"You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered."
Lyndon B. Johnson
(1908-1973) 37th US President (1963-1969)
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Reader comments about this quote:
I can't tell if he is advocating this principle or not. If he is, I simply can't believe LBJ said that! The guy was king of "unintended consequences."
 -- Ben, Orem, UT     
    An excellent perspective, if you can get it.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    I am Canadian and by default cannot give LBJ five stars. However he is, in my opinion, the second best leader of the twentieth century your country has ever known.
     -- Laurence Hanson, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada     
    Montesquieu: “It is sometimes necessary to change certain laws. But the occasion is rare and when it arises one must only touch them with a trembling hand”
     -- Jack, Brussels (Belgium) - but I'm British !     
    LBJ is missing something here. Benefit analysis should entail a "pros and cons" approach. Few actions or legislation are ever perfect, but the result of many conflicting forces. As John Kennedy said "we do not live in a black and white world" Their is a lot of gray out there and Solomonic decisions and legislation require a balancing act.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Would like to hear more of Laurence's reasoning for his opinion of LBJ.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Lyndons "War on Poverty" with it's "Urban Renewal" was a total fiasco and we are still paying for it. For our Canadian friend , I suggest a little book called "A Texan Looks at Lyndon, a Study in Illigitament Power", by J. Evatts Haley. You may still be able to get it on Amazon.com.
     -- jim k, austin     
    I agree.... but sometimes you can tell from a very early stage that it 'will be administered' badly Better be safe than sorry :)
     -- Sarah, Texas     
    Like the 'Great Society' ...?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
     -- Johann Hollar, Saint Paul      
    I suppose it is possible LBJ did not know the absolute disaster every thing he did would cause. To modify his quote about Jack Kennedy- LBJ was not worth a boot full of his own piss.
     -- warren, olathe     
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