95 Limited Government Quotes To Inspire You

Following is our list of limited government quotations and slogans full of insightful wisdom and perspective about small government.

Limited government quote
Inspirational limited government quote

The Most Famous Limited Government Quotes (Best in 2024)

Go to table of contents

Limitation is essential to authority. A government is legitimate only if it is effectively limited. — Lord Acton

Government is best which governs least — Thomas Paine

That government is best which governs least. — Henry David Thoreau

It's not tyranny we desire; it's a just, limited, federal government. — Alexander Hamilton

The chief evil is unlimited government, and nobody is qualified to wield unlimited power. — Friedrich August von Hayek

That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves. — Thomas Jefferson

Federalism is the best curb on democracy. [It] assigns limited powers to the central government. Thereby all power is limited. It excludes absolute power of the majority. — Lord Acton

The best government is that which teaches us to govern ourselves. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Government exists only for the good of the governed. — Pythagoras

Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves. — Ronald Reagan

Short Limited Government Quotes

Go to table of contents

  • Make yourself sheep and the wolves will eat you. — Benjamin Franklin
  • The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases. — Thomas Jefferson
  • The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. — Thomas Jefferson
  • I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man. — Thomas Jefferson
  • Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos. — John Marshall
  • It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. — C. S. Lewis
  • Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. — Ronald Reagan
  • We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. — Thomas Jefferson
  • The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself. — H. L. Mencken
  • A tyrant... is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader. — Plato

Top 10 Limited Government Quotes

Go to table of contents

It's not tyranny we desire; it's a just, limited, federal government. — Alexander Hamilton

Education is a weapon the effect of which is determined by the hands which wield it, by who is to be struck down. — Joseph Stalin

Make yourself sheep and the wolves will eat you. — Benjamin Franklin

The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases. — Thomas Jefferson

It must never be forgotten...that the liberties of the people are not so safe under the gracious manner of government as by the limitation of power. — Richard Henry Lee

The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite. — Thomas Jefferson

The man who puts all the guns and all the decision-making power into the hands of the central government and then says, ‘Limit yourself’; it is he who is truly the impractical utopian. — Murray Rothbard

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. — Thomas Jefferson

This I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. — John Steinbeck

Those (who) seek to establish systems of Government based on the regimentation of all Human Beings by a handful of individual rulers...call this a new order. It is not new and it is not order. — Franklin D. Roosevelt

Limited Government Image Quotes

Go to table of contents

Limited government quote Givers have to set limits because takers rarely do.
Givers have to set limits because takers rarely do.

Founding Fathers Quotes

Go to table of contents

If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking. — Benjamin Franklin

Limited government quote

The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government. — Edward Abbey

Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. — Benjamin Franklin

Limited government quote The only limits you have are the limits you believe.
The only limits you have are the limits you believe.

When once a Republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil. — Thomas Jefferson

Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry. — Unknown Author

Our heavenly Father understands our disappointment, suffering, pain, fear, and doubt. He is always there to encourage our hearts and help us understand that He's sufficient for all of our needs. When I accepted this as an absolute truth in my life, I found that my worrying stopped. — Charles Stanley

Limited government quote There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But wit
There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, there are no limits.

Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost. — Thomas Jefferson

A Brother may not be a Friend, but a Friend will always be a Brother. — Benjamin Franklin

I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious. — Thomas Jefferson

Without God there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first, the most basic, expression of Americanism. Thus, the founding fathers of America saw it, and thus with God's help, it will continue to be. — Dwight D. Eisenhower

Small Government Quotes

Go to table of contents

It was a bad idea, because I think that any government reorganization has to come in relatively small bites, or else you get indigestion. — Warren Rudman

The American citizen must be made aware that today a relatively small group of people is proclaiming its purposes to be the will of the People. That elitist approach to government must be repudiated. — William E. Simon

It is a matter of common knowledge that the government of South Carolina is under domination of a small ring of cunning, conniving men. — Strom Thurmond

Limited government quote Never tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon.
Never tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon.

Sometimes I find myself thinking, rather wistfully, about Lao Tzu's famous dictum: 'Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish.' All around me I see something very different, let us say - a number of angry dwarfs trying to grill a whale. — William Carlos Williams

A State divided into a small number of rich and a large number of poor will always develop a government manipulated by the rich to protect the amenities represented by their property. — Harold Laski

It is time for conservatives to do what they do best and insist that a wasteful, inefficient government program gets off the books. Small government and the death penalty don't go together. — Christy Clark

Limited government quote The only limitations one has are the ones they place on themselves.
The only limitations one has are the ones they place on themselves.

Conservatives should question how the death penalty actually works in order to stay true to small government, reduction in wasteful spending, and respect for human life. — Jay Sekulow

But I'm very libertarian in the sense that I believe in small government and, as a general rule, I don't believe in imposing values upon people. — Stephen Harper

That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves. — Henry David Thoreau

[We are] no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men. — Woodrow Wilson

People Writing About Limited Government

Go to table of contents

Name Quotes Likes
Read quotes by Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson
quotes on government, constitution and education

1788 19141
Read quotes by Lord Acton

Lord Acton
quotes on power

137 1143
Read quotes by Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan
quotes on socialism, freedom and government

1059 19098
Read quotes by Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin
quotes on education, freedom and life

1399 22156
Read quotes by Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton
quotes on education, federalism and tyranny

362 9118
Read quotes by Friedrich August von Hayek

Friedrich August von Hayek
quotes on education, freedom and technology

231 2204

More Limited Government Quotes

Go to table of contents

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. — Thomas Jefferson

Limited government quote Don't limit yourself to the skies when there is a whole gala
Don't limit yourself to the skies when there is a whole galaxy out there.

Whenever legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience. — John Locke

Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. Republics and limited monarchies derive their strength and vigor from a popular examination into the action of the magistrates. — Benjamin Franklin

Limited government quote We must not allow others' limited perceptions to define us.
We must not allow others' limited perceptions to define us.

Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States. — Noah Webster

If congress refuses to obey its own rules. If congress refuses to pass a balanced budget. If congress refuses to read the Bills. Then I say, sweep the place clean, limit their terms, and send them HOME! — Rand Paul

In the first place, it is to be remembered, that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any. — James Madison

If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one. — James Madison

There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters — Daniel Webster

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. — James Madison

We are a coalition government, and that limits our options in some ways. Privatization happens to be one such area. — Manmohan Singh

The Founders knew that a democracy would lead to some kind of tyranny. The term democracy appears in none of our Founding documents. Their vision for us was a Republic and limited government. — Walter E. Williams

It is not the function of government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error. — Robert H. Jackson

With the simple suspension of gold redeemability, governments’ war efforts were no longer limited to the money that they had in their own treasuries, but extended virtually to the entire wealth of the population. For as long as the government could print more money and have that money accepted by its citizens and foreigners, it could keep financing the war. Previously, under a monetary system where gold as money was in the hands of the people, government only had its own treasuries to sustain its war effort, along with any taxation or bond issues to finance the war. This made conflict limited, and lay at the heart of the relatively long periods of peace experienced around the world before the twentieth century. — Saifedean Ammous

I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts. — Ronald Reagan

A network state is a social network with a moral innovation, a sense of national consciousness, a recognized founder, a capacity for collective action, an in-person level of civility, an integrated cryptocurrency, a consensual government limited by a social smart contract, an archipelago of crowdfunded physical territories, a virtual capital, and an on-chain census that proves a large enough population, income, and real-estate footprint to attain a measure of diplomatic recognition. — Balaji Srinivasan

America needs fewer laws, not more prisons. By trying to seize far more power than is necessary over American citizens, the federal government is destroying its own legitimacy. We face a choice not of anarchy or authoritarianism, but a choice of limited government or unlimited government . — James Bovard

Motorists who want to save money on gas will demand and buy more fuel-efficient vehicles. We should not limit their freedom with more government regulations. — Jim DeMint

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure... It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. — Barack Obama

Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence. — Tom C. Clark

Before my tenure, people didn't seem to think that citizens had a right to limit the size of their government. — William Weld

The only limit to the oppression of government is the power with which the people show themselves capable of opposing it. — Errico Malatesta

When all government ...in little as in great things... shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power; it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated. — Thomas Jefferson

I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents. — James Madison

Once the government becomes the supplier of people's needs, there is no limit to the needs that will be claimed as a basic right. — Lawrence Auster

The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self-administered by its victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those which blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves. — Donald James

Our government is an agency of delegated and strictly limited powers. Its founders did not look to its preservation by force; but the chain they wove to bind these States together was one of love and mutual good offices. — Jefferson Davis

The question is: how bad do things have to get before you will do something about it? Where is your line in the sand? If you don't enforce the constitutional limitations on your government very soon, you are likely to find out what World War III will be like. — Michael Badnarik

An elective despotism was not the government we fought for, but one which should not only be founded on true free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among general bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others. — Thomas Jefferson

In Conclusion

Which quotation resonated with you best? Did you enjoy our collection of limited government quotes? Or may be you have a slogan about limited government to suggest. Let us know using our contact form.

About the author

This collection is managed by , with an extensive background in quote curation. They have meticulously gathered, researched, and compiled the quotes featured on this page. Every quote has been diligently cross-verified for its origin, its authenticity, and its potential influence on our readership.

Citation

Feel free to cite use any of the quotes in this collection of limited government. For popular citation styles(APA, Chicago, MLA), please use this citation page.

Embed HTML Link

Copy and paste this HTML code in your webpage