Thoughts on national budgets

Published: Jan 28, 2017

The budget is not just a collection of numbers, but an expression of our values and aspirations.
 —Jacob Lew

Our economy is based on spending billions to persuade people that happiness is buying things, and then insisting that the only way to have a viable economy is to make things for people to buy so they’ll have jobs and get enough money to buy things.  
—Philip Slater

The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, the public debt should be reduced and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled.
—Ross Perot

An economy funded by subsidy is no economy in an ideal sense.
—Tony Osborg

It’s a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it’s depression when you lose your own.
—Harry Truman

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges, even where there are no rivers.
—Nikita KhrushCev

Great nations are built by great people, not just successful people.
—Fela Durotoye

We have become a society of indulgent consumers resulting in rapidly increasing debt, both personally and as a nation.
—LG Durand

Just as we should never balance the budget on the backs of the poor, so it is an economic delusion to think you can balance it only on the wallets of the rich.
—George Osborne

Normally, when politicians talk about ‘cutting the budget’, they really mean reducing the amount of increase. Actual spending goes up while the politicians claim to have ‘cut the budget’.
—Mark McKinnon

We didn’t actually overspend our budget. The allocation simply fell short of our expenditure.
—Keith Davis

Reviewing a government budget is much like going through the attic in an old home.
—Rick Scott

Image: Scott: Carlo Allegri / Reuters; Lew: Rafael Marchante / Reuters; Truman, Khrushchev: Bettmann / Getty Images; Mckinnon: David Mcnew / Reuters; Perot: Win Mcnamee / Reuters; Osborne: Richard Pohle / Pool / Reuters

(This story appears in the 03 February, 2017 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from To visit our Archives, click here.)

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