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Phil Gramm
1942 -
American senator

I was walking down the steps of the Capitol and a reporter came up to me and said, "Congressman Gramm, in your 1,350 page budget how did you decide what programs ought to grow and what programs ought to be cut?" I said, "I used the Dicky Flatt test..." I looked at every program in the federal government. And then I tried to think of an honest-to-God working person in my Congressional District. And I often thought of a printer from Mexia [Texas] named Dicky Flatt. And I thought about Dicky Flatt because he works for a living. He is in business with his wife, his momma, and his brother and brother's wife. They have a print shop. They sell stationary and school and office supplies. They work until 7 or 8 o'clock every week night, and they're open on Saturday. And whether you see Dicky Flatt at the PTA or the Boy Scouts or his church, try as he may he never quite gets that blue ink off the end of his fingers. I looked at each program and I thought about Dicky Flatt and I asked a simple question: will the benefits to be derived by spending money on this program be worth taking money away from Dicky Flatt to pay for it? Let me tell you something, there are not a hell of a lot of programs that will stand up to that test.

Aug. 18, 1992 - from his speech at the Republican National Convention, quoted in The Quotable Conservative, Evans and Berent, Adams Media
Balancing the budget is like going to heaven. Everybody wants to do it, but nobody wants to make the trip.

1990 - during a television interview
Government doesn't empower you. Freedom empowers you.

1994 - from an interview, responding to then-President Clinton's assertion that people wanted government that "is not a burden to them, but empowers them."
We're the only nation in the world where most of our poor people are fat.

The real drug kingpin is the user. It is the casual users who create the profits. But we can't put them all in prison; there isn't any room in the jails.

Sep. 11, 1988 - from the New York Times
Government is not the generator of economic growth; working people are.

from Policy Review