Typing the words "big government" into the Google search bar produces nearly 2 billion hits. 2 billion. The phrase "big government" is thrown around so often by conservative and Republican officials to describe the Obama presidency and Democrats in general....that you may actually believe Republicans favor smaller government and Democrats favor bigger government.
But talk and words are cheap. And with politicians it would seem that talk and words are always on sale. However, to investigate whether Republicans are accurate in labeling Democrats the party of "big government"......we must steer away from talk and look at actions.
In 1981, Republican President Ronald Reagan began his first of two terms with a total of 2,875,000 non-military federal employees. By the end of Reagan's second term, our nation had 3,113,000 federal employees....an increase of roughly 238,000. The government Reagan inherited from Carter was turned into a much "bigger government".
The Gipper SAID that he favored smaller government, in the same way that many of today's Republicans talk. But the proof of the smaller government pudding is in the tasting....and Reagan's "smaller government" words were betrayed by his bigger government actions. Reagan increased the size of government by approximately 10%.
Democratic President Jimmy Carter shrunk federal employee rolls during his four years by only 8000.....a small reduction to be sure....but not an increase. Carter, it can be accurately stated, made the federal government smaller. Carter was a Democrat.
George H.W. Bush's four years as president also resulted in a reduction of federal employees. Schrub's old man reduced federal employment by 30,000 in four years. H.W. is understood by today's Republicans as a RINO who raised taxes.
The Democratic president Republicans impeached, William Jefferson Clinton, began his first of two terms with 3,083,000 federal employees. When Clinton left office in 2001 the total number of federal employees had been reduced to 2,703,000. A reduction of approximately 12% totaling 380,000 federal employees. Big Government Willie actually wasn't.
George W. Bush, a GOP president, began with 2,703,000 federal employees in 2001 and left in 2009 with a total number of 2,756,000 federal employees. An increase of 53,000.
Democratic President Barack Obama inherited the 2,756,000 federal employees from his predecessor. By 2010 the federal government had 2,840,000 non-military employees....an increase of some 84,000. It could rightfully be said that President Obama has presided over a bigger federal government when it comes to the number of federal employees. But hold that thought for a moment.
From the year 1980 to the year 2010, our nation's population has changed from 226,545,805 to 330,000,000....an increase of over 100 million Americans.
Republican Ronald Reagan's number of federal employees 3,113,000. Democrat Barack Obama's number of federal employees 2,840,000.
"Big government" Barack Obama has 273,000 fewer federal employees than "smaller government" Ronald Reagan had at the end of his second term despite the fact that our nation had 100 million fewer citizens during Reagan than presently.
Distilling. If one insists on calling Obama a "big government" Democrat because he has more federal employees than Bush the Younger.....then what could Republican Ronald Reagan rightfully be called....."a bigger government Republican?"
I understand how repeating something endlessly often leads people to believe in stuff which is not factually true. But it's high time that the idea that Democratic presidents are "big government" Democrats exploding the federal government every time they sit in the Oval Office.....be put to rest. It simply is not true.
The corollary of course is equally untrue. The father of modern Republicanism, President Ronald Reagan himself, did not preside over a smaller federal government during his presidency. Reagan, despite what he SAID, increased the size of the federal government by a larger amount than any president of the modern era.
Remember these facts the next time a conservative tells you he is a Reagan Republican who believes in a smaller federal government.
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