When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things bought and sold are legislators.
There is no Social Security Trust Fund any more than there is a tooth fairy. The fund exists only as a bookkeeping device. I repeat: The Social Security Trust Fund, on which scores of millions of Americans base their retirements, is nothing more than a bookkeeping device. […] If you went to Washington and demanded that your congressman walk you to the vault and show you this fund, he’d reach under his desk and hit the button to summon the guards. All that exists in the fund is a claim, an I.O.U. on the Treasury that will be honored only if future Congresses honor the obligation of the current and past Congresses.
Effective rule of law reduces corruption, combats poverty and disease, and protects people from injustices large and small. It is the foundation for communities of peace, opportunity, and equity – underpinning development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights.
No man who is corrupt, no man who condones corruption in others, can possibly do his duty by the community.
Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is impossible that a nation of infidels or idolaters should be a nation of freemen. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.
You can’t get rich in politics unless you’re a crook.
[A] deep-rooted culture of incompetence and corruption has made it virtually impossible for government to function fairly and efficiently. And because most government employees are shielded by layers of protection, they couldn’t care less. […] ‘Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,’ Ronald Reagan reminded us during his inaugural address in 1981. Nothing’s changed since then, with one exception: It’s gotten far worse.
To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism.
Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.
Why does corruption in government always surprise us? Why do we expect anything else from it? Government is organized force. It takes our wealth and makes war. And we think honest men would do that work?