If you listen to Republicans and Democrats alike, BIG government is a thing of the past. The humungous size of the government -- federal, state and local -- is the chief culprit in America's decline. Speaker of the House John Boehner says it's true. So too do Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Harry Reid. Even President Obama agrees. We must reduce the size of the government if we hope to stay on top.
The Congress and the Obama administration have been working hard to pare down the size of government. Across the nation, over 550,000 public workers lost their jobs in the first quarter of this year. Regulations are being cut back and inspectors are receiving their pink slips. Everywhere we look, the size of government is being shrunk...except in 2 cases: 1) The military-industrial complex and 2) "Homeland Security."
The military budget has been way too large for the past generation or two, so this isn't eye-popping news. In fact, for an imperialistic nation like the US, a bloated military budget is a given. However, as Chris Hedges reported early this month,
There are now 1,271 government agencies and 1,931 private companies that work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States, The Washington Post reported in a 2010 series by Dana Priest and William M. Arken. There are 854,000 people with top-secret security clearances, the reporters wrote, and in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2011. Investigative reporter James Bamford wrote in the latest issue of Wired magazine that the National Security Agency is building the largest spy center in the country in Bluffdale, Utah, as part of a secret NSA surveillance program code-named “Stellar Wind.” Bamford noted that the NSA has established listening posts throughout the country to collect, store and examine billions of email messages and phone calls.You see, when it comes to spying on Americans, the government can't seem to grow fast enough! Deficit hawks who see nothing wrong with eviscerating Medicaid, ending home heating programs for the poor and elderly or throwing thousands of teachers out of work, don't seem to have any qualms whatsoever when it comes to tossing wads of public money to the ever-expanding homeland security octopus.
It turns out that the ruling politicos really don't have a problem with b-i-g government at all. No, their problem merely concerns who the big government serves. If we're talking about government that serves the people, it needs to be smaller. If we're talking about government that serves the elite, it can grow as big as it wants.