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Top 20 Pithy Political Passages

by Listverse Writers
fact checked by Alex Hanton

In November this year, a vitally important election will take place. The outcome of that election will determine the next Prime Minister of New Zealand. With that in mind, here is a list of 20 pithy political passages! Oh – and the American Election is in November too.


Passages 1 – 5 (Taxes)

Winston Churchill 1943 The Famous Victory Salute

1. “It’s income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta.” – Dave Barry

2. “We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle” – Winston Churchill [image above]

3. “The tax which will be paid for the purpose of education is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance” – Thomas Jefferson

4. “Elections should be held on April 16th – the day after we pay our income taxes. That is one of the few things that might discourage politicians from being big spenders.” – Thomas Sowell

5. “The tendency of taxation is to create a class of persons who do not labor, to take from those who do labor the produce of that labor, and to give it to those who do not labor.” – William Cobbett


Passages 6 – 10 (Politics and Politicians)


6. “A lot has been said about politics; some of it complimentary, but most of it accurate” – Eric Idle

7. “A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker.” – H.L. Mencken

8. “‘Politics’ is made up of two words, ‘poli,’ which is Greek for ‘many,’ and ‘tics,’ which are blood-sucking insects.” – Gore Vidal [image above]

9. “When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President — I’m beginning to believe it.” – Clarence Darrow

10. “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House—with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” – John F Kennedy, 35th US President, At dinner for 49 Nobel laureates 29 Apr 62


Passages 11 – 15 (Government)


11. “In Germany, under the law everything is prohibited except that which is permitted. In France, under the law everything is permitted except that which is prohibited. In the Soviet Union, everything is prohibited, including that which is permitted. And in Italy, under the law everything is permitted, especially that which is prohibited.” – Newton Minow

12. “Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.” – H.L. Mencken

13. “It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.” – Voltaire [image above]

14. “Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism it’s just the opposite.” – John Kenneth Galbraith

15. “Democracy’s the worst form of government except for all the others.” – Winston Churchill


Passages 16 – 20 (Government Programs and Policies)


16. “Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.” – Thomas Jefferson

17. “So what is government?… Very simply, it is an agency of coercion. Of course, there are other agencies of coercion — such as the Mafia. So to be more precise, government is the agency of coercion that has flags in front of its offices.” – Harry Browne

18. “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face–for ever.” – From George Orwell’s Novel, “Nineteen Eighty-Four” [image above]

19. “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” – Cornelius Tacitus

20. “A wise prince will seek means by which his subjects will always and in every possible condition of things have need of his government, and then they will always be faithful to him.” – Niccolo Machiavelli, “The Prince”

fact checked by Alex Hanton
Listverse Writers

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