Oh, God! What a Job! (Quotes, Notes & Anecdotes)

Canadian Speeches, September-October 2002 | Go to article overview

Oh, God! What a Job! (Quotes, Notes & Anecdotes)


I can't make a damn thing out of this tax problem. I listen to one side and they seem right, and then -- God! -- I listen to the other side, and they seem just as right. I know somewhere there is a book that will give me the truth, but hell, I couldn't read the book. I know somewhere there is an economist who knows the truth, but I don't know where to find him and haven't the sense to trust him when I find him. God! what a job!

Warren G. Harding (1865-1923), 29th U.S. president (1920-23) was vexed by tax policy problems.

Quoted by Samuel Eliot Morison in "The Oxford History of the American People, volume 3." New York: New American Library, 1972.

Political economy

I have a particular interest in economy and budgets. The budget of the House is getting close to $300 million and we spend about a thousand hours a year here, which means that if one takes even 15 minutes of the House's time that is about $75,000. I am feeling fiscally irresponsible already for the time we have taken.

Preston Manning, founding leader of the Reform Party of Canada, in a speech in the House of Commons on retiring as a member of Parliament. Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, Debates, January 31.

Campaign protection

It needs to be a small, light handgun that isn't so awkward to carry that I wouldn't end up carrying it.

Fran Ulmer, Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Alaska, explaining why her .44-cal Magnum is too big to carry on election campaigns. Time, August 5.

Political friends

There are no true friends in politics. We are all sharks circling, and waiting, for traces of blood to appear in the water.

Alan Clark (1928-99), British Conservative politician, adventurer, and writer in a journal entry. Diaries, 1993.

Political truth

It is our experience that political leaders do not always mean the opposite of what they say.

Abba Eban (1915- ), Israeli politician and diplomat. Observer, December 5, 1971.

I'll be happy when

The great Western disease is "I'll be happy when." This is a much deeper concept than most people grasp: it's not just "I'll be happy when I make a million dollars;" it's "I'll be happy when I scratch my head." Western Buddhists often substitute "I'll be happy when I get less," which is even stupider. You want less? Give it away! That's not hard. But you can't be happy by having less and you can't be happy by having more. You can only be happy with what you have.

Marshall Goldsmith, a pioneer in the growing ranks of executive coaches, who helps hone leadership skills by training executives to behave decently in the office. Quoted by Larissa MacFarquhar in "The Better Boss, "New Yorker, April 29.

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