A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“Age and glasses of wine should never be counted” (7/21)
“We don’t do kings (in America)” (7/21)
Dead Meat (to be a loser or in serious trouble) (7/21)
“Grow your own dope—plant a politician” (7/20)
“Politics is the art of postponing decisions until they are no longer relevant” (7/20)
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Entry from September 28, 2012
“A penny saved is a Congressional oversight”

"A penny saved is a penny earned” is often falsely attributed to Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), but forms of the saying date to the 1600s. “A penny saved is a Congressional oversight” is a modern jocular twist on the saying, cited in print since at least 1990 (when Robert Byrne’s The 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said credited it to a possibly fictional person named “Hal Lee Luyah"). The joke is that a notoriously overspending U.S. Congress can save anything at all.

Another variation of the old proverb is “A penny saved is ridiculous.”


Wiktionary: a penny saved is a penny earned
Proverb
a penny saved is a penny earned

1. A maxim for thrift that says that money not spent may be spent later, or may earn interest in the meantime

The Phrase Finder
A penny saved is a penny earned
Meaning

It is as useful to save money that you already have as it is to earn more.
Origin
The original form of this proverb used ‘got’ or ‘gained’ instead of ‘earned’. That is recorded as early as the 17th century, in George Herbert’s Outlandish Proverbs, circa 1633:

A penny spar’d is twice got.

The notion appears to have been that, by declining to spend a penny and to save one’s money instead, you are a penny up rather than a penny down, hence ‘twice got’.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
a penny saved is a penny gained and variants.
a1633 G. Herbert Outlandish Prov. (1640) sig. C3, A penny spar’d is twice got.
1660 J. Howell Lexicon Tetraglotton: Ital. Prov. 8 A peny saved is twice gained.
a1661 T. Fuller Worthies (1662) Hunts. 51 By the same proportion that a penny saved is a penny gained, the preserver of books is a Mate for the Compiler of them.
1695 E. Ravenscroft Canterbury Guests ii. iv. 17 This I did to prevent expences, for‥A penny sav’d, is a penny got.

Google Books
The Fourth—and by far the most recent—637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said:
Many given heightened piquancy by nineteenth-century line cuts

By Robert Byrne
New York, NY: Atheneum
1990
378
A penny saved is a Congressional oversight.
Hal Lee Luyah

26 April 1992, Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette, advertising supplement, pg. 3:
A penny saved is a Congressional oversight.
(The saying is at the bottom of page three of a Menards advertising supplement—ed.)

The Archive
34544 unique taglines - The Archive
Jan 23, 1994
(...)
A penny saved is a Congressional error
A Penny Saved Is A Congressional Oversight”
A penny saved is a Congressional oversight.
A penny saved is a Congressional spending oversight.

12 August 1997, Providence (RI) Journal, “Gem on the bus,” pg. B5:
One recent gem: “A penny saved is a congressional oversight.”

Google Books
The 2,548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said
By Robert Byrne
New York, NY: Fireside Books
2002
2,289
A penny saved is a Congressional oversight. —Hal Lee Luyah

Imperial Valley Press (El Centro, CA)
A Reader Writes by Robert V. Liggett: Personal library: Olio of favorite books
September 30, 2003
Robert Byrne, a novelist and an incorrigible collector of trivia, explains right up front why his compilation of “The 2,548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said,” doesn’t contain 2,547: “I didn’t want to leave a good one out.”
(...)
Authors of the quoted remarks range from academics and theologians to famous authors, comedians and the ubiquitous Anonymous. There also are some dubious names like Strange de Jim, who is in the book with “I don’t eat snails, I prefer fast food,” and Hal Lee Luyah, who offers such gems as “A penny saved is a congressional oversight.” Byrne ponders whether that name is “a pseudonym or did his parents call him that to have something to shout on Easter Sunday?”

Google Books
Potato in a Rice Bowl
By Peggy Keener
Bloomington, IN: iUniverse
2010
Pg. 12:
“A penny saved is a Congressional oversight.”
Hal Lee Luyah

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Friday, September 28, 2012 • Permalink