Gerald Ford born JULY 14, 1913

American Minute with Bill Federer

President Gerald Ford stated in Rockford, IL, March 11, 1976:

“People say why don’t you do this, why don’t you expand that program, why don’t you spend more Federal money?…

I don’t think they have understood one of the fundamentals …

I look them in the eye and I say, ‘Do you realize that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have?’

Gerald Rudolph Ford was the 38th U.S. President.

Born on JULY 14, 1913, he was named Leslie Lynch King, Jr. till he was renamed by his stepfather.

Gerald Ford attended the University of Michigan on a football scholarship, graduated from Yale Law School and served in the Navy during World War II.

He was the House Minority Leader until chosen to be Vice-President when Spiro Agnew resigned.

Gerald Ford then became President when Richard Nixon resigned.

He was the only President not elected.

When he assumed the Presidency on August 9, 1974, Gerald Ford stated:

“I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your President by your ballots, and so I ask you to confirm me as your President with your prayers.”

On September 8, 1974, President Gerald Ford stated:

“The Constitution is the supreme law of our land and it governs our actions as citizens.

Only the laws of God, which govern our consciences, are superior to it.

As we are a Nation under God, so I am sworn to uphold our laws with the help of God.”

In a Proclamation of Prayer, December 5, 1974, President Ford quoted President Eisenhower:

“Without God there could be no American form of government…

Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first-the most basic-expression of Americanism.”

At a Southern Methodist University Convocation, September 13, 1975, President Ford stated:

“I see a century…which equips young men and women…to make their own decisions rather than permit their future to be programmed by massive government structures that an imaginative writer foresaw for 1984–a nightmarish fantasy of what our third century could be.

It is my deepest conviction that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have…”

President Gerald Ford continued:

“Men and women must prevail over the endless agencies and bureaus that would reduce human beings to computerized abstractions and program people into numbers and statistics.

Today’s mounting danger is from mass government…we must not let them prevail…

Never forget that in America our sovereign is the citizen…

The state is a servant… It must never become an anonymous monstrosity that masters everyone.”

Prayers and Presidents-Inspiring Faith from Leaders of the Past

What was Gerald Ford most repeated warning?

Continue reading to find out.

President Ford stated in Rock Hill, SC, October 19, 1974:

“What they don’t tell us when they propose all these benefits that they are going to give you from our Government…

that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford addressed a Joint Session of Congress, August 12, 1974:

“They know that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

President Ford stated stated at a Breakfast for Candidates in Kansas City, MO, October 16, 1974:

“Some of the big spenders don’t understand that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford dedicated the “Anderson Independent and Anderson Daily Mail Building” in Anderson, SC, October 19, 1974:

“I frequently wondered whether those who pushed and worked for those programs of piling one Federal program on top of another day after day after day, whether they ever realized…that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

President Ford told a luncheon in Des Moines, IA, October 24, 1974:

“But I remind you, a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford addressed the United Republican Fund Dinner in Chicago, IL, October 24, 1974:

“I often used to think as these programs sort of flowed out of one committee after another, didn’t those proponents ever understand that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have?”

President Ford stated in Los Angeles, CA, October 31, 1974:

“In the short haul, it is very easy for government to yield to the temptation to give people what they want or what the politicians tell them that they ought to have, but keep this in mind:

In the long haul, a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford stated in Salt Lake City, UT, November 2, 1974:

“The intentions of the people who have helped build the Federal layer cake are noble ones…

They actually, sincerely believe that if the Government ministers to every need and to every concern that it has among all the 213 million citizens, those citizens will be happier and will be better off.

But let me make a critical, crucial point…that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford stated in Wichita, KS, November 2, 1974:

“I know there are some who wish to have the Government do something for everybody in massive amounts, but as they seek to promote these kinds of efforts in the short haul, I do not think they really forecast what the long pull means.

Let me put it this way…a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford stated at a Dinner Meeting of the Conference Board, January 22, 1975:

“The American people are very generous….

We have prided ourselves on our responsiveness to those in our society less fortunate than ourselves.

But as we are now beginning to realize, we cannot give away any more than what we have…

A government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.

The Government cannot, in my judgment, overspend year after year without doing drastic damage to the economy and harm every one of our citizens.”

President Ford addressed the Annual Dinner Meeting of the Bay Area Council in San Francisco, CA, April 4, 1975:

“Over the 25 years that I had the privilege of serving in the House of Representatives…well-motivated Members of the House of Representatives would get up and argue effectively and convincingly and certainly in the highest motivation for this social program or that social program.

Pretty soon, we started to have this proliferation, and believe me, it has proliferated…

I recall most vividly sitting there on many occasions and thinking to myself, don’t they realize that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have?”

President Ford told the National Explorer’s Congress of the Boy Scouts of America, April 9, 1975:

“I would like to make one observation…it is something that worries me… I used to see program after program presented to the House that meant a bigger government, that meant more control over people and over cities and over States.

I used to get very worried as I saw this proliferation of government, and I thought to myself on many occasions that I wish that people would think in this way…that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford stated at an annual Senate-House Fundraising Dinner, April 15, 1975:

“A $52 billion deficit is bad enough… Every time Congress acts to add a little, a little, a little, it gets worse and worse and worse. So, I ask you in all honesty that we end these schemes…

If we don’t do something in a relatively short period of time, one-half of all Americans will be living off the taxes of the other half of Americans. Is that what you want your government function to be?…

Never forget, a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

At a Reception in Alexandria, VA, April 26, 1975, President Ford said he would:

“Make…a campaign…cutting back and decreasing the responsibility of the Federal Government, a campaign that is predicated on what we can do…to expand, not cut back, the opportunity for the free enterprise system.

We have to cut back on all of these programs that some of our good friends across the political aisle try to thrust upon us…

It is just impossible to believe all of the things that some of our Democratic friends want to thrust upon the American people. They want to put more bureaucracy; they want to spend more Federal money…

These people…try to thrust these programs one after another, on top of one another…

I often used to sit back in the rear seats of the House of Representatives and ask myself, ‘Didn’t they realize that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have?'”

President Ford stated told the Annual Meeting of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, April 28, 1975:

“Let me reaffirm to you today my deep personal conviction that the best way to begin in our efforts is to improve the government we have, not to enlarge it. I do not believe a bigger government is necessarily a better government…

Please never forget, a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford stated told the National Federation of Independent Business, June 17, 1975:

“I can say this with conviction: Americans have not arrived at a popular consensus for collectivism. We have held no referendum to repeal our economic freedom. Quite the opposite is true. Americans are proud of our system and pleased with what it has produced.

Yet, if we continue to bigger and bigger government, Washington will become the big daddy of all citizens.

If the power to tax goes unchecked, it will inhibit capital formation for business and incentive for workers. And we can say goodby to the free enterprise system that has given us so much…

You are painfully aware that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford stated at a Fundraising Supper in Cleveland, OH, July 3, 1975:

“I see a national government that responds to people’s needs, but does not order people’s lives. And don’t forget that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

President Ford stated at a Fundraising Dinner in Newport, August 30, 1975:

“I know there are some in this country that think that the solution to our problems at home are more programs, more spending, et cetera.

And every time I think of that solution, I can’t help but repeat something that I have used as sort of a guideline or a criteria, and I apologize to those I have said it to before or those that have listened to it before:

We must be certain that we understand that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford stated at a Fundraising Dinner in Portland, September 4, 1975:

“One day I was sitting there talking to one of my associates or colleagues in the House of Representatives.

And after we had gone through this sort of inevitable schedule that seems to come up all the time when there is a problem and we have to have solutions, I thought to myself–and the person who was debating and speaking and proposing this program was a fine person;

I am not disagreeing with his motives–but I thought to myself, don’t those he represents understand that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have?”

President Ford stated at a Fundraising Dinner in Kansas City, MO, September 12, 1975:

“We are going to get rid of some of these things…because during a period of time within the last 25 years, to my own personal knowledge, there was this effort made to expand controls and to increase regulation.

I used to sit in the Chamber of the House of Representatives, and I would listen to these arguments about they had to do this for the people and they had to do that for the people and so forth.

I was reminded one time of a saying that was given to me a good many years ago of a man who said, ‘Don’t ever forget that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.'”

President Ford stated at the Biennial Convention of the National Federation of Republican Women in Dallas, TX, September 13, 1975:

“In America’s first century, a young nation forged political institutions responsive to the people. Unity grew from diversity.

Our second century transformed America into the most productive nation that ever existed…

Our third century begins in less than a year…I see our people making their own decisions rather than abdicating their future to the massive big brother governmental structures or turning their lives to the 1984 nightmare script of what our third century could be.

It is my fervent conviction that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

President Ford stated at the Annual Convention of the National Association of Life Underwriters in Anaheim, CA, September 21, 1975:

“Our task today is to get the mighty engine of free enterprise running at full throttle again. The quick solution, and the wrong one, would be to load a lot of new spending measures onto the taxpayer and unleash a flood of deficit dollars into the Nation’s economic mainstream.

That might make the economy leap up and shout hallelujah today, but the recovery would be very short-lived. Soon the patient would be flat on his back, worse off than ever. I will not be a party to such irresponsible action.

From hallelujah to heartbreak in one quick surge is not the responsible way to make our economy healthy in the future…

Government has a limited capacity to help our economy, but an almost unlimited capacity to harm it.

Never forget that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

President Ford stated at a Fundraising Dinner in Detroit, MI, October 10, 1975:

“Are you with me when I insist that the Congress cut spending enough to give all Americans a meaningful permanent tax reduction?

Are you with me in getting government bureaucracies out of your business, out of your pocket, and incidentally, out of your hair?

I know that each and every one of you know that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

President Ford stated at a Fundraising Dinner in Hartford, October 14, 1975:

“For the last 38 out of 42 years the Democrats have controlled the Congress…following the old Democratic formula of tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect.

I respectfully suggest, let’s turn that formula around…

As we talk about the problem of bigger government, heavier burdens financially, and less and less freedom, it is well to remember the following:

A government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford stated at a Fundraising Dinner in Los Angeles, CA, October 29, 1975:

“The Federal Government should, within the limits of its resources, help Americans in need who cannot help themselves. We should not give Federal assistance–and I emphasize ‘we should not give Federal assistance’–to able-bodied adults without dependents who do not choose to work, I simply don’t understand the logic of this Democrat-controlled Congress…

Those who deserve the help of our Nation will continue to get it. The elderly, the poor, the men and women who have borne our Nation’s arms–the Federal Government must and will meet these legitimate obligations. But we must not pay one more cent of tribute to interest groups…

I speak to you in these very frank and categorical terms tonight to underscore my deep conviction and greatest concern, that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford stated at a Fundraising Dinner in Charleston, November 11, 1975:

“The people of America, the length and breadth of this land, are learning that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

President Ford stated at a Reception in Raleigh, NC, November 14, 1975:

“There is…a day of reckoning when the…bills will come due…As they spend and spend and spend, they don’t seem to realize that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

President Ford stated at a Dinner in Atlanta, GA, November 14, 1975:

“If the State of Georgia can control its budget, there is no darn reason why the United States can’t do the same thing. What concerns me most is the growth of government without consent, the increasing encroachment of government into our lives and into our pockets.

And let me emphasize one special point: A government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.

The time has come for a new rebel yell–a whole nation of rebels yelling–a whole nation of rebels yelling no, no to big government.”

President Ford stated at the Annual Convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation in St. Louis, MO, January 5, 1976:

“The American farmer died for freedom on the bridge of Concord 200 years ago. The least that America can do today is to let the farmer live in freedom from the stifling interference and control of big government.

If there is one thing we can all be certain of, it is this: A government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford told delegates attending the Young Republican Conference, January 29, 1976:

“The relationship between the Federal Government and States is vitally important. In my time in the Congress there was always a drive, a tendency to concentrate power and authority in the Federal Government…that the Federal Government knew how to do the job best and that it was better to undercut the role of locally elected officials.

That theory didn’t work, and the net result is we piled program after program after program on the Federal Government and we found too many failures. We wasted too much money. We tried to control the lives of individuals from the Federal Government and it didn’t work.

Some of those people who promoted this idea for too long a time never seem to understand that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford told the Midwest Republican Conference in Dearborn, MI, January 31, 1976:

“We have turned away from the discredited idea that the Federal Government can solve every problem just by spending more of your tax money on it. Yes, we know that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford addressed the Northeast Republican Conference in Arlington, VA, February 6, 1976:

“We must never lose sight of one very simple truth that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford stated at a reception in Orlando, FL, February 13, 1976:

“I want to get the government off your back…One of the guiding things that has always affected me–it’s summarized in a sentence or two.

Some of my staff give me a bad time because I use it, but I think it really says in a few words what it is all about. I feel it very strongly and very deeply, and let me put it this way:

We should never forget that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford told Volunteers in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, February 14, 1976:

“I want a balance between the taxpayer on the one hand and the recipient of Federal assistance on the other… I want to free the individual from as much government control as possible.

I will make one statement that sort of puts all of my philosophy in a very simple sentence. I say it often because I believe it. Some of you may have heard it, but it wraps it all up:

A government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford stated at a Question-and-Answer Session at a Campaign Rally in Ft. Myers, FL, February 14, 1976:

“Government will do its part, but it is time we face the fact that government must stop trying to do everything. That won’t work–never has. I have said it before, some of you may have heard it, but it sums up so cogently my basic philosophy.

I live by this principle, I think it is sound, and let me phrase it for you very rapidly: A government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford stated at a Question-and-Answer Session at a Public Forum in Keene, February 19, 1976:

“I have made concrete recommendations to ensure that the intelligence community keeps out of politics and out of people’s private lives.

As President, I intend to see that the Federal Government is under the people’s control and not the other way around. This next sentence pretty much sums up my philosophy:

We must never forget that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford stated in Sarasota, FL, February 29, 1976:

“We must think of the kind of country that we will leave to those future generations in our time… Each of you must decide what role you want your government to play in your own life and in the life of your Nation.

Let me sort of simplify something I believe in very deeply. We must never forget that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”

President Ford stated in Rockford, IL, March 11, 1976:

“As I sit in the Oval Office of the White House I get letters, I get communications, I get legislation sent to me from the Congress, and there is a trend. People say why don’t you do this, why don’t you expand that program, why don’t you spend more Federal money?…

If we followed that course of action, if we did what the expansionists wanted us to do as far as the Federal Government was concerned, I don’t think they have understood one of the fundamentals that is so important, and let me phrase it this way.

I warn them, I look them in the eye and I say, ‘Do you realize that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have?'”

President Ford stated at a Reception for volunteers in Rockford, March 12, 1976:

“One of those lessons that we learned is that bigger budgets and bigger government are not the magic answers to every problem that faces us as a nation.

We must never forget that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have…

We found that more government spending too often made these ills worse.”

President Ford stated in Winston-Salem, NC, March 13, 1976:

“But there are some people who think all answers have to come from Washington, D.C. They want to expand the bureaucracy, they want to put more power in the hands of those people who run things in Washington.

Let me give you a word of warning, and I think this summarizes it as about as cogently as you can. And please listen.

We should never forget that a government big enough to give us everything we want is a government big enough to take from us everything we have.”


bill-federer-2Self-Educated American Contributing Editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.