Curtis Dahlgren
"BACK TO THE SEVENTIES AGAIN": Quotations, "priceless!"
By Curtis Dahlgren
February 4, 2012

"Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples." — George Burns

"When you're green, you're growing. When you're ripe, you rot." — Ray Kroc (McDonald's motto)

"Bing doesn't pay an income tax any more. He just asks the government what they need." — Bob Hope

"THE BEST MINDS ARE NOT IN GOVERNMENT. If any were, business would hire them away." — Ron Reagan, Sr.

The Gipper said a taxpayer is someone who works for the government "without having to take a civil service exam." He also said "Government is the problem" - but did you know that some university websites have removed that phrase from his first inaugural address?

That's why the OLD quotations are the best quotations — they weren't tested with focus-group polling to censor out potentially "offensive" words. My apologies, by the way, for often forgetting to credit the sources of my favorite quotations. Here are some of the sources:

- The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed. (1910)

- "The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations"; 2nd ed., Oxford University Press (1953)

- "Magill's Quotations In Context"; edited by Frank N. Magill; Harper and Row (1965)


- "The Book of Quotes" by Barbara Rowes; Ballantine Books (1979)

[There was some political correctness around even in the 60s and 70s, but if was mostly confined to the college campi. NOW the Lefties are trying to "mainstream" the radical stuff that they used to hide. And the less offensive our "speech" becomes, the crazier the news becomes.]

Other than the daily news headlines, Barbara Rowes has been perhaps my number one quotee, and if she's still around, bless her heart, thank you and I'm dedicating this column almost totally to your quotations. If you have any questions, call my Risk Management Department. Well anyway, here goes:

- "Tax reform means, 'Don't tax you, don't tax me. Tax that fellow behind the tree." — Russell Long

- "The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax." — Albert Einstein

- "Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation." — Milton Friedman

- "If you make a living, if you earn your own money, you're free — however free one can be on this planet." — Theodore White

- "Money is the barometer of a society's virtue . . . Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think . . . An honest man is one who knows that he can't consume more than he has produced . . . The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it hass earned it." — Ayn Rand

- "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." — Bill Cosby

- "This administration, today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in Amercia." — LBJ

- "Poverty is expensive to maintain." — Michael Harrington

- "The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them." — Robert Frost

- "As far as unwed mothers on welfare are concerned, it seems to me they must be capable of some other form of labor." — Al Capp

- "Anyone who can walk to the welfare office can walk to work." — author unknown

- "Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned." — Milton Friedman

- "We are surrounded by insurmountable opportunities." — Pogo, the comic strip

- "Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them." — Ann Landers

- "By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day." — Frost

- "May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right." — Peter Marshall, Jr

- "The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work." — Robt. Frost

- "If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger [or thumb]." — Frank Lloyd Wright

- "Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." — George Washington

- "People are not born bastards. They have to work at it." — Rod McKuen

- "Consultants are people who borrow your watch and tell you what time it is, and then walk off with the watch." — Robert Townsend

- "To have subsidized a Bach, or Fulbrighted a Beethoven would have done no good at all. Money may kindle but it cannot by itself, and for very long, burn." — Igor Stravinsky

- "The oilcan is mightier than the sword." — Sen. Everrett Dirksen

- "Success in almost any field depends more on energy and drive than it does on intelligence. This explains why we have so many stupid leaders." — Sloan Wilson

- "If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error." — John Kenneth Galbraith

- "Never get angry. Never make a threat. Reason with people." — Don Corleone (The Godfather)

- "I have just received the following telegram from my generous Daddy. It says, 'Dear Jack: Don't buy a single vote more than is necessary. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide." — John F. Kennedy

- [I was going to toss in a famous Jimmie Carter quote, but I can't think of one.]

- "After perusing the world economic situation, we have come to the conclusion to give you a break." — The Shah of Iran (November 1977)

P.S. BY THE WAY, from the "No good deed goes unpunished department," shortly after the Shah and OPEC decided to "give us a break" on oil prices — by increasing production — the Shah was torpedoed by Carter and CBS' "60 Minutes" and replaced with the zany Khomeinis. Whatever other flaws the Shah had, he never threatened to wipe Israel off the map.


PPS: LIKE I SAID, the old quotations are the most interesting ones. The contemporary 'poll-tested' quotes are simply flat (i.e., platitudinous) — and often flawed, dangerously so.

But these "leaders" underestimate the intelligence of the American people at their own political risk.

© Curtis Dahlgren


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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