It is the nature of government to grow larger and larger if we the people don't keep it in check. We have a Constitution specifically designed by our founders to keep the government in check, but we haven't done a very good job of it.
One of the ways we measure the size of our economy is with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measurement.
Here's a historical view of government spending as a percentage of GDP: (link)
1903 - 6.80%
1920 - 12.83%
1940 - 20.14%
1960 - 28.74%
1980 - 33.71%
2000 - 33.01%
2008 - 36.70%
Government loves to grow.
In spite of the fact that government spending has skyrocketed, consuming an ever larger portion of our economy (and our wallets), the government, ironically, still never has enough money. We have annual deficits and mountains of debt. From the historical record, it's pretty easy to see the government almost never lives within it's means, regardless of how much money is served up out of the private sector to satisfy it's ravenous appetite.
I must mention one notable exception to the ever-growing government spending trend. In 1993, government spending as a percent of GDP stood at 36.36%, the highest it had ever been other than during World War II. In 1994, the so-called Republican Revolution took place. Republicans took control of Congress and implemented the Contract With America, which advocated fiscal responsibility. President Clinton, Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and the Republican Congress set about the noble task of taming the government beast. Government spending as a percent of GDP began to fall. By 1999, it was down to 32.95%. In 2000, it was 33.01%. The result - our government actually ran in the black for those two years. No deficits. We finally had budget surpluses.
When George W. Bush took office, that all changed. The Republican Congress didn't seem to care about balanced budgets any longer, and government spending soared again. As a result of that, the deficits and debt came back, bigger than ever.
Now we are charting an alleged new course with President Barack Obama. Obama talks about the failed policies of the past, meaning Republican policies, of course. What Obama thinks you are all too dumb to figure out is - Obama is FOLLOWING THOSE FAILED POLICIES OF THE PAST. He's even putting those failed policies into hyperdrive. He has increased government spending at lightspeed, and it's no secret he has plans to spend a LOT more. He has even said we will have trillion dollar deficits for years to come. He's doing just the opposite of what worked for Clinton/Gingrich to bring about those balanced budgets.
There has to be a tipping point for big government spending, and we have reached it. In addition to the $10-12 trillion in debt we've incurred, our unfunded liabilities (primarily Social Security and Medicare) are increasing at about $2 trillion each year. We have two options - 1) Drastically increase taxes, or 2) Cut government spending.
In general, Democrats like option 1, and Republicans like option 2.
I choose option 2.
If we try to tax our way out of the mess we're in, it will destroy our economy, plain and simple. Investment will go away. People will have less money. The economy will stagnate or shrink. Our standard of living will drop, and we'll be stomping all over our children's chances for prosperity in the future. Huge tax increases are not a desirable option.
We can't tolerate a scenario where government keeps growing if we want to remain a free and prosperous nation. The time is now to make some hard choices for the sake of the future. We can't just pretend we don't see the fiscal tsunami headed our way any longer. We can't pretend we can get out of it by spending more than we have any longer. That's the real failed policy of the past, and it's a recipe for disaster.
We must tame the government beast and take our country back from the corrupt Washington spendthrifts. We have to be responsible.
We must tame the government beast, before it's too late (if it isn't already).
We must tame it for good.
Thanks for listening.
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