Thomas Jefferson, the central founder of the Democratic Party, and third president of the United States:

“… a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government….”
(source: First Inaugural address, 1801)

Camille Paglia, author, social critic, and Democrat:

“Government has become a fat, lazy behemoth, spawning parasitic bureaucracies resistant to reform. … We need a more radical reduction in taxation as well as a stripping down of government agencies to essential social services. Funding is imperative for public education, public transportation, repair of roads and bridges and free medical clinics for the poor. But hundreds of millions of dollars are being wasted on boondoggle projects … and on unnecessary foreign-aid allotments that get diverted to middlemen and corrupt politicos overseas.”
(source: March 21, 2001 article from

Tim Penny, a former six-term Democratic congressman from Minnesota, who is now a director of the Hubert Humphrey Institute Policy Forum:

“In Washington today, small is beautiful and both Republicans and Democrats need to better articulate the means of reducing the size and scope of government.”
(Cato Policy Report, 11/14/1996)

William Proxmire, Democratic Senator from Wisconsin from 1957 to 1988 and creator of the Golden Fleece Award:

“I have spent my career trying to get Congressmen to spend the people’s money as if it were their own.”
“Power always has to be kept in check; power exercised in secret, especially under the cloak of national security, is doubly dangerous.”

Suzanne La Follette (author of Concerning Women):

“Even if we assume that the establishment of legal
equality before the sexes would result in complete
social and economic equality, we are obliged to face
the fact that under such a regime women would enjoy
precisely that degree of freedom which men now enjoy – that is to say, very little. …”

“[T]he essential nature of freedom…comes out in the
abolition of monopoly, primarily monopoly of natural
resources…. It is freedom to produce, and its
corollary, freedom to exchange.”