Quotations – G


“There is very little that is really worth while which can be bought or sold. The desire for gain has made many cowards, but it has never made a hero.”

Source: “The Foundation Of Our Institutions,” on April 13, 1923. As found in The Price of Freedom. 


“It is preeminently the province of government to protect the weak.”

Source: “Address To The General Court Beginning The Second Year As Governor Of Massachusetts,” on January 8, 1920.

“Where the people themselves are the government, it needs no argument to demonstrate that what the people cannot do their government cannot do.”

Source: “The Foundation Of Our Institutions,” on April 13, 1923. As found in The Price of Freedom.

“There is scarcely a word in the constitution of any of our States or of our nation that was not written there for the purpose of protecting the liberties of the people from some servitude which a despotic government had at some time imposed upon them.”

Source: “The Destiny Of America,” on May 30, 1923. As found in The Price of Freedom.

“I would like it if the country could think as little as possible about the Government and give their time and attention more undividedly about the conduct of the private business of the country.”

Source: “Press Conference,” on May 1, 1925.

“The United States Government ought to keep from undertaking to transact business that the people themselves ought to transact. It can’t function along that line. As soon as the Government tries to transact such business, the people with whom it is being transacted don’t regard it as the Government’s business. They think it ought not to be done for the benefit of the Government in a way that would be for the benefit of the Treasury or all the people, but that it ought to be done for their benefit. And that always creates a situation that it is extremely difficult to contend with and one which is practically impossible. So that it is my policy, in so far as I can, to keep Government out of business, withdraw from that business that it is engaged in temporarily, and not to be in favor of its embarking on new enterprises.”

Source: “Press Conference,” on December 9, 1927.

“Good government cannot be found on the bargain counter. We have seen samples of bargain counter government in the past when low tax rates were secured by increasing the bonded debt for current expenses or refusing to keep our institutions up to the standard in repairs, extensions, equipment, and accommodations. I refuse, and the Republican Party refuses, to endorse that method of sham and shoddy economy.”

Source: “Riverside,” on August 28, 1916. As found in Have Faith in Massachusetts.

“The age of perfection is still in the somewhat distant future, but it is more in danger of being retarded by mistaken Government activity than it is from lack of legislation.”

Source: “Third Annual Message to the Congress,” on December 8, 1925. As found in Messages and Papers of the Presidents.

“Government should not assume for the people the inevitable burdens of existence.”

Source: Adequate Brevity, p. 43.

“We have had too much government action, with attendant publicity, proposing to cure human illness which no government can cure and too much public opposition when there was nothing to oppose.”

Source: Calvin Coolidge Says, November 11, 1930.

Government Aid

“If we give the best that is in us to our private affairs we shall have little need of government aid.”

Source: Calvin Coolidge Says, November 4, 1930.

Government, Local

“The functions which whatever the charity of the nation may require. The functions which the Congress are to discharge are not those of local government but of national government. The greatest solicitude should be exercised to prevent any encroachment upon the rights of the states or their various political subdivisions. Local self-government is one of our most precious possessions. It is the greatest contributing factor to the stability, strength, liberty, and progress of the nation. It ought not to be infringed by assault or undermined by purchase. It ought not to be abdicate its power through weakness or resign its authority through favor. It does not at all follow that because abuses exist it is the concern of the federal Government to attempt their reform.

“Society is in much more danger from encumbering the national Government beyond its wisdom to comprehend, or its ability to administer, than from leaving the local communities to bear their own burdens and remedy their own evils. Our local habit and custom is so strong, our variety of race and creed is so great, the federal is so tenuous, that the area within which it can function successfully is very limited. The wiser policy is to leave the localities, so far as we can, possessed of their own sources of revenue and charged with their own obligations.”

Source: “Third Annual Message to the Congress,” on December 8, 1925. As found in Messages and Papers of the Presidents, p. 9514-9515.

Government Spending

“Of course, a good many proposals are made by people that have very excellent things that they would like to have the Government do, but they come from people that have no responsibility for providing ways and means by which their proposals can be carried out. I don’t think in all my experience, which has been very large with people that come before me in and out of Government with proposals for spending money, I have ever had any proposal from anyone as to what could be done to save any money. Sometimes linked with the proposal for an immediate large expenditure is the suggestion that it ultimately will result in a saving. I think that is about the extent of the outside assistance I have had in that direction.”

Source: “Press Conference,” on December 14, 1928.


“A wholesome regard for the memory of great men of long ago is the best assurance to a people of a continuation of great men to come, who shall still be able to instruct, to lead, and to inspire. A people who worship at the shrine of true greatness will themselves be truly great.”

Source: “Great Virginians,” on July 6, 1922. As Found in The Price of Freedom.

“We need never fear that we shall not be called on to do great things in the future if we do small things well at present.”

Source: “Christmas Message To The Boy Scouts, The Lone Scouts, And The 4-H Clubs,” on December 21, 1925. As found in Messages and Papers of the Presidents.

“Great men are the ambassadors of Providence sent to reveal to their fellow men their unknown selves. . . . They leave no successor. The heritage of greatness descends to the people.”

Source: “Theodore Roosevelt,” on January 23, 1921. As found in Adequate Brevity, p. 44.

“The great man is he who can express the unuttered opinions of his time, direct energy along profitable channels, divine the spirit of the people, and unify action under just and stable institutions of government.”

Source: “Our Heritage From Hamilton,” on January 11, 1922. As found in The Price of Freedom.

“There can be no national greatness which does not rest upon the personal integrity of the people.”

Source: “Our Heritage From Hamilton,” on January 11, 1922. As found in The Price of Freedom.


“All growth depends upon activity. Life is manifest only by action. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.”

Source: “Amherst College Alumni Association,” on February 4, 1916. As found in Have Faith in Massachusetts.

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