Ronald Reagan Quotations

Ronald Reagan

All of us need to be reminded that the Federal Government did not create the States; the States created the Federal Government.

Anybody can go to any country in the world, and never adopt their customs or culture. You can go to China and never become Chinese; you can go to France and never become French, but make no mistake about it, you come to America and before you know it, you become American.

Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement...

Communism is neither an economic or a political system -- it is a form of insanity -- a temporary aberration which will one day disappear from the earth because it is contrary to human nature.

Don't be afraid to see what you see.

Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.

Families -- not government programs -- are the best way to make sure our children are properly nurtured, our elderly are cared for, our cultural and spiritual heritages are perpetuated, our laws are observed and our values are preserved.

For the West -- for America, the time has come to dare to show to the world that our civilized ideas, our traditions, our values, are not -- like the ideology and war machine of totalitarian societies -- just a facade of strength. It is time for the world to know our intellectual and spiritual values are rooted in the source of all strength, a belief in a Supreme Being, and a law higher than our own.

Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things. It is the continuing revolution of the marketplace. It is the understanding that allows us to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions. It is the right to put forth an idea, scoffed at by the experts, and watch it catch fire among the people. It is the right to dream -- to follow your dream or stick to your conscience, even if you're the only one in a sea of doubters.

Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.

Government does not tax to get the money it needs; government always finds a need for the money it gets.

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.

Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.

Governments tend not to solve problems, only rearrange them.

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.

I believe a case can be made that the decline in the quality of public school education began when Federal aid to education became Federal interference in education.

If history teaches anything, it teaches that self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly.

[I]f you serve a child a rotten hamburger in America, federal, state, and local agencies will investigate you, summon you, close you down, whatever. But if you provide a child with a rotten education, nothing happens, except that you're liable to be given more money to do it with. Well, we've discovered that money alone isn't the answer.

I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I'm in a cabinet meeting.

It is not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work -- work with us, not over us; stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.

Most [tax revisions] didn't improve the system, they made it more like Washington itself: complicated, unfair, cluttered with gobbledy-gook and loopholes designed for those with the power and influence to hire high-priced legal and tax advisors.

Nations crumble from within when the citizenry asks of government those things which the citizenry might better provide for itself.

Nations do not mistrust each other because they are armed; they are armed because they mistrust each other.

Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.

Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

Presidents come and go. History comes and goes, but principles endure.

Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root.

Regulations are like spores of a fungus -- they settle anywhere and everywhere and create more spores.

Since I came to the White House, I got two hearing aids, a colon operation, skin cancer, a prostate operation, and I was shot. The damn thing is I've never felt better in my life.

Status quo, you know, that is Latin for 'the mess we're in'.

The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away.

The current tax code is a daily mugging.

The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny.

The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people, and they knew that when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose.

The history of treaties throughout the centuries is such that one should not stake one's life on a treaty.

There were so many candidates on the platform that there were not enough promises to go around.

The taxpayer -- that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take a civil service exam.

The West won't contain Communism. It will transcend it. It will dismiss it as some bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written.

They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.

Those who advocate more and more government regulation have been experimenting for 40 years, trying to create an economic system in which everyone can somehow be made more prosperous by the toil of someone else.

Today, if you build a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse.

To put it simply, our tax system is unfair, inequitable, counterproductive, and all but incomprehensible. I've mentioned before, and this is absolutely a fact, that even Albert Einstein had to write to the IRS for help with his Form 1040.

We are a nation that has a government -- not the other way around. And that makes us special among the nations of the earth.

We don't have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.

When you start talking about government as 'we' instead of 'they,' you have been in office too long.