|Debate on the size of government: It's too big|
|Written by Brad Rudisail|
|Thursday, 05 August 2010|
As a columnist, you never know what topic is going to garner a response from the readers.
Several months ago I wrote a column explaining why the Tea
Party movement never touts tax increases in order to curtail the deficit but
focuses solely on spending cuts. As I noted in that column,
In order to heal the patient, tough love must prevail, accompanied by a painful period of cold turkey as the supply is cut off.
A number of readers wrote in and began an interesting debate on the size of government.
Several years ago at a former residence, I enjoyed truly wonderful cable service provided by a small family owned cable company. They not only provided me with television viewing but my Internet as well. The service was extremely reliable and the support was great. One could even drop by the office and speak with one of the owners who were always present to listen to any unresolved issues or concerns.
Later, I moved to an area in which I was forced to purchase DSL and cable TV from two giant national firms. My entire family hated the DSL service. It always went down in a storm and the support was frustrating at best as you were put on eternal hold only to be put on hold again as they attempted to route you to someone who was supposed to know how to fix your problem.
The dependability of the cable TV service didn’t compare with the level I was accustomed to, but I can’t complain too much as they never billed me for the first nine months of service. Bigger is certainly not better.
For some reason though, many people feel that smaller government equates with weaker government. Sometimes I get the sarcastic remark that if I want government out of my life than I must want anarchy. To understand how preposterous this is, one need only to look back at the 1950’s when government was only a fraction of the size it is today.
Many people romanticize the 50s as “The Golden Years” despite the lack of a labyrinth government. If we roll back some more years, we see that the nation suffered two devastating depressions in 1893 and 1873, yet we came out of them without New Deal like stimulus programs. The fact is that it doesn’t take a very large government to provide a secure, dependable and competent climate to live in and participate in basic commerce.
Somehow for the majority of our nation’s history we have done just fine without the Administration for Children and Families, the Administration for Native Americans, the Administration on Aging, the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, the Advisory council on Historic Preservation, the African Development Foundation, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, AMTRAK, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and on, and on, and on, and on. In case you’re wondering, I’ve barely touched upon the federal agencies that start with an A.
Someone wrote in and used the example of the creation of the Federal Interstate Highway System, to which I say of course they used that example.
It is the one everyone uses and as quickly as one thinks of that example, it takes a lot longer to come up with a second one. The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 was less than 50 pages long. Imagine how many hundreds or even thousands of pages it would be today. The project spanned 20 years, and I dare say it would take the government 50 years to replicate the effort today.
Imagine if the federal government attempted such a project in 2010. There would be endless environmental studies and historical preservation studies conducted on every proposed route. Congressional politicians would argue incessantly about whose district the new highways would travel through, and Democrats would insist that all road crew positions would have to be unionized.
There would probably even be a debate as to how much the new highway system would impact global warming.
The fact is that our government is too big, too bureaucratic
and too cumbersome to prove efficient and productive. It needs one heck of a
diet before the infrastructure that supports it just plain gives out. Smaller
doesn’t mean weaker. It denotes the ability to be more adaptable, personable,
efficient, productive and responsive. In other words, everything that
Brad Rudisail is a
syndicated political columnist. He is a graduate of the Coverdell Leadership
Institute and a resident of
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 August 2010 )|
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