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.

Recent entries:
Torpedo Soup (Malaysian bull’s penis soup) (2/17)
Khachapuri (Georgian cheese-filled bread) (2/17)
“Did you hear about the carpenter who drank too many screwdrivers? He got hammered” (2/17)
“Did you hear about the carpenter who drank on the job? He got hammered” (2/17)
Wok Chi (wok energy) (2/16)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from March 23, 2009
“If it moves, tax it”

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan said: “Back then (before 1981—ed.), 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.” The remark has been widely quoted to describe government at all levels.

During World War II, the armed forces had a similarly constructed saying: “If it moves, salute it. If it doesn’t move, pick it up. If it’s too big to pick up, paint it.”

In 1952, there was this saying: “If it moves, control it; if you cannot control it, tax it, if you cannot tax it, subsidize it.”

In 1967, there was this saying: “If it moves, tax it; if you can’t tax it, control it; if you can’t control it, give it a million dollars.”

In the 1970s, New Orleans Mayor “Moon” Landrieu said this: “We tax everything that moves, and everything that stands still, and if it moves, we tax it again.”

It appears that Ronald Reagan’s 1986 quotation was many years in the making. A soccer adage (popularized in 1974) is “If it moves, kick it; if it doesn’t move, kick it until it does.”


Google Books
The Yale Book of Quotations
Edited by Fred R. Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
2006
Pg. 630:
Ronald W. Reagan
U.S. president, 1911-2004
“Back then [before 1981], 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.”
Remarks to state chairs of National White House Conference on Small Business, 15 Aug. 1986

Google Books
The Reader’s Digest
By Wallace, De Witt, 1889-, DeWitt Wallace, Wallace, Lila Bell, Lila Bell Acheson Wallace
Published by The Reader’s Digest Association, 1945
Item notes: v. 46
Pg. 40:
1. If it moves, salute it. 2. If it doesn’t move, pick it up. 3. If it’s too big to pick up, paint it! — Contributed by George F. Willison.

Time magazine
Americana
Monday, Mar. 10, 1947
(...)
In Washington, at a V.F.W. meeting, U.S. Attorney General Tom Clark tried paraphrasing the old Army rule: “If it moves—salute it; if it doesn’t move—pick it up; if you can’t pick it up—paint it.” His new version for the returned veteran: “If it cries—change it; if it’s on wheels—buy it; if it is hollow—rent it.”

Google Books
Paper
By American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Institution of Electrical Engineers
Published by The Society, 1948
Item notes: nos. 1-2
“Well”, said the elder Congressman, “When in doubt, if it moves; tax it, if it moves quickly; regulate it, and if it doesn’t move at all; subsidize it.”

Google Books
Concrete
edited by Harvey Whipple
Published by Concrete-Cement Age Publishing Co., 1952
Item notes: v. 60
Pg. 12:
Warning against the type of candidate whose philosophy is: “If it moves, control it; if you can’t control it, tax it; if you can’t tax it, subsidize it.”

20 July 1952, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “Chamber Gives Nine Point Test for Candidates” by Joseph Hearst, part 1, pg. 11:
[This type of candidate’s program may be reduced to simple terms: If it moves, control it; if you cannot control it, tax it, if you cannot tax it, subsidize it.]

30 April 1959, Benton Harbor (MI) News-Palladium:
States Find Answer To Shortages: If It Moves, Tax It!

Google Books
The Railway Clerk
By Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers, Express, and Station Employes
Published 1964
Item notes: v. 63
Pg. 20:
New directive rumored from Washington: “If it moves, control it. If you can’t control it, tax it. If you can’t tax it, give it a billion dollars.”

20 February 1967, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Report from Washington” by Walter Trohan, pg. 4:
After all, the federal government operates pretty much In line with the quip: If it moves, tax it; if you can’t tax it, control it; if you can’t control it, give it a million dollars. It isn’t surprising that the money isn’t producing desired results.

11 June 1967, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Washington Scrapbook” by Walter Trohan, pg. 29:
REP. GEORGE HANSEN [R., Idaho], who reports the new directive in Washington seems to be: “If it moves, control it. If you can’t control it, tax it. If you can’t tax it, give it a billion dollars,” received the following poem from a constituent:...

Google News Archive
7 April 1971, Deseret (UT) News, pg. A10, col. 1:
The Mayor of New Orleans summed up succinctly the plight of America’s cities when he said: “We’ve taxed everything that moves and everything that stands still. If it moves, we tax it again.”
(New Orleans Mayor Maurice Landrieu—ed.)

Google Books
The Party’s Over:
The Failure of Politics in America

By David S. Broder
New York, NY: Harper & Row
1972
Pg. 125:
“We tax everything that moves, and everything that stands still, and if it moves, we tax it again.”
(New Orleans Mayor Maurice “Moon” Landrieu—ed.)

8 May 1972, Chicago (IL) Tribune, section 1, pg. 18:
One gets the distinct impression that the motto of the Cook County Board these days is something along the lines of “if it moves, tax it.”

17 June 1979, Washington (DC) Post, “Mayors—WIthout Misery” by David S. Broder, pg. B7:
Moon Landrieu of New Orleans had a soliloquy about local tax burdens (”...and if it moves, we tax it again...") that became as famous as Edwin Booth’s reading of “To be or not to be...”

15 September 1979, Washington (DC) Post, “Nickel-and-Diming the City” by Sam Smith, pg. A15:
Lately, I have discovered a closet philosophy that is exercising a major force on the direction of government, but which attracts little attention. Reduced to its basic equations, it comes out something like this: If it moves, regulate it. If it doesn’t, tax it. And, if you can get away with it, do both.

29 June 1986, Galveston (TX) News:
If it moves, tax it. If it still moves, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.

7 March 2006, New York (NY) Sun, “Solving the Housing Crisis” by Randy Daniels, pg. 11, col. 2:
To understand the high-cost, low-income enigma that characterizes much of New York, a good starting point is Ronald Reagan’s memorable line, which William Weld recently quoted but misattributed. “If it moves,” Reagan would say, “they want to tax it. If it keeps moving, they want to regulate it. And when it finally stops moving, they want to subsidize it.” That’s a very good description of big government economic policy. A description, however, is not an explanation.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (47) Comments • Monday, March 23, 2009 • Permalink


It’s strange how that sentence remains in history and people will always reffer at what Reagan said at that time.

Posted by door knobs  on  11/03  at  02:37 PM

The less number of taxes - the better is financial government planning.

Posted by Magic Mesh  on  11/11  at  12:31 PM

Great. Ronald Reagan’s quote was revived many times. It may be in different versions but it’s meaning is almost the same. Such a well known quote.

Posted by  on  11/12  at  08:18 PM

In 1952, there was this language: “If it moves, command it; if you cannot mastery it, tax it, if you cannot tax it, support it.” I same the condemn rattling more.

Posted by Testking VCP-510  on  11/14  at  12:04 AM

Hi, I see that your guestbook is plenty of nice words !
I just add mines to these smile
best,
hector

Posted by packshot e-commerce  on  11/18  at  10:34 AM

Great quote.  It is very interesting to see how politics has shifted since the days of Reagan.

Posted by download free movies  on  01/19  at  04:16 PM

I leave a response when I especially enjoy a post on a website or if I have something to contribute to the conversation. Usually it’s a result of the fire communicated in the post I browsed. And after this post the big apple: “if it moves, tax it”. I was actually excited enough to drop a commenta response wink I do have 2 questions for you if you usually do not mind. Could it be simply me or do some of these responses come across as if they are written by brain dead visitors? tongue laugh And, if you are posting on additional online social sites, I’d like to follow anything new you have to post. Could you make a list every one of your communal sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

Posted by wow fishing profession  on  02/27  at  07:41 PM

Hi Berry Popik,i read your post.I enjoyed to read the U.S goverment how chenged the economic policies. really a good post.Search Engine Optimization In Chicago

Posted by rflxmedia  on  03/06  at  11:33 PM

"If it moves, tax it”
Interesting. That seems true. I am trying to think of anything that where this is not the truth but I can’t. I wonder if anyone else has a opinion. There must not be any.

Posted by Titanic Quotes  on  03/16  at  02:08 AM

might I just point out that every detail of this piece is completely accurate.

Posted by quotes about death of a loved one  on  04/13  at  10:25 PM

Hah, I prefer the 70’s quote from Landrieu the most!

Taxes… To be honest I don’t mind giving part of my paycheck to the government. What really bothers me, though, is that governement spending is just extremely inefficient. Seeing my money go to random crap or people who don’t deserve it is so demotivating. And then the government wonders why people hide money from the IRS or tax department…

Posted by Geld Lenen  on  04/21  at  12:54 PM

I think taxes from the Government is just right if they also give it back to people with true service and assistance in case of great need.

Posted by Clint Maher  on  05/08  at  02:26 AM

This is really interesting to think about how much our government has changed throughout the years…
xc

Posted by Nike Shox  on  05/26  at  01:45 AM

Tax and death… I hate to sound so gloomy, though they are the two certainties in life. I think if they could tax the dead.. they would!

The problem is not taxs, as we have all seen what happenes to countries that dont pay enough taxes. The problem comes from what the government uses the money for and how they use it.

Posted by Bart Fisherman  on  05/31  at  06:59 PM

Government leaders about it. In my own opinion, taxes have both advantages and disadvantages, depending on how it is being managed by the authorities. Some people may think they are burdened about the taxes.

Posted by penny auction  on  07/13  at  12:51 PM

I’m impressed. You’re truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. I’m saving this for future use.

Posted by the seo portal  on  08/17  at  02:20 AM

I favor the quote from Pres. Reagan, taking different actions for every scenario. This gives the chance for those that are having problems to recover through regulation to a natural flow. While in the case of subsidizing; it is another good move on the government in assisting hard hit industry to recover. All these I believe are geared towards improving the economy.

Posted by Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer  on  08/17  at  07:57 PM

This is the great post. all people should pay to tax .i really enjoyed it as well,i have shared this blog to my friends also.

Posted by pool builders Sydney,clickhere  on  09/09  at  01:38 PM

Tax .. tax .. tax ... Some people are suffering because of tax. Powerful and rich people are the ones that don’t pay tax.

Posted by Home  on  09/29  at  12:19 PM

You have defeated my hope; I am totally charmed with your information it will help me in my essay writing services or essay writing services writing. Thank you so much. I will beyond any doubt keep in touch.

Posted by contact us  on  10/02  at  03:10 PM

Nice post, harming our environment is like doing bad to yourself. So should protect it, love it.
I think every one is getting more from this web site, and your views are nice in favor of new visitors.
Oil companies are always in control for the government doesn’t really care anything about it. What they care about the money that those oil companies provides them.

Posted by kids nap mats  on  10/10  at  08:59 AM

Very good post! Seeing all the quality points in this points always makes me happy. Keep up the good work. Thanks.

Posted by Μακιγιαζ  on  10/17  at  05:30 AM

Nice post! It’s interesting to see how Reagan’s quote has been revived with passing years to suit the changing government strategy!

Posted by SEO Perth  on  10/29  at  05:54 AM

Page 2 of 2 pages  <  1 2