"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
(1911-2004) 40th US President
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Reader comments about this quote:
(-; I like it, a lot
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Very good quote. I would like to add to this: "A Government program should have a time limit on it. If it is working they get to keep it.... If it is not working... than use some common sense and kill it....!" James D. Stearns
     -- James D. Stearns, 22192     
    It's a good quote for a good laugh but there is no truth behind it as the revolution of '76' proved it wrong and the same will happen to bureaucracies in the revolution of '?' yet to come.
     -- Anon     
    Stalin used bureaucracy to the effect of greater control. And now so does the White House.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Anon, unfortunately, I don't think this was the case. The '76 revolution cut taxes, but didn't decrease spending (aka, cut programs). Not even Reagan could pull that off... he was admitting his own administration's limitations as much as anyone's, which is why he phrased this statement as a law of nature. Gov programs just don't VOLUNTEER to be downsized. :P ever.
     -- Virginia     
    Virginia, I must disagee, no matter what bureaucracies were created after the revolutuin they were not the ones of King George as his law was booted out the door. Even then, up until the war of 1812, bureacracies were limited in their power with a few duties to perform. The war between the states brought out more beauracracies and then the banking act of 1894 set off the beginning of the landslide of beauracracies such result being what we are witnessing now in the present. No matter the case, the fact remains a lot of bureacracies were ended with the revolution of '76'.
     -- Anon     
    Government bureaus not only last forever but always get bigger. Nixon set up the Department of Energy as a few people to advise him onenergy, oil, gas, and coal I guess. This bureau now has risen to thousands of employees and a billion dollar budget, or more, and I fail to see that it has done any good whatsoever except to furnish a few thousand bureaucrats a job at our expense.
     -- jim k, Austin     
    The key word here is 'voluntarily.' Many government programs have died violent deaths, but not without a fight -- when Jackson killed the central bank of the day, the bankers responded with the War of 1812 and burned DC to the ground. Reagan did in fact rescind dozens of previous Executive Orders from previous administrations in an effort to pull back the federal reins. But he did preside over the creation of a few bureacracies of his own... Here's a few bureaus/programs it is time to end: the private Federal Reserve's monopoly on our currency, the IRS, the DEA, the ATF. even DHS is a hopeless failure. We could probably stop giving away billions in foreign aid while we spend our way into perpetual debt and bankruptcy. But hey, that is just me... good luck with all THAT.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Ronald campaigned on less government but actually grew 'gubmint' when he became president. The Dept. of Education was what he aimed at dissolving. Instead it grew because he placed his 'good soldiers' in the department. All administrations need places for rewarding their 'helpers'. Another example is the CIA. Most people there are simply taking up space.
     -- A.Jurgensen, Stuart, FL     
    Come on, must we do with this quote what the government does with everything - massage it or over-analyze it until it's meaningless.......or worse, can mean anything? The spirit of the comment is that our government is grotesquely bloated and self-perpetuating. There's no arguing that unless you are of the opinion government is the answer to all our ills or that it can actually do anything efficiently.
     -- Roger S., Galloway, NJ     
    Ronald Reagan cut the growth of government allot. Carter signed legislation that would have had the budget at 2.6 trillion by 1985. The Reagan "cuts" did not reduce the budget they just reduced the rate of growth. With out the cuts in growth the budget would have been double what it was in 1985. The mess we are in now was scheduled to have happened in 1985. Today we think it is out of control but the dems have it scheduled increase drastically in 5+ years. This is typical. They hope by then we will have forgotten who actually spent it. It worked for them under Reagan. He was blamed for all the spending that was scheduled by the Carter congress even though he did the seemingly impossible by cutting it in half.
     -- warren, olathe     
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