"For $10,000, you can have a private meeting with Vice President Gore to discuss reinventing government. And for $20,000, you don't have to go."
"She's being held hostage right now by those who object to the President's legitimate use of his executive authority to make necessary changes in the way federal programs operate."
--White House spokesman Mike McCurry on GOP efforts to hold up the confirmation of Labor Secretary-designate Alexis Herman.
"This is not the time to say, 'Are you substituting for government?' This is not the time to ask, 'Is there more that government should be doing or less that government should be doing?' This is a time for each and every one of us to look into our own heart, to look into our own community, find someone who is in need . . ."
--Colin Powell at the Presidents' Summit on America's Future.
"I didn't come here to make money."
--Postmaster General Marvin T. Runyon on conflict-of-interest charges pending against him.
"The dog had no legs and the pony had no hoofs."
--Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Calif., saying that officials of the Health Care Financing Administration had tried to fool him into thinking that a computer upgrade was a success by giving him a "dog and pony show" at HCFA's Baltimore headquarters.
"This committee's in charge of non-sexy matters. Non-sexy matters are referred to this committee."
--Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., responding to OMB Director Franklin Raines's comment that budget matters are not "sexy."
"Cabinet jobs are glamorous temp jobs."
--Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich
"All of this money is about 1 percent of the federal budget. These are very small agencies. They have a very small number of employees. If you are looking to balance the budget on these agencies, it would be impossible."
--Elaine Kamarck, the vice president's senior advisor, on why the foreign affairs reorganization won't save the government much money.
"I have concern that there is a good old boy network out there and there is a cult within the VA."
--House Veterans Affairs Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Terry Everett, R-Ala., on accusations that VA protects its senior managers at the expense of sexual harassment victims.
"You know, times have changed remarkably since Will Rogers said, 'All I know is what I see in the papers.' Today, we live in a world with 500 channels, literally hundreds of thousands of web sites exploding all the time."
--President Clinton, in an address last week to the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
"So do not blame the hapless IRS agent (average pay, including benefits, about $54,000) as he seeks to enforce our hopelessly complicated tax laws. . . It is hardly surprising that many of those diligent, honest souls who used to take government jobs now seek less vilified forms of employment."
--Jodie T. Allen, Washington editor of Slate magazine, in a recent piece defending the IRS.
"Nobody cares about it except a bunch of people who get corporate welfare."
--House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich, R-Ohio, on the Commerce Department.
"We can't get people in government smart enough to do this?"
--Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, on a proposal for another new commission to suggest ways for the IRS to improve its operations.
"These will not be make-work jobs. . . . We will demand the highest performance from the new employees and insist that they live up to their responsibilities."
--President Clinton on his plan to hire 10,000 new federal workers off the welfare rolls.
"Government has to stop adopting private sector reforms at the very point they have proved not workable there."
--University of Wisconsin professor Donald Kettl at the Reinvention Revolution conference.
"I think the biggest insult to me in that statement is someone calling me a bureaucrat. I think I've been called a lot of things and bureaucrat hasn't been one of them, so that's a bit of an insult."
--New White House AIDS Czar Sandy Thurman on a statement by ACT-UP, an activist group, that she is "the latest in a series of ineffective, no-name bureaucrats" named to the AIDS post.
"Now let me be perfectly clear. I want all senior executives, all political appointees, all the leaders in federal service to read and apply the lessons in this book."
--Vice President Gore on his reinvention manual, "The Blair House Papers."
"It was just like, if you go into somebody's home, have you ever looked in the medicine cabinet?"
--Richard W. Czubinski, admitting to The Wall Street Journal that he browsed through tax returns while an employee of the IRS's Boston office.
"I miss seeing the smiles of those young people that worked here at the Commerce Department who believed in this country and were totally unjaded by the cynical veneer that grips too many people."
--President Clinton at a ceremony Thursday remembering victims of the plane crash that killed Ron Brown and 34 others on a trade mission to Croatia last year.
"When faced with a 20-year threat, the government responds with a 15-year plan, in a six-year defense program, managed by three-year personnel, attempting to develop a two-year budget, which in reality is funded by a one-year appropriation (which is typically one to six months late), actually formulated over a three-day weekend and approved in a one-hour decision briefing."
--A sign posted over a Pentagon official's desk.
"There is no better way to create a truly demoralized organization, one that is frozen in its tracks, than to announce that a new 'business' manager is going to come in and reassign career executives willy nilly."
--Senior Executive Association President Carol Bonosaro on a proposal to allow the IRS commissioner more leeway in moving senior career officials.
"If you wanted to change the oil in your car, you wouldn't necessarily ask a master mechanic to do it. It's our belief that our specialists can do the job with less training."
--Ron Morgan, the Federal Aviation Administration's director of air traffic, on a controversial proposal to replace trained meteorologists in its regional air-traffic centers with FAA weather-advisory specialists.
NEXT STORY: CPI Adjustment Off Table