(a.k.a The Devil's Dictionary, New Millennia Edition)

 
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government

Cynical Definitions

n. A system of rule through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.

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Cynical Quotations

Trickery is what humans are all about. They're so keen on tricking one another all the time that they elect governments to do it for them.

— Terry Pratchett

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It doesn't matter who you vote for . . . the government always gets in.

— Unknown

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Whenever the Government denies knowledge, it is always speaking the truth.

— John Alejandro King

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The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.

— Ronald Reagan

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Thank God we don't get all the government we pay for.

— Will Rogers

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Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.

— Milton Friedman

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Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us.

— P.J. O'Rourke

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Government is morally wrong. The whole idea of our government is this: If enough people get together and act in concert, they can take something and not pay for it.

— P.J. O'Rourke

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Feeling good about government is like looking on the bright side of any catastrophe. When you quit looking, the catastrophe is still there.

— P.J. O'Rourke

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It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money.

— P.J. O'Rourke

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A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.

— P.J. O'Rourke

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Washington is a place where people praise courage and act on elaborate personal cost-benefit calculations.

— John Kenneth Galbraith

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Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

— P.J. O'Rourke

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Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship.

— Harry S Truman

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The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.

— H.L. Mencken

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There is no nonsense so errant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action.

— Bertrand Russell

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Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.

— H.L. Mencken

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Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.

— Tom Robbins

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The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.

— P.J. O'Rourke

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For every action there is an equal and opposite government program.

— Bob Wells

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I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.

— H.L. Mencken

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I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.

— Will Rogers

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You will find that the State is the kind of organization which, though it does big things badly, does small things badly, too.

— John Kenneth Galbraith

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There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.

— Will Rogers

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Sure there are dishonest men in local government. But there are dishonest men in national government too.

— Richard M. Nixon

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It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

— Voltaire

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A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.

— George Bernard Shaw

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The function of government is to provide you with service; the function of the media is to supply the Vaseline.

— Ernest Hancock

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