UPDATE: It was bugging me to think that Cicero would use the term “public assistance,” so I did some more checking and this quote probably was never uttered by him. Oh well, it resonated in the context of our recent economic woes.
“The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn’t want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”
Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC), 55 BC