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:
“We’re all just kids posing as professionals, counting the days until Friday” (5/25)
“Google image results are like a party that starts off exactly how you expected and gets weirder” (5/25)
“I’ve studied Basic Human Anatomy so much that I know it like the back of my hand” (5/25)
“I bought a used UPS truck. It gets bad gas mileage, but I can park anywhere” (5/25)
“What is a customary greeting from a cannibal?"/"He presents you with a handshake.” (5/25)
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Entry from May 18, 2011
“Some people want to check government spending and some people want to spend government checks”

"Some people want to check government spending and some people want to spend government checks” was a favorite line of Ronald Reagan (1911-2004). According to Reagan, the Republicans want to check government spending and the Democrats want to spend government checks.

The line has been cited in print since at least May 1936, when it was used in Life magazine.


16 May 1936, Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, pg. 4, col. 5:
DIVIDED NAION.
From Life.
As we understand the situation, half the people would like to check government spending, and the other half would like to spend government checks.

24 May 1936, Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, “A Breezy Potpourri of Wit and Humor,” Sunday Magazine, pg. 5, col. 6:
As we understand the situation, half the people would like to check government spending, and the other half would like to spend government checks.

22 October 1976, Muscatine (IA) Daily Journal, “Reagan visits Iowa to back GOP slate,” pg. 11, col. 8:
MARSHALLTOWN (AP)—Ronald Reagan came back to Iowa Thursdday night to take potshots at the Democrats and raise money for conservative candidates.

“(Jimmy) Carter is riding high in the saddle,” said Reagan, who came close to snatching the Republican presidential comination from Gerald Ford. “The difference between him and us is we want to check government spending and he wants to spend checks.”
(Other news reports have “spend government checks”—ed.)

Google Books
The Reagan Wit:
The Humor of the American President

By Ronald Reagan
Edited by Bill Adler
New York, NY: William Morrow
1998
Pg. 27:
Referring to the Democrats, Reagan commented:
The difference between them and us is that we want to check government spending, and they want to spend government checks.
-- DECEMBER 11, 1972

The Times of Malta
Monday, June 7, 2004 , by Giles Elgood, Reuters
The quips kept on coming
During his life, President Ronald Reagan developed a reputation as a man with a sharp wit who loved a good joke. Here are some examples of his humour:
(...)
Mr Reagan did not spare the Democrats either. “The difference between them (Democrats) and us (Republicans) is that we want to check government spending and they want to spend government checks.”

The Notes:
Ronald Reagan’s Private Collection of Stories and Wisdom

By Ronald Reagan
Edited by Douglas Brinkley
New York, NY: HarperCollins
2011
Pg. 203:
Some people want to check govt. spending @ some people want to spend govt. checks.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Wednesday, May 18, 2011 • Permalink