Quotations by Ronald Reagan

Quotations | Speeches | Poetry

Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States

Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 - June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981-1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967-1975). (Source: Wikipedia)


Ronald Reagan
  1. Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born.

  2. Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.

  3. All great change in America begins at the dinner table.

  4. All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk.

  5. Approximately 80% of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation, so let's not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards from man-made sources.

  6. Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement.

  7. But there are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret.

  8. Coersion, after all, merely captures man. Freedom captivates him.

  9. Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.

  10. Don't be afraid to see what you see.

  11. Double, no triple, our troubles and we'd still be better off than any other people on earth. It is time that we recognized that ours was, in truth, a noble cause.

  12. Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.

  13. Facts are stupid things.

  14. Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

  15. Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.

  16. Going to college offered me the chance to play football for four more years.

  17. Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.

  18. Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.

  19. Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it.

  20. Governments tend not to solve problems, only to rearrange them.

  21. History teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap. (Address to the Nation, Jan 16, 1984)

  22. How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin.

  23. I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.

  24. I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace: to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.

  25. I couldn't help but say to [Mr. Gorbachev], just think how easy his task and mine might be in these meetings that we held if suddenly there was a threat to this world from another planet. [We'd] find out once and for all that we really are all human beings here on this earth together.

  26. I favor the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and it must be enforced at gunpoint if necessary.

  27. I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I'm in a cabinet meeting.

  28. I know I'm not in government anymore. In fact I'm out of work.

  29. I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there's purpose and worth to each and every life.

  30. I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon.

  31. I will stand on, and continue to use, the figures I have used, because I believe they are correct. Now, I'm not going to deny that you don't now and then slip up on something; no one bats a thousand.

  32. I've often said there's nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse.

  33. If the federal government had been around when the Creator was putting His hand to this state, Indiana wouldn't be here. It'd still be waiting for an environmental impact statement.

  34. If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen.

  35. If you've seen one redwood, you've seen them all.

  36. Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hit man.

  37. Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders.

  38. It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.

  39. It's difficult to believe that people are still starving in this country because food isn't available.

  40. It's silly talking about how many years we will have to spend in the jungles of Vietnam when we could pave the whole country and put parking stripes on it and still be home by Christmas.

  41. It's true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?

  42. Let us ask ourselves; "What kind of people do we think we are?"

  43. Let us not forget who we are. Drug abuse is a repudiation of everything America is.

  44. My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes. (Said during a radio microphone test, 1984)

  45. My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose - somehow we win out.

  46. 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! No matter what time it is, wake me, even if it's in the middle of a Cabinet meeting.

  47. Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.

  48. People don't start wars, governments do.

  49. Politics I supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

  50. Politics is just like show business. You have a hell of an opening, coast for a while, and then have a hell of a close.

  51. Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.

  52. Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

  53. Recession is when a neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours.

  54. Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15.

  55. Status quo, you know, that is Latin for "the mess we're in."

  56. Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don't interfere as long as the policy you've decided upon is being carried out.

  57. The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would steal them away.

  58. The government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

  59. The most terrifying words in the English langauge are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.

  60. The neutron warhead is a defensive weapon designed to offset the great superiority that the Soviet Union has on the western front against the NATO nations.

  61. The taxpayer - that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination.

  62. The ultimate determinant in the struggle now going on for the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas-a trial of spiritual resolve: the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish and the ideals to which we are dedicated.

  63. There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.

  64. Thomas Jefferson once said, 'We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.' And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.

  65. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, I did not take the oath I have just taken with the intention of presiding over the dissolution of the world's strongest economy.

  66. To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will.

  67. Today, if you invent a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse.

  68. Today we did what we had to do. They counted on America to be passive. They counted wrong.

  69. Trust, but verify.

  70. Unemployment insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders.

  71. We can not play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent.

  72. We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone.

  73. We have so many people who can't see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion that the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one!

  74. We might come closer to balancing the Budget if all of us lived closer to the Commandments and the Golden Rule.

  75. We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.

  76. We're in greater danger today than we were the day after Pearl Harbor. Our military is absolutely incapable of defending this country.

  77. Well, I learned a lot... I went down to Latin America to find out from them and (learn) their views. You'd be surprised. They're all individual countries.

  78. What makes him think a middle aged actor [Clint Eastwood], who's played with a chimp, could have a future in politics?

  79. What we have found in this country, and maybe we're more aware of it now, is one problem that we've had, even in the best of times, and that is the people who are sleeping on the grates, the homeless, you might say, by choice.

  80. Whatever else history may say about me when I'm gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears; to your confidence rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty's lamp guiding your steps and opportunity's arm steadying your way.

  81. While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live for the future.

  82. You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.

  83. You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jellybeans. (Quoted in Observer, March 29 1981)

  84. You know, if I listened to him [Michael Dukakis] long enough, I would be convinced we're in an economic downturn and people are homeless and going without food and medical attention and that we've got to do something about the unemployed.


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