The False Promise of Big Government

The False Promise of Big Government
AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File

Since the New Deal, advocates for a stronger federal government have used poor, working-class, and middle-class Americans to justify their crusade. The argument asserts that government offers the only protection against the predations of the rich and powerful. So to oppose a growing federal government is to oppose helping our most vulnerable citizens improve their lives.

This, anyway, has been the argument for the past eighty years.

Unfortunately, many proponents of limiting government contribute to the myth that they are uncaring. They do so by relying mainly on two arguments against big government: the cost argument and the constitutional argument. The first says that a huge federal apparatus creates wasteful government programs and imposes too great an economic burden on Americans. The second holds that the federal government—especially through the unelected administrative state—has broken through the limits on its authority that the U.S. Constitution put in place.

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