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Big Government: Do We Really Want to Eliminate It?

Written By: Dan Stanley  |  Posted: Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Have you been watching the recent Republican debates? I have and I must admit that I have a hard time not watching political debates, whether Republican or Democrat. At times the sparks have flown, and who does not enjoy hearing Gingrich's take on the media!

But one theme rings true in hearing all of them, and that is the advocacy for removing "big
government" and returning to a limited small government versus the big one we have at present. This they all claim. Listen to them and it will come out loud and clear. No one is arguing the government is small or that it needs to be bigger, except maybe the President?!

But do they really believe what we are hearing? According to a recent USA Today report
(January 23rd, 2012), 58% of Americans "want government to do more" regarding the home crisis. A friend of mine who keeps abreast of national affairs in his own way went further, saying, "I believe that the majority of Americans (regardless of party) want big government, not smaller and limited government."

Is he right? Do you want big government or small government? My guess is many will say they want less big government. It doesn't sound good to say we want big government! But test yourself. If we truly wanted small, not big government, the following would be true:

1. We would want the elimination, gradually done, of Medicare, Medicare and Social Security. Yes, take care of those depending on it, but in the end remove it and privatize all three of these institutions.

2. We would want the elimination of all public educational institutions. No more state colleges and public schools. Private we go. We would return to true local schools with parents in complete control as it was in the past.

3. We would want the elimination of all fiat currency. We would return with gladness to a gold standard as the Constitution of the United States demands. All the inflationary printed currency would have to go. The printing presses would be sold to the highest bidder. Fractional reserve lending by banks would be outlawed. Presently they can lend many times more than they have on hand. If we did that, we would be sent to jail. Banks would be able to lend only what they physically had on hand.

4. We would want the elimination of our penchant for world domination via our military. Defend America to the hilt. But no more trying to straighten out other countries with military force. America itself would have strengthened borders and defense systems, but we would no longer be fighting wars in other countries as a principle.

5. We would want the elimination of the vast majority of our present Federal Departments. They would cease to exist. No more FDA for instance. The local farmer could sell his raw milk and you could buy it. "Buyer beware" would be the motto, not look out, here comes the inspector.

6. We would eliminate the Human Services Department or, if you like, our present welfare
system. It would be gone. Helping the poor and showing compassion would return to the individual, homes, churches and other private enterprises such as the Salvation Armies and Goodwills of our day.

7. We would eliminate all laws that hamper private property, including property taxes. No more regulations telling you whether you can build a porch or not. If you want a chicken in your back yard, go for it. True ownership of property would return.

8. We would eliminate all federal aid to foreign countries. Help them, yes, but privately, not with tax dollars. Read "It's Not Yours to Give" regarding Davey Crockett and how he saw this direction over two hundred years ago and opposed it. How things have changed! America has always had a high rate of charitable giving. The removal of the federal government from this arena would no doubt increase personal contributions abroad, and a better job would be done regarding its use if the government stayed out of it.

Is that enough or should I go further? Do you see why my friend believes most Americans want big government?

Yes, there are a few running for office who seem to truly desire small government, not big
government. I suppose that is why I like to listen to Congressman Ron Paul. Like him or not, he is not for big government. Of course, notice the Republican Party (his own) reject him en toto. Why? Maybe it is because they deep down inside want big government.

No doubt some are reading this and are even "shocked." To eliminate all these institutions
seems way too much and too farfetched. "Extreme" may be the word used. Is it possible you lack knowledge and understanding due to the day and age in which you were raised? Are there not things some of you know are good, yet refrain from even bringing them up in normal conversation due to the perception of those in our day and age? For some of you who are older, you have many examples of this. A one room school house seems so far away and Laura Ingles Wilder-like. Yet it was the very means whereby you were educated or your parents, and you did turn out all right.

Realize the very scenario described above of what would need to be eliminated is exactly what it was like in the early days of American history. In fact, it is the very reason the Constitution was written. The founders intended and hoped this country would remain free with a small and limited government.

Did they prosper in those days? Yes, they did. Was freedom experienced? The freest in the world. As a result we became the attraction of the world. All that is changing though. We are gradually losing our appeal. It is still there, but remove our welfare system, and it would dry up much of our immigration.

And notice the corollary. The less freedom we have, the bigger the government has become. Or should I say it the other way around. The bigger the government gets the less freedom we have. Yes, you are guaranteed certain things, but the cost is freedom, personal responsibility and a gradual collectivism that "dumbs down" our nation into a mediocrity that parallels the average European nation. We are less and less the "shining light on a hill."

So what about you? Are you for big government or not? It is at this crossroads it seems we have come. And I am afraid even the Republicans deep down inside are unwilling to give up their big government with all its illusionary benefits.

Dan Stanley is an owner and contributing editor of the Eau Claire Journal. Email:

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