. So I think we should all learn from the American system and try and copy it. Edward Lucas (journalist)
The Pentagon is the Poster Child for waste in Government. Fareed Zakaria
Redesigning a strategy is an excellent way to avoid implementing the strategy. Stephen Lovegrove
In theory, the rules are strict enough to preclude all discretion that might corrupt the process. In practice they enable misguided, unsure, stubborn, or biased procurement officials to justify any decision. Steven Brill (journalist)
There never was a government without force.... A governement leaving it to a man to do his duty, or not, as he pleases, would be a new species of government , or rather no government at all. James Madison
Don't mistake activity with achievement. John Wooden
The appropriate role of government is to provide the framework that allows capital to flow freely, in accord with the law of supply and demand. That is how jobs, businesses and wealth are created. The government would have no money to distribute or spend without the tax revenue generated from the jobs and businesses that are the fruit of our capitalist system. Warren Stephens
The mission should be unattainable and the goals should reflect doing everything possible to move forward attaining the impossible mission. Lewis D. Eigen
American and world history show that if you want minimal government, you can have it—but only if you want almost everyone in your society also to be a dirt-poor, subsistence farmer. If you want a prosperous, growing modern economy, you need high specialization and a huge, complex, interdependent network of individuals, businesses, research centers and education. And only government has the authority or money to regulate that network and to regularly pump in the targeted funds needed to sustain and grow it. William Berkson
Do not speculate; get data and calculate. Lewis D. Eigen
Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome. Samuel Johnson
The reason I do not like to have much passing in my offense is that when you throw a foward pass, five things can happen and four of them are bad. Woody Hayes
We in the Defense Department want to know what we are talking about when we provide information so it will take some time longer for us to get all the information. James Mattis
That’s what this job is all about. Dealing with things you didn’t expect. Barbara Hall
You can't manage science.... There are some things that you have to do based on the facts regardless of your ideology. Michael Bloomberg
I was not put on this earth to manage the president. My job is to manage the information that goes to the president. John F. Kelly
In the final analysis, power is based on fear. Trump Donald Trump