📺 Stream EntrepreneurTV for Free 📺

The 15 Ronald Reagan Quotes Every Business Leader Must Know On the 10th anniversary of the Gipper's death, we present some of his best thoughts on American business.

By Ray Hennessey

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

No leader communicated so plainly and effectively as Ronald Reagan. With an acting and public-speaking background, Reagan's approach was simple: Say what you mean, say it directly and make folks smile as often as possible.

Reagan was a champion of capitalism, a defender of freedom and never met a regulation he didn't hate. Many of his quotes stll resonate today, particularly since the themes of high taxes and intrusive regulations continue to addle new-business creation in the United States.

On the tenth anniversary of his death, we present the 15 Ronald Reagan quotes every business leader needs to know by heart:

1. "Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

2. "Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don't interfere as long as the policy you've decided upon is being carried out."

3. "The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would steal them away."

4. "The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

Related: Leadership, Accountability and the D-Day Letter Ike Never Sent

5. "Today, if you invent a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse."

6. "Government does not solve problems. It subsidizes them."

7. "There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder."

8. "My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose. Somehow we win out."

9. "Status quo, you know, is Latin for 'the mess we're in.'"

10. "Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States."

Related: The 7 Management Lessons of Pope Francis

11. "We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."

12. "When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat."

13. "Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July. The Democrats believe every day is April 15."

14. "How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."

15. "They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong."

Related: What Nannies Teach Us About Smart Regulation

Ray Hennessey

Former Editorial Director at Entrepreneur Media

Ray Hennessey is the former editorial director of Entrepreneur.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Science & Technology

She Ditched Her Steady Job in Tech to Pursue Her Love of Food. Now She's a Food Network Champion and Celebrated Cookbook Author.

A self-taught vegan chef known for her sustainable cooking practices, Chef Priyanka Naik's journey from the tech world to the Food Network is a testament to the power of passion and perseverance. Hear her insights into how embracing your unique path can lead to entrepreneurial success.

Leadership

9 Productivity Tips That the 1% Know to Follow

Is your inner high-performer waiting to be unleashed? If so, here's what the 1% swear by for peak productivity.

Devices

Save More Than 70 Percent on This iPad Pro

This refurbished iPad Pro comes with 32GB of storage space.

Starting a Business

Ask Marc | Get Free Business Advice From the Co-Founder of Netflix

Get the answers to your most challenging business problems during our next Ask Marc, live Q&A, on 5/9/24 at 2 PM ET. You don't want to miss it—send in your questions now.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Franchise

Franchising Is Not For Everyone. Explore These Lucrative Alternatives to Expand Your Business.

Not every business can be franchised, nor should it. While franchising can be the right growth vehicle for someone with an established brand and proven concept that's ripe for growth, there are other options available for business owners.