Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Growth in Government Under “Conservatives”

Posted by oatney on May 8, 2006

A recent front page article in USA Today (I can’t link to it because it is in the paid archive) revealed that the economy was growing fastest in areas of the country where oil and government are the primary industries (nevermind that the phrase “government industry” is an oxymoron). Indeed, the United States is currently experiencing the most rapid growth in the size and scope of the federal government since the New Deal, and many pundits have been quick to point out that this level of growth in federal power and authority is far greater than the Roosevelt expansion of the 1930’s.

Since all of this rapid growth in government is happening under a so-called conservative administration and a Congress filled with Republicans, it poses the relevant question: Just how conservative is the administration? As I have pointed out, a lot of people are asking that question.

It is a fair question, since it is an established conservative principle that the government that governs best governs least, and that smaller government is always better government. Those Jeffersonian axioms are true on multiple levels, and since the days of Barry Goldwater they have been the bulwark of the conservative movement. It is reasonable to expect that real conservatives will live up to these ideas.

Under the Reagan administration, it was easy for conservatives to dismiss the growth of government because Reagan’s agenda was at the mercy of a Democrat Congress. However, when Bush was elected in 2000, I recall one friend of mine saying to me (on election night) “we control the Presidency and both Houses of Congress, there is no excuse for fundamental change NOT to occur.”

Many will say “but 9/11 changed everything, we are at war.” We as a nation have not been called upon to sacrifice in a time of war-the President’s version of national sacrifice was to tell us to go shopping. Just because we are at war and need more military spending (which isn’t happening) doesn’t mean spending everywhere else can’t be curtailed (which also isn’t happening). These aren’t conservative messages.

And we wonder just why it is that 69% of conservatives think Congress is doing a bad job, or why the conservative base isn’t energized for this year’s Election. Perhaps it is because many are afraid to send a so-called conservative group to Washington that isn’t really conservative.


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