“Big Government refers to a government that is very influential in the everyday lives of citizens, often due to its far-reaching agencies.” In other words, the growth of centralized government. Pat Buchanan once put it well:
- The mammoth government we have today is a result of politicians rushing to solve ‘crises’ by creating and empowering new federal agencies.
Thomas Sowell says of this in a recent book he wrote:
- Big Government damages trust rather than enhancing it, by making it more difficult for people to voluntarily cooperate for mutual profit.
Installing new powers for existing departments of government that create more legislation that straps the common man and business owner with more regulation and less freedom (an example would be the EPA and its new powers over more private property). Creating new departments and growing government in it’s scope and regulating powers (for instance, the ACA).
This is why “Dubya” always rated low in polls of people with differing political views. The left didn’t like him because he was on the opposite side of their viewpoint. The right didn’t like him because he teamed up with Kennedy and reinforced the idea of the Dept. of Education in joint legislation to increase its scope and influence WHEN it should be abolished all-together.
✦ Thomas E. Dewey stated the case against Big Government in 1950: “All-powerful, central government, like dictatorships, can continue only by growing larger and larger. It can never retrench without admitting failure. By absorbing more than half of all the taxing power of the nation, the federal government now deprives the states and local governments of the capacity to support the programs they should conduct … it offers them in exchange the counterfeit currency of federal subsidy.”
✦ Dwight Eisenhower deplored what he called “the whole-hog mentality,” which “leans toward the creation of a more extensive and stifling monopoly than this country has ever seen … you don’t need more supergovernment.”
✦ Republican House Minority Leader Gerald Ford, in 1966, blamed it all on the Democrats, labeling them “the party of Big Business, of Big Government, of Big Spending, of Big Deficits, of Big Cost of Living, of Big Labor Trouble, of Big Home Foreclosures, of Big Scandals, of Big Riots in the Streets and of Big Promises.”
✦ “The truth about big government,” said John F. Kennedy in 1962, “is the truth about any other great activity: it is complex. Certainly it is true that size brings dangers, but it is also true that size also can bring benefits.”
✦ A favorite Ronald Reagan line was “Government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem.” President Bill Clinton astonished some followers and delighted some critics with “The era of big government is over.”
(Quotes are from William Safire, Safire’s Political Dictionary (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2008), 52, cf. big government.)
Professor Thies notes “what conservatism is” in a short numbered way, that defines well what the base of the GOP stands for (or doesn’t stand for):
Three question the left rarely [if ever] ask:
1) compared to what?
2) at what cost?
3) what hard-evidence do you have?