How small a government is too small?

Terms in our national debate come and go; some only stay long enough for a good laugh. “Peak oil” has left us. Other terms didn’t even stay long enough to enjoy.

But a term that keeps cropping up in one form or another has something to do with the size of government. Evidently there is a size to it that we need to understand. There is still talk of “big government” or “less government,” and we’ll soon need to take notice. Grover Norquist said that we should make government small enough to drown in a bathtub. As various branches of our government get smaller, we need a yardstick to tell us: “Are we there yet?” What was big? Maybe just compared to, say, some of the Wall Street companies or Enron. Too big to fail. And how little is small?

In our family, Wake County reduced our son’s work week from 40 hours to 30. And yes, he’s fortunate to still have a job. But wait – it ain’t over.

We should keep an eye on California, where downsizing has gotten beyond where Gov. Schwarzenegger can figure out what to do. He’s at a loss, so on to the issue of gay marriage.

As government shrinks, we’ll just have to wait and see. Norquist could tell us, but he’s nowhere to be found. Maybe putting water in the tub.

— Allen Thomas
Asheville

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5 thoughts on “How small a government is too small?

  1. travelah

    What in the world gives you cause to think government is shrinking???

  2. John Smolkin

    Small government is the ideal this country was founded upon. Libertarian ideal. Just enough government to get the job done. Of course, basic is an understanding of what government should be responsible for. The basics: police and fire, courts, representation through congress, military for common defense.

    Big government takes on the running of our lives. Welfare, high taxes, lots of regulation. What sometimes sounds good on the surface, doesn’t work at all well on the operation level. Many in favor of big government seem to think government can take away the risks and downsides of living. Make our life “perfect”.

    Life will never be perfect. I think the smaller the government, the better. Have it just big enough for what is needed. That way we have more personal freedom and keep more of our own money to pursue happiness as we see fit.

    Thomas Jefferson had it right. “The government that governs least, governs best.”

  3. Piffy!

    [b]Small government is the ideal this country was founded upon. Libertarian ideal. Just enough government to get the job done. Of course, basic is an understanding of what government should be responsible for. The basics: police and fire, courts, representation through congress, military for common defense. [/b]

    Actually. that is mostly wrong. This country’s governing bodies were created to keep a small minority of wealthy people in power indefinitely, which it is still accomplishing today.

    Without government, of and by the people, this world would be even more controlled by corporations, who would care even less for your precious rights than the current ‘government’ does.

  4. John Smolkin

    Actually PFK, you are the one who is wrong. Quite wrong. Perhaps when you grow up you will have a more mature take on this wonderful country. Right now you’re still stuck in rebellion. Let’s see, years ago by the time a guy was 21 or so he got over it. Military service would get guys over it at 18. Now-a-days, with no compulsory national service, and parents who spoil their children, it is more like 30-35 years old when guys start to get responsible. Of course there are exceptions. Maybe you will never grow up -:).

    The more government there is, the less personal freedom we have. Big government isn’t here to watch corporations. Big government expands, over-taxes, then is ever watchful to keep it’s own nest feathered and in place. We end up with government employees who were originally supposed to be our servants, but have now acquired an attitude that they are our betters and we had better be nice and kiss up if we want them to do their jobs. For those old enough, reference post office employees of the 1970s.

    Those that want bigger government and a “nanny” to take care of them from cradle to grave, should get a preview by living in Cuba for 6 months. Of course, the price you pay for “free” health care and plenty of beans and rice to eat (sorry no hamburgers and the food you are used to here) is no personal freedom. You are at the mercy of what the government wants you to do. Hopefully they will let you leave then to come home and hopefully appreciate this country for once.

    “The government that governs least,governs best.” – Thomas Jefferson

  5. Thomas Jefferson

    “A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit. ”

    “Force is the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism. ”

    “I abhor war and view it as the greatest scourge of mankind. ”

    [b]”If God is just, I tremble for my country. “[/b]

    “I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be. ”

    “I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature. ”

    -Thomas Jefferson

    “Each generation should be made to bear the burden of its own wars, instead of carrying them on, at the expense of other generations.”
    James Madison

    [b]”If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”[/b]
    James Madison

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