Okay Cody, here is my response to Kate’s questions.
To answer your first question, there is no excuse for the expansion of the federal government that occurred under G.W. Bush, but the argument that “Bush started it” does not hold water when it comes to the exponential growth that has come out of the Obama Administration. I do not want to focus on Obama because I do not like the man and he is not the root of the problem, he is simply a cog of a machine that has been in running for a long time.
Governments grow. That is what they do. From the Constitution, to the National Banks, to the regulations that grew out of the Civil War, to the Progressive movement prior to, and during WWI, FDR, LBJ, Bush, and so on. Spending has always been on the rise and will continue to rise; the best we can do is to try and slow spending and increase revenues.
Why do governments grow? Ideally the government would tell us: “you are grown ass people, work it out; we will come by and pick up your trash on Thursdays”. Government grows because a situation occurs that riles up the populace, who demand that their legislators do something about it. The legislators are in a position where they must act because the people demand it, but if they react with too heavy a hand the people will reject it. Their answer is to create a maze of complex, confusing, intricate programs that redistribute money. An example would be the Crop Restriction Program, or CRP. If the government simply hands over money to farmers as a public gift, everyone can see where that money came from. If, on the other hand, they spread out the cost across the country to anyone buying product from those CRP farms the source of the money is obscured by the bureaucracy, and mutes the political opposition. There are a wide variety of programs that distort the structure of prices and alter the allocation of resources (Higgs, 1990). This public revolt has been coming along for a while now and it is now time to stand up and wrestle some power back from the Feds. The fact that we have been limping along for 30 years or so since our last attempt has no bearing on the debate.
Ronald Reagan was the closest thing to a conservative that has been in the White House for a long time now. Reagan increased revenues, but did not control spending, which was due in no small part to the Democrats in the Legislative branch, who saw an opportunity to increase spending. Regardless, from 1982 to 1990 the U.S. experienced a 92 month period of sustained economic growth, and when the 1989 federal budget is looked at as a percentage of the economy (versus the 1981 federal budget) we see that Reagan was actually able to shrink the federal budget by about 5% (Edwards, 2004). That is not to say that government shrank during the 80’s. In fact it still grew… a lot.
The American people have been fed big government in bites over the past 234 years. At first the bites were nibbles, then spoonfuls, big bites, and, over the past 100 years or so, mouthfuls. The Obama Administration has introduced Bills that throw a plateful down in front of us and expect us to eat it with a smile. When the majority of the people turn their noses up at their laws, they cry foul and attempt to smear us instead of debate the issues.
That got a little heated, but moving on to your second question: you should be allowed to marry whomever you want. Who you choose to marry has no bearing on my marriage, and I don’t think the U.S. Constitution should put limits on the people.
Third question, politicians getting between doctors and patients. It happens, check out the V.A. hospitals. Look at the NHS in England. Whoever is paying the bill gets a say in the process. If you want to keep decisions between the patient and the doctor you had better figure out at way to pay the bill yourself. Making healthcare affordable is key in that and that means removing government subsidies.
For a pretty good explanation of federal expansion prior to FDR check this out: http://www.independent.org/
Higgs, R. (1990). The growth of government in the United States. The Freeman, 40(8). From: http://www.thefreemanonline.
Edwards, C. (2004). Reagan’s small government vision. On NRO Financial, June 9, 2004. From: http://old.nationalreview.com/