Milton Friedman used to say that nothing was so permanent as a temporary government programme.
Did he actually say this? And if so, was he the origin for this quip?
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This appears to be true
Tyranny of the Status Quo, by Milton Friedman and Rose D. Friedman, 1984, Pg. 115:
Each recession has produced government spending programs supposedly as a temporary device to create jobs. But nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. Those programs have typically moved into high gear only after the economy was on the road to recovery. In the process, they have established an interested constituency that has lobbied for their continuation, thereby contributing to the upward trend in government spending.
@JoeW correctly pointed out that Milton Friedman did use that phrase. However he wasn't the first to use it. According to Google's book search, the oldest example that I could find is from the "Royal United Service Institution Journal" from 1888:
I fear they will verify Lord Palmerston's saying, that nothing is so permanent as a temporary appointment, not improbably our grand-children, visiting the Cape on pleasure or on business, will see this astounding, this everlasting memento, of our foresight.
This was written in the context of "temporarily" placing muzzle-loaded guns instead of breech-loaded guns at Naval Base Simon's Town in South Africa. It was attributed to Lord Palmerston but I can't find further proof so its likely to be apocryphal, given that this journal was published more than 20 years after his death.
Coincidentally, another journal from 1888 contains an early example of a complaint over a "temporary" government tax:
We see how frequently the irony of events has upset the most promising schemes of economy, how the income tax, originally considered a temporary war tax, has, since the majority of voters do not pay it, become a permanent tax and also the varying fortunes of the new sinking fund.
The last part refers to the British sinking fund:
The fund received whatever surplus occurred in the national Budget each year. However, the problem was that the fund was rarely given any priority in Government strategy. The result of this was that the funds were often raided by the Treasury when they needed funds quickly.