Thursday, November 22, 2012

Republican Shrinkage

Republicans often repeat the line, "Most Americans want a smaller government."

A classic example of Republicans getting an inch and taking a mile.

Most people simply want efficient provision of services. The number of public workers is not important to most taxpayers. The quality of service per tax dollar is what concerns taxpayers most.

The idea that simply shrinking government for the sake of shrinking government is wanted and/or somehow optimal is false. Taxes, as a share of income, are at their lowest point in 60 years. It's difficult to argue government is wasteful when they have been continually doing more with less decade after decade.

And, whether the service is administered at the federal or state/local level doesn't really matter to most taxpayers. This distinction matters most to the politicos trying to maintain their fiefdoms. Taxpayers just want the service/program - regardless of which agency (state or federal) provides it.

Social Security, Medicare, police and fire protection, sewers, water, garbage collection, snow removal, roads and highways, trains, unemployment insurance, the court and judicial system - people want these services provided fairly and efficiently, they don't care which level of government performs the service. (Today - Thanksgiving - would be a good day to reflect on these programs which we collectively provide for each other.)

Republicans merely cling to this talking-point (we must shrink government) because it positions well alongside their never-ending "bad government" war chant. When it comes to the public sector, according to Republicans, less is always better.

Yet, for most citizens, less government means more inequality. Remember this the next time you hear some conservative blathering on about big bad government. The more government declines, the less services and programs (listed above) they can provide, and thus the quality of life of most citizens also declines.

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