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Quote Author Cited
Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable. John Kenneth Galbraith
Moderation is a virtue only in those who are thought to have an alternative. Henry A. Kissinger
Counting is the religion of this generation it is its hope and its salvation. Gertrude Stein
In difficult and desperate cases, the boldest counsels are the safest. Livy
Every step and every movement of the multitude, even in what are termed enlightened ages, are made with equal blindness to the future; and nations stumble upon establishments, which are indeed the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design. Adam Ferguson
If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it. Abraham Lincoln
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. Aldous Huxley
All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem. Martin Luther King Jr.
A policy is a temporary creed liable to be changed, but while it holds good it has got to be pursued with apostolic zeal. Mahatma Gandhi
Never forget posterity when devising a policy. Never think of posterity when making a speech. Robert Menzies
It is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil. John Maynard Keynes
Necessity never made a good bargain. Benjamin Franklin
Never take anything for granted. Benjamin Disraeli
Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive. Henry Steele Commager
There is no such thing as a fixed policy, because policy like all organic entities is always in the making. Richard Cecil
This strategy represents our policy for all time. Until it's changed. Marlin Fitzwater
The dead govern the living. Auguste Comte
Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all. Charles Babbage
We can endure neither our vices nor the remedies for them. Livy
It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem. Gilbert K. Chesterton
Do something. If it doesn't work, do something else. No idea is too crazy. Jim Hightower
The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all. Jawaharlal Nehru
The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are. Chauncey Depew
I choose to bring people together. I choose to seek compromise. Andrew Cuomo
Our job is to make sure that we are keeping people safe and free from abuse. That is extremely challenging given the size of our population and its global diversity. It is something we are very committed to and we are working hard every day to get it right and get better at it.... There are two primary difficulties with the job. People sometimes have different ideas about what is okay to share and what is not. But we have to have one set of standards to apply across the globe for the entire community. The second challenge is that we get a lot of reports. We want to be able to respond to those reports efficiently and consistently. For that reason, we have to craft our policies to be very objective. This is why the policies at times have to be more blunt than we would like them to be. Monika Bickert
The courts may be the most important instrument for social, economic, and political change. Lewis F. Powell Jr.
To plagiarize an out of date Ph.D. thesis and to present it as an official report of the latest British intelligence information, surely it reveals a lack of awareness of the disastrous consequences of such a deception. This is not a trivial leak. It is a document on which is the basis of whether or not this country goes to war and whether or not young servicemen and servicewomen are to put their own lives at risk and indeed thousands, tens of thousands of innocent civilians. Tam Dalyell
You have to adapt your policies to changing circumstances. Wesley Clark
In every sphere the Europeans must retain the right to rule the country and to keep it a white man’s country. Johannes Gerhardus Strijdom
Most Russian programs and policies had had just the opposite effect of what was intended. The reason is hyper-centralization of power. Lilia Shevtsova
Our experience with ad hoc wartime and post-hostilities agencies operating in the foreign field has demonstrated that not only are new agencies of little value in executing policies which go beyond the vision and the educational horizon of their own personnel, but that they actually develop a momentum of their own which, in the final analysis, tends to shape—rather than to serve—the national policy. George F. Kennan
Here in the Mississippi Delta, only the soil is rich. Anonymous
Success can set the table for tragedy if the victors are not careful. Richard Brookhiser
Whatever policy we adopt, there must be an energetic prosecution of it. William H. Seward
Let me control personnel, and I will ultimately control policy. George F. Kennan
Having elected a government, we will be best advised to let it govern and to let it speak for us as it will in the councils of the nations. George F. Kennan
People don’t have to agree with every position you take, but they have to believe that you believe it. Brian Schweitzer
People (political and military leaders) much prefer to speak of what they are going to do rather than what the outcome will be. Giora Eiland
It is time that we steered by the stars, not by the lights of each passing ship Omar N. Bradley
No commission created in this town has automatic credibility. You have to earn it. Lee H. Hamilton
Select Committee of the House and Senate on the Insurrectionary States United States Congress
You cannot solve a problem that you do not admit exists. Amy Klobuchar
The best way you make policy in Washington is by doing it yourself. John Brady Kiesling
All models are false but some models are useful George Edward Pelham Box
Johnson showed me how important it was to use every hour of every day to shape national policy while we had the power to do so. Joseph A. Califano Jr.
Give me the best ideas. Forget about the politics. I’ll worry about that after we know what the best program is. Lyndon B. Johnson
Education is the complete answer to all these other social issues. Richard M. Daley
The last thing you want to do is read the latest poll and then make policy. Dick Cheney
From global warming to fish and wildlife, we've seen that the Bush administration has little regard for scientific findings that don't support its predetermined policies. Lexi Shultz
Neither man nor nation can prosper unless, in dealing with the present, thought is steadily taken for the future. Theodore Roosevelt
If we learned anything from the depression we will not allow ourselves to run around in new circles of futile discussion and debate, always postponing the day of decision. Franklin D. Roosevelt
What matters is not a simple sense of an issue’s salience, but whether a government can shape outcomes on it, where there is the greatest likelihood that the parties will actually be able to implement their policies. Mark Wickham-Jones
No one tests the depth of the river with both feet. Ghana Proverb
Remember two things. One is never to forget posterity when devising a policy. The other is never to think of posterity when making a speech. Robert Menzies
We must all live so that our children do not have to pay for our deeds. Andrejs Upits
The politician being interviewed clearly takes a great deal of trouble to imagine an ending to his sentence: and if he stopped short? His entire policy would be jeopardized. Roland Barthes
The claims of no people, according to established policy and usage, are respected by any nation, until they are presented in a national capacity. Martin Delany
My policy is to be able to take a ticket at Victoria Station and go anywhere I damn well please. Ernest Bevin
Most of us believe that we are morally bound to live as long as we can and to help our neighbors do the same. Bill Clinton
I have ever deemed it fundamental for the United States never to take active part in the quarrels of Europe. Their political interests are entirely distinct from ours. Their mutual jealousies, their balance of power, their complicated alliances, their forms and principles of government, are all foreign to us. They are nations of eternal war. Thomas Jefferson
The Eyes of all the Western Tribes of Indians are upon the behavior of the Six Nations [Iroquois] William Johnson
If something is unsustainable and “cannot go on forever”, it tends to stop. Herbert Stein
Win and keep the confidence of your leader. Never refuse or quash schemes he puts forward: but ensure that they are put forward in the first instance privately to you. Always approve them, and after praise modify them insensibly causing the suggestions to come from him, until they are in accord with your own opinion. When you attain this point, hold him to it, keep a tight grip of his ideas, and push him forward as firmly as possible, but secretly so that no one but himself (and he not too clearly) is aware of your pressure. Thomas Edward Lawrence; Lawrence of Arabia
Even when the State does good things, it finally rests on a club, a gun, or a prison, for its power to carry them through. Voltairine de Cleyre
Fully consider the future and the immediate results of all undertakings, and the good and bad sides of all past actions. Manu
All nations must come to the decision to renounce force as a final resort of policy. If they are not prepared to do this, they will cease to exist. Nobel Scientists
The Supreme Court is our ultimate check and balance. Patrick Leahy
Legislative proposals are not merely vehicles for expressing policy, they are devices for getting policy decided. Richard E. Neustadt
Power never takes a back step—only in the face of more power. Malcolm X
The death-knell of the republic had rung as soon as the active power became lodged in the hands of those who sought, not to do justice to all citizens, rich and poor alike, but to stand for one special class and for its interests as opposed to the interests of others. Theodore Roosevelt
If you want to be a policy maker, run for office. John Linder
We owe it to our children to defend our Christian culture. British National Party
He who undertakes too much seldom succeeds. Anonymous
If the rich could hire other people to die for them, the poor could make a wonderful living. Anonymous
It is better to turn back than to lose your way. Anonymous
The long view counts. David Abshire
Policy bubbles up from the bottom. Decisions are made at the top. Dean Acheson
We want less goddamn analysis and more fighting spirit. Dean Acheson
We have generals working on worst-case scenarios; we need statesmen on best cases. Gary Ackerman
Affairs are easier of entrance than of exit. It is but common prudence to see the way out before we venture in. Aesop
It is best not to test the depth of a river with both feet. African Proverb
Only a fool tests the depth of the water with both feet African Proverb
It is circumstance and proper timing that give an action its character and make it either good or bad. Agesilaus II
The day-to-day making of policy is arguing all the time. Madeleine Albright
Things are better for the country if there is [political] competition. But these people [Haitian politicians] are not used to competition … Each has a monopoly in his own area. I’m trying to change that. Jean-Bertrand Aristide
[Explaining a failed policy:] Our crystal ball was very muddy. Richard L. Armitage
Once on the tiger's back, we cannot be sure of picking the place to dismount. George Ball
Knowing what you cannot do is more important than knowing what you can do. Lucille Ball
There is only one conflict, and that’s between short-term and long-term thinking. Mollie Beattie
A scientifically trained observer can of course always analyze a particular social abuse, or suggest a particular remedy. but he can do little, as a scientist, to predict what general effects the application of a given remedy or the elimination of a given source of misery or injustice is going to have on other—especially on remote—parts of our total social system. Isaiah Berlin
Any study of a society shows that every solution creates a new situation which breeds its own new needs and problems, new demands. Isaiah Berlin
Have regard not merely to what is permissible but especially to what is expedient. Theodore Beza
That man sees indeed the truth who sees that vision and creation are one. Bhagavad Gita
Decide: To succumb to one set of influences over another set. Ambrose Bierce
[Popular Front policy] implied a wholesale overthrow of the basic principles of communism. Instead of the class struggle, cooperation with the bourgeoisie. Instead of the Soviet system, eulogy of democracy. Instead of internationalism, nationalism. Franz Borkenau
We should not, however, proceed with the adventure simply because we are wound up and cannot stop. Chester Bowles
It is time we steered by the stars; not by the light of each passing ship. Omar N. Bradley
One of the challenges of a good policy is trying to figure out what your priorities are. Paul Bremer
Given a choice of five strategies, they choose them all. David Brooks
Politics is my life. If I had a hobby, it would be politics. Willie Brown
Government can’t deliver a free lunch to the country as a whole. It can, however, determine who pays for lunch. Warren Buffett
We can't assume what we don't believe. McGeorge Bundy
[The United States is] a magnificent country still experimenting with its own existence. Alistair Burnett
What can't be cured must be endured. Robert Burton
[The Cuban embargo is:] … not just a policy tool [but] a moral statement. George W. Bush
We will make no distinction between those who planned these acts and those who harbor them. George W. Bush
Difficult economic conditions require us to face difficult economic choices. George W. Bush
Don’t choose a straight path. And don’t reject a winding one. Choose the path your ancestors have trod. Cambodian Proverb
Roz, what think?? Jimmy Carter
… mankind will no longer passively submit to crushing poverty with its effects of death, disease, and decline. Catholic Church
Society is composed of two great classes-those who have more dinners than appetite, and those who have more appetite than dinners. Nicolas Chamfort
National policy must depend on correct predictions concerning the international future. Marlborough Churchill
Of course the national government has to be strong, particularly on economic questions. But it must also be sensitive to the damage that neat theories can wreck upon a diverse country. Joe Clark
No one starts a war—or rather, no one in his senses ought to do so—without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by that war, and how he intends to conduct it. Carl von Clausewitz
In a scheme of policy which is devised for a nation, we should not limit our views to the operation during a single year, or even a short term of years. We should look at its operation for a considerable time. Henry Clay
Support what works and stop supporting what does not work. Bill Clinton
Every great nation puts people first. Bill Clinton
The ultimate case for the third way is that it works …. The third way, in the end, must lift our adversaries as well as our friends. Bill Clinton
We all have an obligation to move beyond anecdotes. Bill Clinton
We must never let a blizzard of statistics blind us to the real lives and people behind them. Bill Clinton
National missile defense has become a question of theology, not policy. Elliot A. Cohen
How can we decide matters of public policy when we cannot understand them? Richard Cohen
You can't expect to see calves running in the field the day after you put the bull to the cows. Calvin Coolidge
Policy and politics are always mixed up. William Crystal
Be more severe to ideas than to actions; do not over look the strength of the bad cause or the weakness of the good. John Emerich Edward Dalberg; Lord Acton
That policy was correct … That was 1957. It is now 1967. Charles de Gaulle
Sentiment inspires me no less than reason. Charles de Gaulle
Stasis ... is the norm in American social policy, and innovations ... are the exceptions. Jason Deparle
It is time to put policy ahead of politics and success ahead of the status quo. Hillary Clinton
It is most difficult to deal with. There are so many plans, so many schemes, and so many reasons why there should be neither plans nor schemes. Benjamin Disraeli
What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expected generally happens. Benjamin Disraeli
Too many policy decisions over the years have been made by men in closed rooms not thinking about the dead bodies. When bullets fly, people die. Pictures ram that message home. Sam Donaldson
Only by decisions of national policy based upon accurate information can we have the chance that peace will endure. William J. Donovan
You can and you can't You will and you won't You'll be damned if you do You'll be damned if you don't Lorenzo Dow
Compromise is a process that seeks the path of least resistance. By its very nature, then, rarely will any idea of value be born as a result. A solution by compromise is, almost always, mediocre. Charles Duke
It's easy to defend a policy that works. It's not so easy to defend a policy that didn't work. Lawrence Eagleburger
Men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives. Abba Eban
Changing social policy is just dogged hard work. Marian Wright Edelman
Who seeketh two strings to one bow, he may shoot strong but never straight. Elizabeth I
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Ralph Waldo Emerson
There is no practical question on which anything more than an approximate solution can be had. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Good counsel is good for him that will do thereafter. English Proverb or Saying
We must do as we may when we may not do as we would. English Proverb or Saying
A bloody battle leaves even the victor bloodied. But compromise also has its costs—particularly when it alienates the majority and is taken as a sign of weakness. Susan Estrich
Ireland forces upon us these great social and great religious questions—God grant that we may have courage to look them in the face. William E. Gladstone
The Egyptian flood is upon us. Pharaoh had just as much business to pursue the Israelites as we have to meddle in Egypt …. However, our policy must now be determined by the effect which the triumph of the Madhi would have on our Mohammedan subjects. William E. Gladstone
Public policy should be conducted on those principles which constitute virtue in private life. William E. Gladstone
Public policy must lead and not merely react. Dan Glickman
When efforts are made to shape policy based on budgets rather than the public good, then the needs of the people will not be met. Amy Goldsmith
America remains an open society in which opposing forces can surface and clash, a necessary precondition for their solution. Mikhail Gorbachev
A nation has to look ahead. Al Gore
One cannot always be right in our complex world; no dishonor attends an incorrect choice among plausible outcomes drawn from a properly constructed argument. Stephen Jay Gould
I shall on all subjects have a policy to recommend, but none to enforce against the will of the people. Ulysses S. Grant
Everybody trades off in some sense or another. Alan Greenspan
For elites, the politics of governing is seen as a continual struggle to manage public emotions so that they do not overwhelm sound public policy. William Greider
A policy which rules out and all moral purpose except national interest has a fatal lack of what is essential to enduring success. Edward Grey; Viscount Fallodon
The people who make the most noise get the most publicity. Interest groups do count as opposed to data and rationality. Sarah Fox
Let's sleep on it. Francis I
Self delusion is not a good basis for making important policy. Barney Frank
It’s much easier to have an attitude … than a policy. Thomas Friedman
Nine times out of ten your two smartest policy advisors disagree. Thomas Friedman
Ninety percent of foreign policy is reacting to whatever's happening out there. Thomas Friedman
A policy that can be accurately, though perhaps not prudently, defined as one of “peaceful co-existence.” J. William Fulbright
Let us study our misfortunes and go back to the causes. Leon Michel Gambetta
For every talent that poverty has stimulated, it has blighted a hundred. John W. Gardner
The commonest error of politics is sticking to the carcass of dead policies. Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil; 3rd Marquess Salisbury
There is nothing more contemptible than half-measures. George IV
A radical shift in policy brings almost as many injustices in its train as does the continuance of a policy that has outlived its usefulness. Ralph E. Flanders
We have ... to convince the people of America's cities that government is on their side. Raymond Flinn
To be a policy eunuch is just not a viable option in this day and age. James J. Florio
Make a habit of two things—to help, or at least to do no harm. Hippocrates
The great thing in this word is not so much where we stand, as in which direction we are moving. Oliver Wendell Holmes
Honest difference of views and honest debate are not disunity. They are the vital process of policy among free men. Herbert Hoover
Where great evils lie on all sides, it is very difficult to follow the best counsel. David Hume
Until nations are generous they will never be wise; true policy is generous policy. All bitterness, selfishness, etc., may gain small ends, but lose great ones. Washington Irving
The nail that sticks out gets knocked down. Japanese Proverb
This I hope will be the age of experiment in government. Thomas Jefferson
If the president can make whatever policy he likes, we are governed not by law, but by the arbitrary whims of one man ... William E. Jenner
Good intentions rarely make good policy. Michael Johns
Evil acts of the past are never rectified by evil acts of the present. Lyndon B. Johnson
When I want your advice, I'll give it to you. Lyndon B. Johnson
Only through municipal ownership can the gulf which divides the community into a small dominant class on the one side and the unorganized people on the other be bridged.... Only by making men's ambitions and pecuniary interests identical with the welfare of the city can civil warfare [between city factions] be ended. Tom L. Johnson
Self-interest is not only a legitimate but a fundamental cause for national policy—one which needs no cloak of hypocrisy. Alfred Thayer Mahan
The harsh truth is that if the policy isn’t hurting it isn’t working. I know there is a difficult period ahead but the important thing is that we cannot and must not fudge the determination to stop inflation in its tracks. John Major
A new maxim is often a brilliant error. Chretien Guillaume de Lamoignonde Malesherbes
When you're trying to make decisions in the executive branch, sometimes these news reports get inside your decision making cycle. Jack Marsh
It is a maxim that in every Government, there must exist, somewhere a Supreme, Sovereign, absolute, and uncontrollable Power; But this Power resides, always in the body of the People, and it never was, or can be delegated, to one Man, or a few. Massachusetts
People seem to want to follow the beaten path. The difficulty is that the beaten path doesn't seem to be leading anywhere. Charles McC. Mathias Jr.
Now, decisions with a major impact on health care are made in conjunction with budgetary decisions. Before we debated health policy. Now we debate fiscal policy. Carol McCarthy
Our differences are policies, our agreements principles. William McKinley
The march of events rules and overrules human action. William McKinley
If it works, it's obsolete. Marshall McLuhan
There may be a limit beyond which many Americans and much of the world will not permit the United States to go. John McNaughton
The great axioms of political science are deduced from the knowledge of the true political interests of all States: in these general interests lies the security for their existence, while the individual interests,—to which the daily or transitory political movements occasionally lend a great importance, and the promotion of which constitutes political wisdom in the eyes of a restless and short-sighted policy,—possess only a relative and secondary worth. Klemens von Metternich
Experience cannot possibly have decided between two courses, so long as there has only been experience of one. John Stuart Mill
Danger will wink on opportunity. John Milton
I don't think we ought to base our policy on what the conventional wisdom is.... The conventional wisdom usually is wrong. George J. Mitchell
When a president decides he's going to do something, a vast array of forces contrary to his purpose begin to organize to thwart him. Bill Moyers
If you don’t have thirty years for a problem, don’t get involved in social policy. Daniel P. Moynihan
Idea has heft. Daniel P. Moynihan
It is helpful to keep in mind that the right we claim for ourselves can be asserted by others. Daniel P. Moynihan
And do not acquiesce to the unjust … Muhammad
The struggle between Communism and capitalism has been perverting people's analysis of social issues. Yoweri Museveni
A policy needs a clear goal. W. Anthony Lake
Private passions grow tired and wear themselves out; political passions, never. Alphonse de Lamartine
Is it better to lower the price of corn, or isn't it? It is not much matter which we say, but mind, we must all say the same. William Lamb Melbourne
If the American people are going to support a policy than they had better be made to understand the rationale. David Lampton
Haute politique … to which we all must bend. I was as anxious to send you to the Congo as you were to go but the existence of the State was at stake. Leopold II
Policy making is not as easy as slurping down cabbage soup. Yegor Ligachev
My policy is to have no policy. Abraham Lincoln
No policy that does not rest upon philosophical public opinion can be permanently maintained. Abraham Lincoln
The American people cannot be driven to do anything that they do not want to do. The way to promote happiness is by moral suasion and not by force. Abraham Lincoln
We know nothing of what will happen in future, but by the analogy of experience. Abraham Lincoln
Policy is not made with papers or ceremonies. Policy is made with iron and blood. Ernst Lindemann
There's too little sense in the State Department of why things happened. Sol M. Linowitz
Any policy is bound to fail which deliberately violates our pledges and our principles, our treaties and our laws …. The American conscience is a reality. It will make us hesitant and ineffectual, even if it does not prevent an un-American policy. Walter Lippmann
No quarrel ought ever be converted into a policy. David Lloyd George
What is a government for except to dictate. If it does not dictate, then it is not a government. David Lloyd George
It is much easier to make the speeches than to finally make the judgments. John F. Kennedy
Wishful thinking is no substitute for reality. Alan Keyes
There are no broad highways that lead us easily and inevitably to quick solutions. Martin Luther King Jr.
If we have as a clear certainty with which to plan, total uncertainty, then that would be helpful. Tom King
Any policy that is extreme we must avoid. William Lyon Mackenzie King
I am telling you, you can’t play politics with people’s jobs. Neil Kinnock
Each success buys an admission ticket to a more difficult problem. Henry A. Kissinger
If time is not pressing on you, there are more options than otherwise. Henry A. Kissinger
Political unity should be given great weight, but it also should be related to some sensible program. Henry A. Kissinger
The statesman must weigh the rewards of success against the penalties of failure. And he is permitted only one guess. Henry A. Kissinger
Inappropriate and harsh policies distance the people from the government. Not only do they induce suffering and pain, they also counter the favors given to the people in the past Chinese Proverb
But why are the Southerners so willing to make these sacrifices? The answer plainly is, they see in this policy the only hope of saving something of their old sectional peculiarities and power. Once firmly seated in Congress, their alliance with Northern Democrats re-established, their States restored to their former position inside the Union, they can easily find means of keeping the Federal government entirely too busy with other important matters to pay much attention to the local affairs of the Southern States. Under the potent shield of State Rights, the game would be in their own hands. Frederick Douglass
He who is shipwrecked the second time, cannot lay the blame on Neptune English Proverb or Saying
May as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb. English Proverb or Saying
A good policy badly executed becomes a bad policy. Richard Holbrooke
What is done from necessity involves neither censure nor applause Italian Proverb
When fear, especially a fear for one’s own well-being, clouds decisions on public policy, the public ends up falling into a solipsistic trap – each individual is so concerned with his or her own particular future, that one fails to consider the best interests of the community as a whole. Mara Nelson
I’d rather build highways here then try nation building in Iraq Ronald E. Paul
We must not be shocked into impotence because we are afraid of the difficulty of the alternatives facing us. Colin Powell
From the beginning [of the Cold War] our objective was not to build an empire of satellites, but of nations and regions so that they could become partners. Walt Whitman Rostow
When, in a democratic society, policies don’t go their way, people tend to blame it on a small group of other people who they believe have more influence. Gary Schmitt
Policy remedies tend to have unfortunate side effects. Jessica Stern
A promising process of dialogue can be disrupted by a premature or inadequate involvement of public opinion. Giovanni Battista Montini; John Paul II
If the government will not do something to keep the Utes from starving, then they will have to steal. Kit Carson
You cannot continue to pay what you don’t have. Osby Davis
A danger foreseen is half-avoided. Cheyenne Tribe
In South America governments are being overthrown all the time. In Canada, nobody is ever overthrown because nobody gives a damn. Also what the Canadian government does doesn’t really matter very much. We’re much more affected by what happens in Washington or Moscow, than what happens in Ottawa. Mordecai Richler
You want consensus, but there are times when people are just not going to agree. So you just have to decide. John Whitehead
This Government intends no injury to honest business. The processes we follow in seeking social justice do not, in adding to general prosperity, take from one and give to another. In this modern world, the spreading out of opportunity ought not to consist of robbing Peter to pay Paul. In other words, we are concerned with more than mere subtraction and addition. We are concerned with multiplication also -- multiplication of wealth through cooperative action, wealth in which all can share. Franklin D. Roosevelt
‘The laboring poor’ is a detestable, canting phrase. Edmund Burke
The relief now given by the Poor Laws is so widely extended that no man of humanity could venture to propose their immediate abolition. Thomas Malthus
As wiser Physicians tamper not excessively with their Patients, rather observing and complying with the motions of nature, then contradicting it with vehement Administrations of their own; so in Politicks and Economics the same must be used; William Petty
The world no longer permits the stronger to kill the weaker, but it allows the wealthy to oppress the poor. Money is holier than man. Human life is less sacred than property. To save a dollar is regarded as a more necessary virtue than to save a human heart. Society cares more for fortune than for truth. Lemuel K. Washburn
The work of a Russian parliamentarian is very much like the work of an American congressman. It's mainly affecting the policymaking of the government Alexey Arbatov
In Thailand the sexual behavior of Thai men accepts prostitution. Every class of Thai men accept it, practice it. So they don't see it as a problem. So when it comes to the policymakers, who are mostly men, of course, they don't see this as a problem. They know there are many women who are brought into prostitution in Thailand. They know that some are treated with brutal violence. But they don't think it's a terrible picture. They think it's just the unlucky cases. And, because of the profit, I think there are many people with an interest involved, so they try to turn a blind eye to this problem Kritaya Archavanitkul
Citizens are refined, cultivated, and very political. I believe in the legitimacy of their participation. Segolene Royal
You need to figure out other societies, where they came from, what the people believe in, what they do, how their ethnic divisions work, which is often very different from our own; then design your policies around that. Pay attention. I think that's the simple answer, which is just to realize that not everybody is like the United States. Whether you study history or sociology, or anthropology, journalism, there's room for seeing there are other cultures and other ways and other structures. Amy L. Chua
I’d rather be slow and right, than be fast and dead. Lyndon B. Johnson
Over time, the best politics are policies that actually work …. Others in the White House are looking for short term political victories. The political hacks are just doing their jobs. Bruce Reed
Not only are there no free lunches, but there are no free systemic changes either. Vaclav Klaus
Wherever people are free, foreign and domestic policy are inseparable. Walter A. McDougall
Maintaining a liberal activist judiciary is the only means of keeping policymakers out of control of the American people. Robert Bartley
When you’re in the White House and are asked to defend a policy you do not agree with, you defend the policy. Pat Buchanan
A country survives its legislation. That truth should not comfort the conservative nor depress the radical. For it means that public policy can enlarge its scope and increase its audacity, can try big experiments without trembling too much over the result. This nation could enter upon the most radical experiments and could afford to fail in them. Walter Lippmann
In the service of the people we followed such a policy that socialism would not lose its human face. Alexander Dubcek
… the policy of genes Joachim von Ribbentrop
Over time, the best politics are policies that actually work …. Others in the White House are looking for short term political victories. The political hacks are just doing their jobs. Bruce Reed
Not only are there no free lunches, but there are no free systemic changes either. Vaclav Klaus
This temperamental country (Ireland) needs quiet treatment and a patient, consistent policy. But how are you to control Ministerial incursions into your china shop? Phrases make history here. John Maffey; 1st Baron Rugby
Nothing is harder in politics than to do something now that costs money and will not benefit us until several years from now. Barack Obama
The neocons are not only denying reality but are attacking it. Dan Abrams
The major problem for us in the 21st century is to be comfortable with ambiguity. Peter G. Peterson
There are no painless solutions to this problem, but we’ve got to solve it. Peter G. Peterson
The Federal Government has no fiscal policy, for the tail of political expediency has long wagged the dog of prudent policy in Washington. John Steele Gordon
The problem now is to shape our policy so as to avoid a calamitous break in the stock market … and at the same time accomplish if possible, the recovery of Europe. Benjamin Strong
The national policy would be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality George Washington
Avoid false choices driven by ideology. Hillary Clinton
Ask for advice but do what you think is best. Greek Proverb
Hope is not a strategy. John McCain
One wonders whether the ethnic categorization effort at finding solutions to problems that cross ethnic boundaries. Poverty is poverty is poverty. It does not have peculiar ethnic characteristics. Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi
Values are faithfully applied to the facts before us, while ideology overrides whatever facts call theory into question. Barack Obama
The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. John Maynard Keynes
It would be foolish, in forming our expectations, to attach great weight to matters which are very uncertain. John Maynard Keynes
You can’t start a conversation about public policy by saying it is complex. Marc Morial
All policy is targeted in one way or another. Marc Morial
No choice we can make as a nation lies between our history and our geography. We can hardly change either of them. They are immutable. The only choice we can make as a nation is the choice about our future. Paul Keating
Providing the vision is easy. Getting policy right is hard. The hard thing about the modern world is doing it. The world is changing so fast. Tony Blair
The electorate will forgive you even for decisions that they do not agree with, but they will not forgive you for not deciding. Tony Blair
Don't forget that some things count more than other things. William Saroyan
There are no simple solutions to today’s problems. Andrew Young
In our "age of the expert" the expert has his constituency — those who have a vested interest in commonly held opinions; elaborating and defining the consensus at a high level has, after all, made him an expert. Henry A. Kissinger
It is impossible to please all the world Jean de La Fontaine
Even the gods cannot strive against necessity. Pittacus of Mytilene
There is something wrong with the way in which we make our decisions. The Government listen too much to the pollsters and the party managers. The trouble is that they are not even very good at politics, and they are entering too much into policy decisions. As a result, there is too much short-termism, too much reacting to events, and not enough shaping of events. We give the impression of being in office but not in power. Far too many important decisions are made for 36 hours' publicity. Norman Stewart Hughson Lamont; Baron Lamont of Lerwick
There is no policy too sensitive to question, and no subject so taboo that you cannot even mention it Lee Hsien Loong
The power structure does what they want, when they want; then they try to find reasons to justify it Serge Lang
Life's most important questions are, for the most part, nothing but probability problems. Pierre-Simon Laplace Laplace
It is my earnest desire to know the will of Providence in this matter. And if I can learn what is I will do it. Abraham Lincoln
Most politicians will not stick their necks out unless they sense grass-roots support ... neither you nor I should expect someone else to take our responsibility. Katharine Hepburn
Abhorrence of apartheid is a moral attitude. It is not a policy. Edward Heath
A policy ought to start with some principle. Tom Hayden
Political involvement is more than a game. Patricia Destacy Harrison
People who are much too sensitive to demand of cripples that they run races ask of the poor that they get up and act just like everyone else in society. Michael Harrington
Momentary passions and immediate interests have a more active and imperious control over human conduct than general or remote considerations of policy, utility or justice. Alexander Hamilton
The precept... is wise which directs us to try all things and hold fast that which is good Thomas Jefferson
It should be observed that we have lately seen the most striking instances in all quarters, of governments acting from passion rather than interest. Thomas Malthus
Good policy analysis recognizes that physical truth may be poorly or incompletely known. Its objective is to evaluate, order, and structure incomplete knowledge so as to allow decisions to be made with as complete an understanding as possible of the current state of knowledge, its limitations, and its implications. M. Granger Morgan
Good policy analysis recognizes that physical truth may be poorly or incompletely known. Its objective is to evaluate, order, and structure incomplete knowledge so as to allow decisions to be made with as complete an understanding as possible of the current state of knowledge, its limitations, and its implications. M. Granger Morgan
We’re not very good at policy making any more, but we are good at symbolism. So we do a lot of symbols. E. J. Dionne Jr.
Go and tell those who have sent you that we are here by the will of the nation, and that we will not leave save at the point of bayonets. Honore Mirabeau; Honore Gabriel Victor Requiti
Malthusian famine scenarios have systematically distracted attention from the fact that it is not people’s reproductive habits that are the principal source of most of the misuse or waste of the world’s resources, but the contradictions and motives of capitalist development. Eric B. Ross
You are always too late with a development if you are so slow that people demand it before you yourself recognize it. Charles Kettering
The problems of the real world are primarily those you are left with when you refuse to apply their effective solutions. Edsger Dijkstra
It's not what you don't know that kills you but what you know that isn't so. Tom DeMarco
You can’t make policy on the basis of slogans. Robert Kuttner
What succeeds best politically does not always do so policy wise and vice versa. William Galston
Governing is about selecting. William Galston
By leveraging their freedom from the bonds of location, corporations could now dictate the economic policy of governments. Joel Bakan
We suspect that 25 years from now the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary. Sandra Day O'Connor
We have to support what the enemy opposes and vice versa Khmer Rouge
The question of suffrage, whether universal or restricted, is one of State policy exclusively. Alexander H. Stephens
We continue the policy of not permitting any needy American who can and is willing to work to starve because the Federal Government does not provide work. Franklin D. Roosevelt
The costs of not doing these things dwarf the costs of doing them. The problem is that people don’t think about ‘Oh you saved my life’ and they don’t say thank you for that—and they don’t want to spend any money for the possibility of saving their life unless they are actually facing something. What government should be about is leading from the front and explaining … that people don’t want to spend any money, but … it costs more money to not do it... New York City’s average life expectancy is three years longer than any place else in America. Michael Bloomberg
We are apt to say that a foreign policy is successful only when the country, or at any rate the governing class, is united behind it. In reality, every line of policy is repudiated by a section, often by an influential section, of the country concerned. Alan Taylor
I see little hope for a peaceful world until men are excluded from the realm of foreign policy altogether and all decisions concerning international relations are reserved for women, preferably married ones. W. H. Auden
Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring Ernst Rudin
Denial is a not a long term strategy. Rahm Emanuel
It does not matter how frequently something succeeds if failure is too costly to bear. Nassim Nicholas Taleb
When we want to do something while unconsciously certain to fail, we seek advice so we can blame someone else for the failure. Nassim Nicholas Taleb
We can be or become wise in all matters of secondary importance, but we have to be resigned to utter ignorance in the most important respect: we cannot have any knowledge regarding the ultimate principles of our choices, i.e. regarding their soundness or unsoundness... We are then in the position of beings who are sane and sober when engaged in trivial business and who gamble like madmen when confronted with serious issues. Leo Strauss
A great many decisions just can’t be made with confidence because the data just doesn’t exist …. [however] just because we don’t have the information doesn’t mean that we can’t get it. Michael Crichton
America, Britain and most of the European countries may call themselves secular but they promote a Christian agenda along with their foreign policies. Pandita Indrani; Pandita Indrani
We have exercised restraint and adopted a wise and sane policy. But this should never be construed as weakness… Pervez Musharraf
What you always do before you make a decision is consult. The best public policy is made when you are listening to people who are going to be impacted. Then, once a policy is determined, you call on them to help you sell it. Elizabeth Dole
Optimism is cowardice. Oswald Spengler
Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition, there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes. George Soros
The United States will have the honor of proving experimentally, that true policy goes hand in hand with moderation and humanity. Jean-Baptiste Say
Let us gather facts in order to get ourselves thinking. Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon
What is permitted is not always wise. Joseph R. Biden Jr.
It is extremely difficult to rescind entitlements to which people think they are legally entitled. Taxes can easily go up and down. There isn’t the same political pressure. Alan Greenspan
One event makes another: what we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expected generally happens; and time can only prove which is most for our advantage Benjamin Disraeli
How easy it is to judge rightly after one sees what evil comes from judging wrongly. Elizabeth Gaskell
The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so Gore Vidal
We need to connect the dots between climate, poverty, energy, food and water. These issues cannot be addressed in isolation Ban Ki-moon
Nations, not less than individuals, reap as they sow. The dreadful calamities of the past few years came not by accident, nor unbidden, from the ground. You shudder to-day at the harvest of blood sown in the spring-time of the Republic by your patriot fathers. The principle of slavery, which they tolerated under the erroneous impression that it would soon die out, became at last the dominant principle and power at the South. It early mastered the Constitution, became superior to the Union, and enthroned itself above the law. Frederick Douglass
We act like a zero-sum society, when in reality there is a lot of non zero-sum fat to be skimmed off to everyone's mutual advantage. Howard Raiffa
Our policies must be premised on, and must reinforce, values such as family, hard work, integrity and personal responsibility. J. Danforth Quayle
Thoughts convince thinkers; for this reason, thoughts convince seldom. Karlheinz Deschner
Whatever shall be to the advantage of all, may that prevail! Demosthenes
The single most important problem is our misguided focus on identifying the single most important problem! Jared Diamond
Not what they want but what is good for them. Oliver Cromwell
The proof of a theory is in its reasoning, not in its sponsorship. The proof of a theory is in its reasoning, not in its sponsorship. Ludwig von Mises
We must see conditions as they really are, not as we want them to be. Ludwig von Mises
The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions ... but by iron and blood. Prince Otto von Bismarck-Schoenhausen
A man of maxims only is like a Cyclops with one eye, and that eye in the back of his head. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
A strong memory is generally joined to a weak judgment. Michel de Montaigne
Desperate maladies require desperate remedies. French Proverb
Economics trumps environmentalism, for Democrats and Republicans. David Brooks
Politically, you can’t do pain without the gain. David Brooks
Turning Intellect Into Influence Manhattan Institute
In many important contexts, especially those that are complex, new, or unfamiliar, you shouldn’t blink… and you really shouldn’t trust your gut. Cass Sunstein
We should be very chary of sacrificing large numbers of people for the sake of a contingent end, however advantageous that may appear… We never know enough to make the chance worth taking. John Maynard Keynes
Burke ever held, and held rightly, that it can seldom be right . . . to sacrifice a present benefit for a doubtful advantage in the future. . . . It is therefore the happiness of our own contemporaries that is our main concern John Maynard Keynes
The relationship between the policy desires of the wealthiest 10 percent of the population and the actual Federal public policy over recent decades often corresponded to a plutocracy rather than a democracy. Martin Gilens
You don't determine what is good policy by polling. Jack Germond
Nostalgia should not set policy. David Broder
On most significant issues and public debates, politicians have some friends, allies and supporters with whom they wish they had never been involved. These are the friends who do the work of your enemies. As you evolve your positions, many of your friends and enemies change places. Lewis D. Eigen
Cost effectiveness and effectiveness are not always the same thing in government. Lewis D. Eigen
People at the political extremes have an advantage over the rest of us. Only they seem to know exactly who and what is wrong with America and precisely what policies and programs should be adopted to fix it. Lewis D. Eigen
Successful and unsuccessful political policies have one commonalty. The people who created the policies thought they would be successful. Lewis D. Eigen
When a government faces an evil that might be avoided, the usual pattern is to first debate whether or not the evil is real or imagined; then determine how evil it really is; then is it an appropriate function of government to avoid it? Then what are the alternative ways to avoid it? Then what are the costs to avoid it? And finally, is the benefit of avoiding the evil worth the cost? In those cases where it is, it is by this time too late to avoid the evil and discussions shift to ameliorating the evil. Lewis D. Eigen
When I made the decision on Iraq, I went around the room to everybody at that table, every principal. You in? Any doubts? Nothing from anybody. George W. Bush
Wa-al, that reminds me of a party of Methodist parsons that was traveling in Illinois when I was a boy thar, and had a branch to cross that was pretty bad—ugly to cross, ye know, because the waters was up. And they got considerin’ and discussin’ how they should git across it, and they talked about it for two hours, and one on ‘em thought they had ought to cross one way when they got there, and another another way, and they got to quarrellin’ about it, till at last an old brother put in, and he says, says he, ‘Brethern, this here talk ain’t no use. I never cross a river until I come to it. Abraham Lincoln
There is always a reason you can’t do something. Steve Wynn
Anything which tends to bring a greater sense of responsibility to individuals should be encouraged. Eleanor Roosevelt
… the financial cost of a [military] strike isn’t a reason to acquiesce in mass murder in Syria. Nicholas Kristof
Good or bad, political choices have an impact on the way country’s behave. Jose Manuel Barroso
Europe has a lot of problems when there are sudden decisions to take. Enrico Letta
I am always wary of decisions made hastily. I am always wary of the first decision, that is, the first thing that comes to my mind .... This is usually the wrong thing. I have to wait and assess, … taking the necessary time. Pope Francis I
What we need as much as money is consensus about how we live [with fire] in that countryside [prone to forest fires] or at least agreement about how to decide…. More than 72,000 communities are at risk and only 20% have a plan for protection. Stephen J. Pyne
The question really is what action we take which lessens the chances of a nuclear exchange, which obviously is the final failure…. You have:, A blockade without any declaration of war A blockade with a declaration of war Strikes One, Two and Three We’ve got invasion John F. Kennedy
Relying on luck … does not constitute a policy. David Galula
There is no sure solution to some dangers. Richard K. Betts
In choosing to use violent extremism as an instrument of policy, the government of Pakistan, and most especially the Pakistani Army and ISI, jeopardizes not only the prospect of our strategic partnership but Pakistan’s opportunity to be a respected nation with legitimate regional interest. Michael Glenn Mullen
There are times when the Central Intelligence Agency makes policy by default. Frank Wisner
Unintended Consequences Robert K. Merton
Countries are very reluctant to impose short term pain for long term gain. Fareed Zakaria
Logic can become enormously difficult, and it would undoubtedly be well to produce more assurance in its use. Vannevar Bush
Changing course implies an admission that the previous course was incorrect, and no administration likes to do that. Daniel Drezner
Everybody’s kicking the can down the road of too much public and private debt. The can is becoming heavier and heavier… Nouriel Roubini
The civil servant, the general or admiral, the foreign service officer has no authority to make policy. The act only as servants to the government and therefore they must remain in line with the government policy that is established by those that have been elected by the people to set that policy. Harry S Truman
Personnel is policy. Ronald Reagan
Our Union cannot safely stand on the cold calculation of interest alone. John C. Calhoun
In the policy of nations there are two extremes: one extreme, in which justice and moderation may sink in feebleness; another, in which the lofty spirit which ought to animate all nations, particularly free ones, may mount up to military violence. These extremes ought to be equally avoided; but of the two, I consider the first far more dangerous. John C. Calhoun
United States policy [concerning Vietnam] was marred by a lack of candor and by misinformation. J. William Fulbright
There is one policy for recession or depression and another for good times. John Kenneth Galbraith
This year, or this month, or, more likely, this very day, we have failed to practice ourselves the kind of behavior we expect from other people. C. S. Lewis
Future comes by itself, progress does not. Poul Henningsen
No choice we can make as a nation lies between our history and our geography. We can hardly change either of them. They are immutable. The only choice we can make as a nation is the choice about our future. Paul Keating
Monopolies are sacrifices of the many to the few … it is much more to be dreaded that the few will be unnecessarily sacrificed to the many James Madison
I wish twenty-four hours, a good night's sleep and a day spent in the open air could always elapse before any government officials take action on matters of grave importance. Eleanor Roosevelt
I don’t know anyone in government who would read the academic journals that policy school professors get rewarded for publishing in. Anne-Marie Slaughter
All this strategy is, in truth, an attempt to impose individual will upon a recalcitrant world …. Strategy is often simply a charade—erzatz order imposed on a stubbornly disordered world. Gerald DeGroot
The cure can be worse than the illness Spanish Proverb
We can and we will solve our problems for ourselves. We know how. We can, and we will. Alenka Bratusek
… policy has shaped intelligence more than vice versa. Paul Pillar
When I was young, poverty was so common that it didn’t have a name. Lyndon B. Johnson
My thinking is dominated by the future of Israel and the Jewish people wherever they are—in 30 years or 300 years. Ariel Sharon
Individual capitalists are in charge of a wide range of decisions which, because of their consequences for the general welfare of society, are in fact public policy decisions taken by private individuals. Charles Edward Lindblom
A politician wants to come off as a happy warrior. To be contemplative seems almost effete, fancy – dispiriting somehow to much of your audience. He [Barack Obama] is not afraid to be this way at all. David Remnick
… bad times make for good policies, and good times make for bad policies. Muhammad Chatib Basri
Preventive policies are greatly superior to reactive ones. Paul Collier
A committee is not a good instrument for final judgment. Henry Merritt Wriston
I’m going to take Tennessee ideas to Washington and make them work for the country. Al Gore
… problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not. Isaac Asimov
Just because you change administrations doesn't mean you have to change [foreign] policy. James Baker
Sometimes an active policy is best advanced by doing nothing until the right time -- or never. James Baker
If you can’t bring the people with you, you lose the policy James Baker
Reality is complex, but the politicians and the public demand simple answers. Zachary Karabell
A surprising number of government committees will make important decisions on fundamental matters with less attention than each individual would give to buying a suit. Herman Kahn
More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly. Woody Allen
De Gaulle was more responsible with his troublesome interventions into our domestic politics, for unifying our country than we will ever give him credit for. Judy LaMarsh
The world’s biggest problems are the world’s biggest business opportunities. Peter Diamandis
Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. Edward Mandell House
We must be patient if we would act wisely. What we do today may bear fruit long after we are dead, for no good work is ever really lost. The important thing is to get the tendency right. We should think of all these subjects in terms not of brief individual life, but long continued national life. Elihu Root
Governments, however, must think not only of the present, but of the rights of future generations. Pierre Crabites
The need to incorporate longer term time scales into our societal choices is very real—and right in the lap of our generation. Thomas Friedman
The government protects corporations, not people and other animals. Ric O'Barry
We cannot change our policy now. After all, we are not political whores. Benito Mussolini
The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Milton Friedman
We do not ever want our land policy to be shaped so as to create a big class of proprietors who rent to others.. Theodore Roosevelt
No given measure and no given set of measures will work a perfect cure for any serious evil. Theodore Roosevelt
Treating unemployment as a national problem is almost always a mistake. Employment trends vary dramatically by race, geography, gender and level of education. But none of that is reflected in the all-encompassing unemployment rate, and hence policies informed only by that number are bound to fall short. Zachary Karabell
It is a principle incorporated into the settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute.. James Madison
Avoid trivia. George C. Marshall
I have one yardstick by which I test every major problem—and that yardstick is: Is it good for America? Dwight D. Eisenhower
Nations in great crises and difficulties have often done that which in their prosperous and powerful hour they would not have done. John Bright
All effective actions require the passport of morality. Saul Alinsky
The wisdom, the duty of mild government I conceive to be the great but disregarded lesson of all history. William Smyth
The pressure of time, is the overwhelming challenge for policymakers who must act on assessments that cannot be proved at the time and whose mistakes are irretrievable. Henry A. Kissinger
Analysts can choose the problems that they want to study whereas the statesman’s problems are imposed on him. Henry A. Kissinger
China has been weakened to an extreme degree, and all we have is the hearts and minds of the people. If we cast them aside, what do we have to sustain our country? Cixi
It was the use of public policy to create economics that favored the big players. There were only a handful of channels. And only some people were going to get them and become fabulously wealthy. Robert McChesney
The German policy – and policy it was – of seizing large numbers of hostages and murdering them wholesale in response to resistance largely or wholly imagined, was unmatched in scale in Western Europe. Max Hastings
Embracing a bad idea for the sake of optics [political image] is always bad. John Holdren
We must learn for the sake of one another to make better choices guided by more holistic measures of the common good we share. Robert Kennedy
We in the West would be wrong to prolong the pain of that transition unnecessarily, by elevating cultures full of bigotry and hatred towards women to the stature of respectable alternative ways of life. Ayaan Hirsi Ali
“Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend" is the policy for promoting progress in the arts and the sciences and a flourishing socialist culture in our land. Mao Zedong
Much of what we're going to try will not work, and much of what does work will do so for unanticipated reasons. Harry Hopkins
The execution of the Stamp Act will be impractical, without occasioning more mischief that it was worth by totally alienating the affections of the Americans. Benjamin Franklin
Sometimes problems just have to sit and wait until we can see a solution. John Kasich
One cannot guarantee that if we have good intelligence, good policy will necessarily follow. But we can guarantee that if we have poor intelligence, poor policy will necessarily follow. Michael Ledeen
If generations past could get things so badly wrong, then we are forever vulnerable as well. Jon Meacham
Nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated. Donald Trump
We [Congress] are proving inadequate not only to our most difficult problems but also to routine duties. Our national political campaigns never stop. We seem convinced that majorities exist to impose their will with few concessions and that minorities exist to prevent the party in power from doing anything important. […] That’s not how we were meant to govern. Our entire system of government — with its checks and balances, its bicameral Congress, its protections of the rights of the minority — was designed for compromise. John McCain
Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome. Samuel Johnson
I do not believe that the Great Society is the ordered, changeless, and sterile battalion of ants. Lyndon B. Johnson
You can't manage science.... There are some things that you have to do based on the facts regardless of your ideology. Michael Bloomberg
Well, as you know, there are many things in life that are not fair, that wealthy people can afford and poor people can’t. But I don’t believe that the federal government should take action to try to make these opportunities exactly equal, when there is a moral factor involved. Jimmy Carter
It is much easier to start something than to finish it. Amelia Earhart
The big policy wins of the New Deal were actually offered as compromises. Because the alternative seemed to be revolution. Naomi Klein
This is an reaction in search of a policy. Fareed Zakaria
Whenever I had to make a difficult decision as a Congressman, I thoud think about the average citisen in my Congressional districr and how he would advise me if he knew everythign I knew about the issue. Leon Panetta
These are horrible choices. On the one hand if you don't pay the ransom, you are putting the lives of the hostages in almost certain danger. On the other hand, if you do pay the ransom, you are enabling and increasing the likelihood of the kind of behavior that caused the problem in the first place. Lisa Monaco
Things happen slower than you think that they will, but when they do occur, they happen much faster than you think they will. Rudi Dornbusch