President Ronald Reagan
02/06/1911 - 06/05/2004
Thank you for your service!
Ronald Reagan QuotesGovernment is the people's business and every man, woman and child becomes a shareholder with the first penny of tax paid.
( Address to the New York City Partnership Association, January 14, 1982)
We who live in
free market societies
that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created
the bottom up, not the government down. Only when the human spirit is
to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake
in deciding economic policies and benefitting from their success --
then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, progressive, and
free. Trust the people. This is the one irrefutable lesson of the
postwar period contradicting the notion that rigid government controls
are essential to economic development.
The size of
the federal budget is not
appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern.
an important role in
develop a country's economic foundation. But the critical test is
government is genuinely working to liberate individuals by creating
to work, save, invest, and succeed.
We don't have
a trillion-dollar debt
we haven't taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we
too much. -
It is the
Soviet Union that runs
the tide of history.... [It is] the march of freedom and democracy
will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash heap of history as it has left
tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of
Let us beware
that while they [Soviet
preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over
man, and predict its eventual domination over all the peoples of the
they are the focus of evil in the modern world.... I urge you to beware
the temptation ... to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive
of any evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant
and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong,
good and evil.
I call upon
the scientific community in
our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great
now to the cause of mankind and world peace, to give us the means of
those nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.
There are no
such things as limits to
because there are no limits on the human capacity for intelligence,
teaches that wars begin when
believe the price of aggression is cheap.
We will always
remember. We will always
be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.
The men of
Normandy had faith that what
they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity,
that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or the next.
was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that
is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation
and the use of force for conquest.
We will never
forget them, nor the last
time we saw them -- this morning, as they prepared for their journey,
waved good-bye, and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the
growing beyond our consent
become a lumbering giant, slamming shut the gates of opportunity,
to crush the very roots of our freedom. What brought America back? The
American people brought us back -- with quiet courage and common sense;
with undying faith that in this nation under God the future will be
for the future belongs to the free.
view of the economy could
be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps
regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
The other day,
someone told me the
between a democracy and a people's democracy. It's the same difference
between a jacket and a straitjacket.
How do you
tell a Communist? Well, it's
someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an
It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin.
open this gate! Mr.
tear down this wall!
A friend of
mine was asked to a costume
ball a short time ago. He slapped some egg on his face and went as a
Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things. It is the continuous revolution of the marketplace. It is the understanding that allows to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions.-Address to students at Moscow State University, May 31, 1988
The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away.
Republicans believe every day is 4th of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15.
After watching the State of the Union address the other night, I'm reminded of the old adage that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Only in this case, it's not flattery, but grand larceny: the intellectual theft of ideas that you and I recognize as our own. Speech delivery counts for little on the world stage unless you have convictions, and, yes, the vision to see beyond the front row seats. ( RNC Annual Gala, Feb. 3, 1994 )
political landscape has
the bold ideas of the 1980's are alive and well. Republican candidates
swept every major election across the country last year... and as a
it seems that our opponents have finally realized how unpopular
really is. So now they're trying to dress their liberal agenda in a
Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends? Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor's fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can't socialize the doctors without socializing the patients. Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he'll eat you last. ( October 27, 1964 )
Have we the courage and the will to face up to the immorality and discrimination of the progressive tax, and demand a return to traditional proportionate taxation? . . . Today in our country the tax collector's share is 37 cents of every dollar earned. Freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp. (October 27, 1964 )
[Contributor's note: The Tax Foundation reports government at all levels now takes 49% of personal income, minus transfer payments.]
However, our task is far from over. Our friends in the other party will never forgive us for our success, and are doing everything in their power to rewrite history. Listening to the liberals, you'd think that the 1980's were the worst period since the Great Depression, filled with suffering and despair. I don't know about you, but I'm getting awfully tired of the whining voices from the White House these days. They're claiming there was a decade of greed and neglect, but you and I know better than that. We were there. ( RNC Annual Gala, Feb. 3, 1994 )
If all of this seems like a great deal of trouble, think what's at stake. We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States. Those who ask us to trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state are architects of a policy of accommodation. ( October 27, 1964 )
In an ironic sense, Karl Marx was right. We are witnessing today a great revolutionary crisis -- a crisis where the demands of the economic order are colliding directly with those of the political order. But the crisis is happening not in the free, non-Marxist West, but in the home of Marxism-Leninism, the Soviet Union..Communism will be left on the ash heap of history.
It was leadership here at home that gave us strong American influence abroad, and the collapse of imperial Communism. Great nations have responsibilities to lead, and we should always be cautious of those who would lower our profile, because they might just wind up lowering our flag. ( RNC Annual Gala, Feb. 3, 1994 )
It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, "We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government." This idea that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power, is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. ( October 27, 1964 )
Now, as most of you know, I'm not one for looking back. I figure there will be plenty of time for that when I get old. But rather, what I take from the past is inspiration for the future, and what we accomplished during our years at the White House must never be lost amid the rhetoric of political revisionists. ( RNC Annual Gala, Feb. 3, 1994 )
Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, "What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power." But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector. October 27, 1964
Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don't interfere.
The Democrats may remember their lines, but how quickly they forget the lessons of the past. I have witnessed five major wars in my lifetime, and I know how swiftly storm clouds can gather on a peaceful horizon. The next time a Saddam Hussein takes over Kuwait, or North Korea brandishes a nuclear weapon, will we be ready to respond? In the end, it all comes down to leadership, and that is what this country is looking for now. ( RNC Annual Gala, Feb. 3, 1994 )
The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing. ( October 27, 1964 )
The years ahead will be great ones for our country, for the cause of freedom and the spread of civilization. The West will not contain Communism, it will transcend Communism. We will not bother to denounce it, we'll dismiss it as a sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written. ( Notre Dame Univ., May 17, 1981 )
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. Winston Churchill said that "the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits -- not animals." And he said, "There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty." ( October 27, 1964 )
We are for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment by reason of old age, and to that end we have accepted Social Security as a step toward meeting the problem. However, we are against those entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program means that we want to end payments. ( October 27, 1964 )
We are for aiding our allies by sharing our material blessings with nations which share our fundamental beliefs, but we are against doling out money government to government, creating bureaucracy, if not socialism, all over the world. ( October 27, 1964 )
We need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward restoring for our children the American Dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability will take him. . . . But we cannot have such reform while our tax policy is engineered by people who view the tax as a means of achieving changes in our social structure. ( October 27, 1964 )
Yet any time you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we're denounced as being opposed to their humanitarian goals. It seems impossible to legitimately debate their solutions with the assumption that all of us share the desire to help the less fortunate. They tell us we're always "against," never "for" anything. ( October 27, 1964 )
You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, "The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits." ( October 27, 1964 )
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done. ( October 27, 1964 )
For you see, my fellow Republicans, we are the change! ( RNC speech, August 17, 1992 )
The poet called Miss Liberty's torch, "the lamp beside the golden door." Well, that was the entrance to America, and it still is. And now you really know why we're here tonight. The glistening hope of that lamp is still ours. Every promise every opportunity is still golden in this land. And through that golden door our children can walk into tomorrow with the knowledge that no one can be denied the promise that is America. Her heart is full; her door is still golden, her future bright. She has arms big enough to comfort and strong enough to support, for the strength in her arms is the strength of her people. She will carry on in the eighties unafraid, unashamed, and unsurpassed. In this springtime of hope, some lights seem eternal; America's is. ( RNC speech, August 23, 1984 )
A friend of mine was asked to a costume ball a short time ago. He slapped some egg on his face and went as a liberal economist. ( Feb. 11, 1988 )
The government is not the solution, the government is the problem.
We cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide.
Some may try and tell us that this is the end of an era. But what they overlook is that in America, every day is a new beginning and every sunset is merely the latest milestone on a voyage that never ends. For this is the land that has never become but is always in the act of becoming. Emerson was right: America is the Land of Tomorrow.
How can we not believe in the greatness of America? How can we not do what is right and needed to preserve this last best hope of man on Earth? After all our struggles to restore America, to revive confidence in our country, hope for our future -- after all our hard-won victories earned though the patience and courage of every citizen -- we cannot, must not and will not turn back. We will finish our job. How could we do less? We're Americans.
When you see all that rhetorical smoke billowing up from the Democrats, well ladies and gentleman, I'd follow the example of their nominee; don't inhale. ( Republican National Convention, 1992 )
they've nominated claims
the new Thomas Jefferson. Well let me tell you something; I knew Thomas
Jefferson. He was a friend of mine and Governor... You're no Thomas
Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.
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 our back. Government can and must provide
not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.
No arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. ( First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981 )
developed for which there
no known diseases.
Please tell me you're Republicans. ( To surgeons as he entered the operating room, 1981 )