Review the following Required Reading Articles:
Federalist Paper No. 47 James Madison, 1788
Federalist Paper No. 51 James Madison, 1788
The Progressive Tradition in American Politics Center for American Progress, Ruy Teixeria and John Halpin, 2010
The Birth of the Administrative State: Where It Came From and What It Means for Limited Government Ron Pestritto, 2007
A Moral Case Against Big Government: How Government Shapes the Character, Vision, and Virtue of Citizens The Heritage Foundation, First Principles Series, Ryan Messmore, 2007
|Subject||Law and governance||Pages||4||Style||APA|
Limited Government: Is the US Government Too Big
Currently, the national debt in the United States is big as it stands at $21 trillion. According to Haskins (2018), many federal policymakers feel some sense of accomplishment, which this should not be the case as they continue to maintain and in some instances expand the national debt. The high amount of debt is enhanced by the fact that it is contributed by both the republican and democratic parties, current and previous Presidents, recession, wars, borrowed funds, tax cuts, and previous stimulus spending including Medicare prescriptive benefits. Therefore, the level of spending by the federal government is high, and these places pressure on the available revenue streams. Notably, national governments should operate at a level where they can comfortably manage their expenses while meeting all the vital needs that form their responsibility. Therefore, if the national debt is big, the question of whether the federal government itself is big emerges.
Primarily, determining if a government is “big” varies from a person to person as it is a subjective concept. Moreover, the government is inclusive of various factors. Therefore, the area of concern regarding its ‘bigness’ may be focused on a single section only. For instance, one may consider the complexity and size of the economy, social beliefs and goals, and population density. According to Messmore (2007), most Americans focus on security, prosperity, and goods of freedom to evaluate the size of the government. Therefore, ‘big government’ does not necessarily mean that the government controls everything. Instead, it may just focus on one element of the government.
Principally, the conservatives and the Republicans believe and advocates for a ‘small government.’ According to Pestritto (2007), ‘small government’ is characterized by the continuous expansion of the people’s opportunities and freedoms and provision of better education services as well as free enterprise. However, this is not the case in the United States at the moment. For instance, Pestritto (2007), asserts that the current structure regarding constitutional separation-of-powers whose main aim was to uphold individual rights and preserve the rule of law in the nation has been significantly weakened leading to Progressivism effects. Therefore, the efforts of Republicans and conservatives to have a ‘small government’ are not effective. On the other hand, Liberals and Democrats are pro ‘big government.’ In this regard, their focus is that this nature of government will offer enhanced economies of scale, improve the national defense, and provide more specialized services such as Medicaid. The two views; between republicans and democrats all lead to better life experiences. However, the issue that leads to a high debt is the amount of money added or subtracted from the national economy.
Primary factors leading to the US having a ‘big government’ include population density. Ideally, if a population is big, the government has to be big to meet the needs of all the persons. Currently and in recent years, the population of the US has maintained an upward increase due to reduced mortality rates, increased birth rates, better food production, immigration, and better health. Another factor is the size of the economy, which influences the government’s role. For instance, the existence of more industries forces the government to be large to help monitor all related events. Thus, the US government is big because the level of industrialization is high. The way a nation interacts with external factors also influences its size. Currently, the federal government makes international agreements, compacts terrorism, and manages economic competitions among others. As such, it has to be ‘big’ to meet all these functions.
Conclusively, current population size, level of the economy, and interactions with external elements indicate that the United States’ government is ‘big.’ Similarly, the national debt is indicative of how the government is ‘big.’ However, the federal government is not ‘too big’ since it can afford its debt. As indicated by Kurtzman (2018), the federal government spends 1.4% of the GDP on paying for the interest incurred on its borrowed debts.
Messmore, R. (2007). A Moral Case Against Big Government: How Government Shapes the Character, Vision, and Virtue of Citizens. Washington, DC: The Heratige Foundation.
Pestritto, R. (2007). The Birth of the Administrative State: Where It Came From and What It Means for Limited Government. Washington, DC: The Heritage Foundation
Haskins, R. (2018, July 23). The federal debt is worse than you think. Retrieved from Brookings: https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/the-federal-debt-is-worse-than-you-think/
Kurtzman, J. (2018, July 23). Is the National Debt Really Too Big? Retrieved from Yahoo Finance: https://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/national-debt-really-too-big-183730367.html