"It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expence, either by sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expence, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will."
Adam Smith (more quotes by Adam Smith or books by/about Adam Smith)
(1723-1790) Scottish philosopher and economist
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations par. II.3.36
Economics, Freedom, Government, Independence, Liberty, Taxation, Trade, Trust, Tyranny, Welfare, Tax