The End of Big Government

Author: Gary Hart

Financial CrisisThe U.S. auto industry is gone.  Small parts of Ford survive, but pieces of G.M. and Chrysler are being picked over by people speaking German, Japanese, and Korean.  The vast parts supplier network is also gone and with it hundreds of thousands of jobs.  AIG collapsed many months ago, shortly after the inaugural, and then J.P. Morgan, Citicorp, and Chase.  Wall Street has gone dim, almost dark.  Don’t mention Broadway.  It is dark.  And New York City’s appeal for financial support has been rejected by the U.S. Government.  Congress has cut Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac adrift to the glee of the Tea Party.  Foreclosures are sky-rocketing nationwide and tent cities have sprung up across the country.  The unemployment rate is officially fifteen percent, but the real number is over twenty.  Bank failures nationwide are in the thousands.

President Obama’s first state of the union address is a celebration of free markets and the end of big government.  “The people have spoken,” is his theme.  “We cannot govern if American citizens do not want us to govern,” he continues.  Quoting his predecessor, Bill Clinton, Obama continues, “the era of big government is totally over.”  President Obama states that the economic rescue programs begun under the George W. Bush administration went much too far, and he is proud to take credit for ending them. 

Though he does not say so in his speech, plans are being made to severely cut Social Security and Medicare (Medicaid is already gone; that was for poor people), because high unemployment has reduced revenues so drastically they cannot be afforded.  He also will not announce the planned cuts in the FBI, federal aid to education, the highway program, and school lunches.  Those funds are being transferred, under public pressure, to continue the build up in Afghanistan.

The initially huge Tea Party rallies across the country have become drastically smaller.  Its supporters cannot afford gasoline and their private health insurance coverage has either ended or skyrocketed in costs.  Meanwhile, private clubs in New York are full of happy bankers and CEOs, who crawled from the wreckage with tens of billions of dollars.  They are raising their glasses nightly to the final defeat of the New Deal, government regulation of markets, the return of the government of Herbert Hoover, and to hell with climate change.

All the scoundrels in Congress (never mind that they had all been elected by the voters of their States and districts) have been replaced by hard-headed, unsentimental anti-government members.  They meet one day a week, soon one a month, to vote against everything.  It doesn’t take long, because nothing is being offered.  “The markets know what’s best,” they speechify.  “We have finally given the people what they have wanted.”

The remaining few people without guns have hocked household goods to buy them.  Crime has also skyrocketed.  And local and State police forces have been sharply reduced.  No taxes.  No money to pay them.

Those who claim to love their country the most, but who hate its government, have finally got the country they want.

42 Responses to “The End of Big Government”

  1. Jeffrey Abelson Says:

    Beyond the penetrating content of your blog posts, what I admire so much is that, unlike everyone else in blogland, you don’t seek to ride the coat tails of whatever’s at the top of the news cycle at any given moment, instead taking the time to reflect on much bigger trends, and write about them when you feel you have something cogent to say about them. Not that Tea Party activity isn’t in the news in general, but several seismic political events happened last week that most others are focused on blogging about, while you tackle a larger overarching trend. And do it by going beneath the surface. While everyone else simply ridicules or praises the TP crowd and their methods, you offer searing critique of their root level motivations and philosophy. And in a chillingly creative way. So, this is just to say thanks for thinking outside the box. And hopefully encouraging others to as well.

  2. Neal Taslitz, Esq. Says:

    There is still a ray of hope on the horizon, if President Obama’s administration quickly implements a well managed serious program for young people that includes public service, for college credits or zero interest long term loans for college.

    The devastation done in Haiti is an opportunity for young Americans and young people of other nations to help rebuild a nation that has lost almost everything. A well managed program which is initially orchestrated by the Obama administration, offers an opportunity to implement the principles which made America the envy of the world for so long, while inspiring Haitians and those from other nations that choose to particpate in such a program.

    Such a program also offers the opportunity to teach young people important job skills and the importance of government service and can help demonstrate to the world that America is still devoted to the principles that helped build a strong middle class and made us shine in the eyes of others.

  3. Tim Leavitt Says:

    I feel your despair. It seems like the small government crowd won’t be happy until we are reduced to a third world nation.
    The perfect conservative government:

    No taxes
    Unrestricted free market
    No regulations
    Unlimited right to bear arms
    Weak central goverment

    Just like Afghanistan or a hundred other poor backward nations.

    With 300 million people in the US we are never going back to small government.
    What we should be asking for is effective government.
    Most people really have no idea how much they pay in taxes. The just feel they are paying too much because they don’t think they are getting their moneys worth. Citizen satisfaction level low.

  4. Brian C. McCarthy Says:

    This is a post I am surprised has not yet generated more comments, and yet I don’t know quite what to say in response to it myself. It hits the nail on the head without need of fine tuning. Would you say, Senator, that the Tea Party movement has the potential to become to the 2010s what the so-called religious right was to the 1990s? It is a difficult phenomenon to evaluate on any traditional scale or to compare to any other modern movement, yet it seems less controlled, and potentially more dangerous, than the religious right ever was.

  5. JamaicaLover Says:

    Loved your blog. Thanks!

  6. Charles Clock Says:

    Give it up, Gary.

    Your big government group-think Democrats conjour up more rights, mandates, taxes, regulations and public agencies than anybody can fend off, let alone feckless Republicans despite their philosophy. Their intrusiveness is the arthritis to our economic engine, as your party’s bank bashing and regulatory tentacles has shown by grinding credit to a screeching halt.

    Regulate absolutely, we need some, but in the background so we can lubricate our economic engine and get back to work.

    After all, government (and your fellow lobbyists) are parasites living off the American body politic; you want it robust, else you also will wither.

  7. Michael Carmichael Says:

    If Gary Hart has been given an advance copy of the SOTU – it would be fascinating to read it. If he is projecting a dystopian vision on the forthcoming speech – then this blog is prophetic. From the announcement tonight that Obama would be announcing a freeze on all non-security spending, it does seem as if Gary Hart has captured the essence of the the SOTU – but this is not merely the end of big government – it is the end of constitutional democracy in America – especially coming as it does so soon after the infamous and devastating Citizens United ruling by the US Supreme Court.

  8. Richard Williamson Says:

    Somebody should by now have figured out how the Republicans keep convincing the man in the street that the ideologies of individualism, the supremacy of private interests and the oppressive effects of government regulation are somehow in HIS service, rather than that of those who prey upon him and his family. The only beef the average Republican voter in the South has against the ‘gummint’ is that they took away his right to restrict the rights of minorities. Is it still that big an emotional magnet? Thanks for the refreshing analysis of what is actually being demanded.

  9. Brett Says:

    I feel like I’m missing something here. I started thinking as I was reading this must be a commentary on a future state of affairs (if it was SOU Address for first year of Obama’s second term?) The reason I was thinking that it was a ‘future’ looking piece was because it quotes a 15% unemployment rate. Please clarify if there is something I’m not understanding about this article because I’m all but certain that every reference point I’ve seen out there says unemployment rate is 10%.

    http://www.bls.gov/CPS/

    http://www.ncsl.org/?tabid=13307

  10. Tom J. Flaherty Says:

    Exactly

    Tom

  11. Robert Crump Says:

    “Those who claim to love their country the most, but who hate its government, have finally got the country they want.”

    Indeed, the conservatives have won. And I fear the recent Citizens United case before the Robert’s Court will only make matters significantly worse. I love my country, I was born here, but I fear I will not die here. For me, a thirty-two year old male, President Obama was the last hope after the disappointment of the Clinton era and the charade that was the Bush presidency. Unfortunately, the hope I once had is diminshing with every half measure from the president and the Congress.

  12. Willie Says:

    To the Honorable Gary Hart:
    I don’t quite know where to begin with respect to your written work. To be sure you are a person to be admired for your sage advice and wisdom. As I read your statement, I came to believe that you were writing of what could be or more likely where we are going as a country. I witnessed the tea partyer’s during the past summer, and just could not figure out what they really wanted. If their argument was based on fear about healthcare reform/socialism, they never put or mentioned Medicare, Medicaid, or the VA at their rallies. I worried as the president tried to to something about healthcare, and came to realize that for the most part this nation really doesn’t know what’s best. All one needs to know or look at, is if they have access to healthcare, how much is it costing them. If the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries have their way (and it looks as if they do), they can charge whatever they want, and have shown the propensity to do just that. Don’t get me wrong, government does need to listen to the people, but I’m just not certain if all of the people have spoken. in this instance government can only hear those people who made their case the loudest way possible. I hope and pray that rationale prevails in the end and that America joins the rest of the civilized West in providing healthcare for all of its citizens. Further, government must respond to main street and not Wall Street. Lastly, I was hoping that you would comment on the recent decision by the Supreme Court with respect to corporations and unlimited funds towards advertising…WBBJ!!!

  13. John Milton Says:

    Gary, Have read most of your blogs.Our history treacher would be proud!!!
    Thank You

  14. Tom Kennedy Says:

    I lament the current state of affairs as you have so unsparingly articulated them. That it is a true representation of the situation is beyond dispute. I have long believed that it would come to this, when the people have the government they want and deserve. I am convinced that in the era of corporate citizenship, media consolidation, and the rejection of reason, two party democracy is an abject failure. Our system of government is beyond repair. It may be time to start over. We can begin by stripping corporations of their “rights.” If nothing else its a worth effort. Look at: http://www.citizensamendment.org/

  15. messianicdruid Says:

    I never got the government I wanted, and to pretend that “All the scoundrels in Congress have been replaced by hard-headed, unsentimental anti-government members” is simply bull—-. They {save one or two} are trying to give us more of their version of good governement. They will continue attempting to prop-up a dead horse, and plenty of time to endure it’s stink before they realize it won’t work, and they are making the inevitable worse.

  16. Con10tious Says:

    You and Jeff deserve one another. The agenda Obama is pushing is going to push faster to the scenario you describe. Every erudite thinker knows that smaller government means more freedom and quoting Thomas Jefferson erroneously to support your distorted world view is proof of your intellectually challenged blog. Jeff mistakenly thinks your wrong headedness for originally. LOL

  17. Krusty Says:

    Pretty much sums up the situation. It would have driven me to drink if it did not already give an ulcer. The New Deal and laws like Glass-Steagall helped rebuild America. Some call it socialism, I call it civilized and just plain common sense. I guess things will have to get a lot worse in order for them to get better.

  18. Wm Jones Says:

    Gary

    Thanks for your update from your wonderful home in North Korea.

    Regards

  19. Steve Bucholz Says:

    The trends as outlined here are obvious yet those we have elected to help negate the failures of the last administration remain feckless and ineffective.What cataclysmic internal events must occur before Americans realize the fate of the Republic is dangling by a thread? What will happen when millions of previously productive American workers are adrift without jobs purpose or hope. Gated communities will not be enough to save us from the social upheaval that is coming our way.Our sense of community and nation are gone and the rift is going to be difficult to close.

  20. Tony Weese Says:

    Gary Hart, have you failed to see that the only growth in this country under Barack 0bama has been in the government? You also do not understand conservatives and what smaller government means to us. Nice try Gary, but I ain’t buying it.

  21. Gary Hart Says:

    Much to respond to: To Mr. Clock I say, Watch what you presume. I have never made ten cents lobbying and I never intend to. As to who’s responsible for “big government,” it needs to be pointed out that the George W. Bush administration ran up huge deficits, inaugurated the massive Wall Street bail-out measures, and added about 1000 pages of new government regulations every year for eight years. To Brett, and perhaps others, this is a “future” piece that presumes all the anti-government measures being promoted are adopted. The real unemployment rate today is above 17% and my projected 20%+ percent, under those conditions, would be very low. When Corporate America soon buys every election, it will prevent the projected Wall Street collapse.

  22. Mike Says:

    So you are worried that if we don’t keep the government growing that the corporations will take over?

    Perhaps if our big government stops promoting big business then we would not have this two headed monster to deal with.

    There are a couple issues at play here. One is that government cost $, especially the way we like to run it and folks are simply tapped. So even if you want a bigger government, someone has to pay for it.

    It would not be too tough not point out which government programs hurt more than do good. Local building departments raise millions while costing folks hundreds of millions and likely raise housing costs by over 10%, they take no liability, and often do a poor job. This is an example where big government justifies unreasonable searches and $ for your own protection, costing you a great deal in both $ and freedom. More than they provide, therefor they are a drain on society. Need to be eliminated and as long as they exist, they both drain society and lead to more government distrust.

    Now having a police force, in proportion to the crime of an area, does not drain society, unless they demand new cars, raises and equipment that are not needed, then they are a drain.

    Perhaps it would have been more helpful, to make fun of those that spurred the tea party reaction. A few bad students can ruin it for the whole class. Many elected officials and bureaucrats take advantage of us, take our money and then talk to us and treat us poorly. This makes you all look bad and prompts tea party reactions. You should be more critical of yourself and your peers and perhaps the public would not be led to such a reaction. As you know we have a republic, which gives you power, because we universally recognize that the public is stupid overall and does not make good decisions, that is why we elected you a pseudo parents to raise us. Parents can be both good and bad, even with a govt license. But parents don’t often do a good job either. Look at how many poor leaders we have and how many of our citizens we need to lock up.

    I am sorry, but more of you is not the answer. The answer if for those of you already parenting us to learn that you are not parents, just there to do what we cannot do on our own…like make roads, defend our borders, the rest of this crap we can take care of. We spend our money as we like, if we do not want a corporation or bank to have power, then we know how to cut them off.

  23. Ken M. Says:

    In 1978 my grandfather told me what would happen to this country if the Republicans gained control of the government long enough and especially if they gained control of the Supreme Court. The term he used for them was “fascists” and I have watched as everything he told me has come true.

    My grandfather’s job required him to attend meetings held by the corporate hierarchy and he witnessed first hand the total disregard for the working men and women by these parasites. He also witnessed how they had no trouble eating their own the minute their backs were turned. The goal by these giants of industry were to turn back the clock before the New Deal. Back to the “good old days” as they put it. Unfortunately he said, there is a portion of the population who, even though they will never have that kind of money and power, they will champion the wealthy’s cause.For some it is because they don’t have the intelligence to understand that being a wealthy mans doormat is not a consequence of their status at birth. The other ones support it because they too would abuse that kind of power if they had it. It has not been easy witnessing this over the last thirty years.

  24. Jeff T Says:

    I think Mr. Hart should go on tour with this article – as a speech.

    There is so much hatred for the American people, it will be a great reminder of why the country didn’t chose him to lead.

    Those who can’t, teach. Right Mr. Hart?

  25. Revolutionary Says:

    The solutions are so simple. Tax the very richest one percent. They can afford an extra 2 percent in taxes. End the wars, and slash the military budget by rooting out tens of billions of dollars a year in defense contract fraud.

    Nobody will discuss these obvious measures. We’re clearly not going to get reform. It’s time for a revolution. Kick the bums out and shut the —— down.

  26. Michael Califra Says:

    I’m a 52 year-old progressive Democrat who cast his first vote in 1976 and has seen more than enough false promise on the political left. But never have I been as angry as now. Never have I been as disappointed with a politician as I am with Obama. This man rode into office on a wave of goodwill and desire for change – which implicitly meant using the power of the government to level the playing field. Yet, at a time when the country is in desperate need of progressive governance, Obama runs and hides every time there is a fight to be fought. He’s caved to the Republicans in congress, the conservative media noise machine (as I write this CNN is ridiculing the stimulus as wasted money) and even the most corrupted members of his own party, all at a time when he could have turned to conventional political discourse on its head, finally closing the book on supply-side economics and making government function for working people again. The man isn’t a leader but is a fraud with no core values. He has wasted a historic opportunity to bring about a national renewal given to few people in political life. That lack of leadership is resuscitating a dead conservative ideology, which will give political cover to Republicans screaming about the failure of “big government” and the need for tax cuts and deregulation as the cure all for every economic woe — the very things that got us into this mess! Meanwhile, the lives of ordinary Americans will keep getting harder and harder and the country will continue down the path to becoming a banana republic. Why don’t we just nail a big sign onto the Statue of Liberty: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here? It seems to have become a prerequisite for being a working American.

  27. kramer Says:

    One of the main reasons for our bad economy is from us shipping millions of jobs overseas over the last 10 years. Under globalisation, we’ve moved part of our economy offshore, it’s only natural that it’s going to have negative consequences. From what I gather, we’ve shipped around 10 million jobs out of the country since 2000. And consider what happens when a plant closes, it results in nearby businesses laying off people or closing.

    I don’t see any president, Republican or Democrat fixing this problem as long as we are sending part of our economy to other countries. In addition, both parties support this for different reasons: Republicans for the way it helps companies increase profits and to compete against foreign companies who build competing products in China. Democrats because it’s a way to increase the standard of living in other countries and because it’s helping to get us closer to meeting the UN’s MDG’s.

    Kramer

  28. Emmanuel Winner Says:

    For the past year, Gary Hart has bent over backward to be generous to (the moderate Republican DINO) President Obama. When Hart at last sours on this vacuous administration, you klnow Obama’s lost his base.
    Time to rethink 2012; we ain’t going anywhere with these DLC clowns.

  29. Ophiuchus Says:

    Gary – There you go. Blame the people! You and i know it is the criminals in DC and big banksters…… get a life.

    PS… There is no left or right. They are all part of the same agenda and that is to destroy the US from within.

  30. Gary Hart Says:

    To Mr. Winner I would say, I haven’t soured on President Obama. This blog was to indicate the probable consequences of ending temporary public support for the financial, auto, and other industries. Perhaps it is too tongue-in-cheek for some who have responded here (including the predictable personal attacks). To Ophiuchus I respond: Where in this blog do I “blame the people”. And I don’t use terms like left or right in this blog. It is merely time for those who blame every woe on “big government” to face up to the consequences of getting rid of it. We had decent regulation of the banking industry that worked for sixty years and we ended it under Clinton and Bush.

  31. R P Crawford Says:

    End of big government? The government is bigger than ever. Almost all of the $787 billion stimulus spending went to protecting government unions or government jobs.The spending levels of this administration is dangerous for the long term health of this country. You spend and tax your way to prosperity. The class warfare being waged by the far left will not accomplish what is intended to do which is to redistribute the wealth. That’s what all the agenda items are about…healthcare, cap and trade, overspending/over taxing. That’s been tested around the world and it has always ended in less affluent economic standards.

  32. Chuck Says:

    The blaming of the tea party movement for the problems we have today instead of on the political elite, both left and right, who caused the very problems you raise, by their progressive policies is a laughable propaganda technique. The Tea Parties didn’t promote the DESTRUCTION OF THE USA, they REACTED to it!

  33. Gary is a Statist Says:

    Yes! If only we gave the government more power and money, everything would be ok. It’s OUR fault as citizens for not slaving hard enough for the expansion of our imperialistic corporate police state. The hilarious thing about “Neo Conservatives” like you, Gary, is that you are actually more of a statist than the socialist party you pretend to stand against.

    I for one look forward to a less-regulated America. Maybe the auto industry here DESERVES to fail because they got so dependent on subsidies and tariffs that they forgot how to make a decent car and compete in the marketplace. Did it ever occur to you that DEPENDENCE MAKES YOU WEAKER? Lean on the crutch long enough and you’ll forget how to walk without it. That why the American industries you list are failing, Gary. Because they are incompetent lobbying-driven businesses that can not perform their core mission of creating real products with real value. They are too busy trying to figure out how to swindle the taxpayer and stonewall their competition using legislation as a weapon. And it is precisely suckling at the teat of big government that has done this to them.

  34. Gary Hart Says:

    Overstating the case, and mis-stating my case, does not answer the fundamental question: why did a Republican and a Democratic administration find it absolutely necessary to provide emergency support for our financial system and save a few remaining manufacturing jobs? Because our economic system required it. Calling me a “statist” is both ridiculous and childish. The people of Colorado don’t elect “statists”, whatever that is. If anything is hilarious it is calling me “neo-conservative.” Loyal Americans are problem solvers. We’ve got some problems to solve. My blog was meant to cause people to sober up about the consequences of dismantling a government that we are fighting to give to Iraqis and Afghans.

  35. qwerpa Says:

    “Gary is a Statist” you have some gall talking about a “corporate police state”. Do you even have any idea of what happened on Thursday? No, of course you don’t, because you don’t think for yourself, you don’t pay attention. You whine on and on about the scary government and indoctrination and dependence, all the while greedily accepting all these things from the corporations!

    So stop parroting the right-wing mumbo jumbo. You may notice that neither you nor anyone else responding against Gary was able to disprove what he said about a 15% unemployment rate. Oh it couldn’t be the government’s fault or the corporation’s fault we would have a 15% unemployment rate in a deregulated environment. It must be the people! The stupid, idiotic people are too unskilled and worthless to do anything to garner your majesty’s sacred dollar. So let them rot to death in poverty. Now who’s blaming the people?

  36. Brian C. McCarthy Says:

    Senator, when will you realise that reason and rational thought are powerless against those who can write in all capital letters? 🙂
    Slainte!
    BCM

  37. Michael Califra Says:

    I fail to understand why those on the Right, who claim to care so much about national security, cannot comprehend why a strong manufacturing base is in our national interest. Maybe it’s just the thought of labor unions that they can’t stand. Those same people are also obviously ignorant of the fact that Japanese auto companies benefited from decades of Japanese industrial policy before they were able to take significant market share from the Americans. (Oh, and by the way, it wasn’t GM, Ford or Chrysler that had to recall 2.8 million vehicles this week.)

  38. Mimi K Says:

    All the comments and the excellent piece make the same assumption: that the old paradigms of big vs small government, free versus regulated capitalism, etc., will prevail, with one winning out over the other.

    I see our dysfunctionality and absurdity (dismantling the same government we go to war to give to other countries, for instance) as the difficult, anguishing falling apart stage in a transformational process that is heading toward a new 21st century form of Democracy that could — and probably should — look very different than the 18th century one we still have.

    I think we are well into a revolution whose core issue is how to flourish in life under the current conditions in which human beings live on Earth — which are not the same as the conditions the US Framers lived in. They did not have to deal with nuclear weaponry, the poisoning of the planet from modern industry, or human population exceeding the carrying capacity of the Earth. Not to mention global corporate rule.

    As William Grieder elegantly puts it (in Welcome Home, America), “Instead of thinking first about how to help businesses flourish, [government should] ask what people need in order to flourish in American life.”

    I take the question further: What does humanity as a whole need in order to flourish on a planet in trouble? This is not a question that the US Framers needed to ask.

    We do.

    The short, simple answer is that we need new paradigms and new systems — in short, change, real change — and neither Democrats nor Republicans are giving it to us.

    Real change is messy, and this is the mess.

    What does the future hold? It could hold a US democracy that has been retooled for the 21st century that is based on human well-being, including and especially the new economies of well-being that are already sprouting up all over that are working out the answer to Grieder’s and my question: What do human beings need to flourish NOW, in these times under these planetary, global conditions?

    Short answer: Not the US leadership we now have.

  39. Jeff Simpson Says:

    Mr. Hart, once again a thought-provoking post and, this time, a lively dialectic.

    Systemic legislative loopholes allowing corporate entities to reap unwarranted and unsustainable profits bode future discontent given the recent Supreme Court ruling in “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.”

    Entrenched legislators are enamored of the current system which imparts obvious advantage to incumbents. The right wants big-stick hegemony, a laissez-faire regulatory environment, and no social services for people they view as lazy. The left accept the same corporate donations and are too worried about surviving populist outrage to curb improper influence. Any left-leaning politician who begins to broach delicate and nuanced matters is painted as an aggression apologist, as a big-government-loving bureaucrat, and, because nobody can be weak on defense, as a spendthrift willing to pay for both defense and social programs. Scott Brown’s election may mark the beginning of the swinging back of the ‘change’ pendulum.

    The left may talk about change, but the perception exists that they are back to politics as usual ca. 1980-94. And so the midterm election appoaches.

    The right still promises Reagan’s notion of infinite growth in a finite world to an electorate struggling to survive and comprehend. Easy answers don’t require deep thought, just your vote on Tuesday. But reduction of complex issues to pithy soundbites is disingenuous. Our generation will be reviled for a number of its central tenets, including acquiescing to squandering resources, borrowing, the trade deficit, and allowing the special influences undue influence in government. The only question is can we change before dysfunction and crisis set in (again)?

  40. Irina Bulkley Says:

    Hi Gary and good day to the rest, as well! I found Mr. Kennedy’s comment about “starting over” when a two party democracy no longer works extremely interesting. Gary, could you please voice your opinion about this and expand? Personally (and for a while now) I feel more convinced that the current political system may be coming to an end, as we know it. The differences are too enormous to bridge, the grid lock seems to be perpetual, and yet the initiatives supported and much wanted by the people must be implemented. No offense, but most of the Republican opposition to what seems to me a common sense (and a common need) approach to a variety of issues could be called ridiculous if it were not so sadly and deeply consequencial. Imagine a scenario of a “Common Sense” party where the supporters of the common sense reforms (based on the promise of which President Obama was elected) could “flow” from both the Democrat and the Republican sides. Would that be an option to implement the changes we, the people, voted for?

  41. CheriAnne Says:

    I think that the problem is a misperception of what “Big Government” means. The United States has a land mass of approximately 3,794,083 miles (according to Wikipedia) and we are roughly the same size as China. Canada is slightly larger, and Russia is almost twice our size. We have 50 separate and distinct states. Each of those states has their own Constitution, their own laws and regulations. The Federal Government has the responsibility of governing World Affairs on top of governing the union affairs. The united states has roughly a population of 307,006,550. We do not live in a vaccuum. Each one of those 307,006,550 has the potential of some sort of daily contact with persons outside the regulatory processes of the United States. Overseeing trade, security, environmental protection, product safety, etc., etc., requires a big government. It is negligence to propose small government. But somehow people have been convinced that regulations are against their best interest. I would stand up and applaud the politician who would get up and say I am going to raise taxes. (Of course, he would have to raise taxes equitably across the board for all income brackets). The way to prepare a nation for being defeated without a fight is to bankrupt it.

  42. grant Says:

    I wonder if you have any basis for this argument in fact. In history. In anything. Really this scenario reminds me more of the U.S.S.R. than at any point in the history of a free country. The great state of Rome fell into the scenario you predict after its government was seized by a one man tyrant (tyrant is meant both in the modern and classical Greek definition). And let us not forget that Rome’s policy of ‘bread and circuses’ resulted in decreased self reliance and further cyclical poverty. Rome (and every once-great state) was made strong not by its government, but by its people (the obvious exception is of course Napoleonic France, which became strong due to Napoleon’s skill, but I think we can agree that a stable government should be achieved, not a strong, just government that dies out in one generation with the passing of its founder). The people must be strong for the country as a whole to be strong. When the people of Rome became complacent with poverty, when they lost their once-iron will, when they depended more on the state then themselves and their own abilities, Rome fell into the kind of chaos you describe. For one so influential, I wish you would be more responsible. For one so obviously intelligent, I wish you would give a fact or two, here or there, instead of misleading platitudes and fantasies. For one so sure of himself, you seem awfully scared. If you are really so sure of your ideas, please, please, please debate me. P.S. this message (and especially the challenge to a debate at the end) are not in any way meant to be combative. I do not mean to be threatening at all, in fact I hope you don’t feel threatened or challenged because if you feel like that you will close your mind to what I am saying. Please do not feel challenged, please examine the argument I make as I have examined yours. Be, like I am, an impassionate observer of history. Please don’t let your world-view be clouded by anger or preconceptions. Best of luck to your rationality.

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