Thursday, December 13, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Michael Lewis

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Spain and France had accumulated debts of more than ten times their annual revenues. Historically, such levels of government indebtedness had led to government default. “Here’s the only way I think things can work out for these countries,” Bass said. “If they start running real budget surpluses. Yeah, and that will happen right after monkeys fly out of your ass.”

 
Michael Lewis

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Finally, I believe in an America with a government of men devoted solely to the public interests - men of ability and dedication, free from conflict or corruption or other commitment - a responsible government that is efficient and economical, with a balanced budget over the years of the cycle, reducing its debt in prosperous times - a government willing to entrust the people with the facts that they have - not a businessman's government, with business in the saddle, as the late Secretary McKay described this administration of which he was a member - not a labor government, not a farmer's government, not a government of one section of the country or another, but a government of, for and by the people.

 
John F. Kennedy
 

Mr. Speaker, I once again find myself compelled to vote against the annual budget resolution for a very simple reason: it makes government bigger. [...] We need to understand that the more government spends, the more freedom is lost. Instead of simply debating spending levels, we ought to be debating whether the departments, agencies, and programs funded by the budget should exist at all. My Republican colleagues especially ought to know this. Unfortunately, however, the GOP has decided to abandon principle and pander to the entitlements crowd. But this approach will backfire, because Democrats will always offer to spend even more than Republicans. When Republicans offer to spend $500 billion on Medicare, Democrats will offer $600 billion. Why not? It’s all funny money anyway, and it helps them get reelected. [...] The increases in domestic, foreign, and military spending would not be needed if Congress stopped trying to build an empire abroad and a nanny state at home.

 
Ron Paul
 

This is going to be hard and difficult work. The coalition will throw up all sorts of challenges, but I believe together we can provide that strong and stable government that our country needs, based on those values, rebuilding family, rebuilding community, above all, rebuilding responsibility in our country. Those are the things I care about, those are the things that this Government will now start work on doing. Thank you very much.

 
David Cameron
 

I am not one to advocate the reducing of our navy in any degree below that proportion to the French navy which the exigencies of our service require; and, mind what I say, here is just what the French Government would admit as freely as you would. England has four times, at least, the amount of mercantile tonnage to protect at sea that France has, and that surely gives us a legitimate pretension to have a larger navy than France. Besides, this country is an island; we cannot communicate with any part of the world except by sea. France, on the other hand, has a frontier upon land, by which she can communicate with the whole world. We have, I think, unfortunately for ourselves, about a hundred times the amount of territory beyond the seas to protect, as colonies and dependencies, that France has. France has also twice or three times as large an army as England had. All these things give us a right to have a navy somewhat in the proportion to the French navy which we find to have existed if we look back over the past century. Nobody has disputed it. I would be the last person who would ever advocate any undue change in this proportion. On the contrary—I have said it in the House of Commons, and I repeat it to you—if the French Government showed a sinister design to increase their navy to an equality with ours; then, after every explanation to prevent such an absurd waste, I should vote 100 millions sterling rather than allow that navy to be increased to a level with ours—because I should say that any attempt of that sort without any legitimate grounds, would argue some sinister design upon this country.

 
Richard Cobden
 

"Other aspects of Taiwan's reforms are similar to structural adjustment programmes in Africa: in particular, the currency was devalued as part of an effort to shift from import substitution with overvalued exchange rates to import substitution with export promotion. However, the nominal exchange rate was tightly controlled by the Government, which kept it at realistic levels. Interest on savings and on loans were consistently positive in real terms, similar to structural adjustment recommendations that rates be set at positive real levels: these undoubtedly assisted the high savings rate and local resource mobilisation, while not subsidising capital and assisting industry to develop in a labour-intensive manner. Assisted by generous aid from the U.S., and driven by the fear of hyperinflation, the Government in Taiwan rejected deficit spending strategies and resolved to balance the budget through direct and indirect taxation, bringing about a surplus from 1964 onward."

 
Deborah Brautigam
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