Government big enough to supply you...(Quotation)
From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia
The following statement, or variations thereof, is often attributed to Thomas Jefferson:
"A government big enough to supply you with everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have...."
We have never found such a statement in Jefferson's writings. As far as we know, this statement actually originates with Gerald R. Ford, who said, "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have," in an address to a joint session of Congress on August 12, 1974.
This quotation is sometimes followed by, "The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases," which is most likely a misquotation of Jefferson's comment, "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yeild, and government to gain ground."
- ↑ Suzy Platt, ed., Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations Requested from the Congressional Research Service (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1989), 140. Available online at http://www.bartleby.com/73/714.html.
- Coates, Eyler Robert, Sr. The Thomas Jefferson FAQ. http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7842/archives/quote031.htm A discussion of this particular spurious quotation.
- Coates, Eyler Robert, Sr. Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government: Quotations from the Writings of Thomas Jefferson. http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/.
- Jeffersonian Cyclopedia.