Friday, April 17, 2015

A Good Question for AynRandy

What - exactly - is his definition of "small government?"
I like to pose the Goldilocks question:

How much government is too big, how much government is too small, and how much government is just right?

For the Scott Walkers and the Sam Brownbacks and the Pat McCrorys and the John Kasichs and the Ricks Snyder and Scott, this is not a trivial question. Since a "right-sized" government does not seem to exist in their universe, these are questions the right seems completely unprepared to address. Asking the question generally leaves them with their mouths hanging open.

Originalists among the T-Party typically fall back on Article 1, Section 8 enumerated powers in the Constitution. Of course, there is no Air Force in there — it's neither an Army nor a Navy. Therefore, no satellites, no telecommunications, no GPS. (Sorry, fishermen.) No system of lake, river, coastal, and aeronautical aids to navigation. They're not exactly military, nor law enforcement, nor commerce — and there's not really a market for trade in buoys, range markers, lighthouses, radio beacons, and air traffic control. No interstate highway system in Article 1, Section 8 either.

We ought to demand that our friends on the right define what their anti-big-government utopia looks like. Paint us a picture. Compare and contrast the life we live today with the one you promise your policies will provide. How about you start, Sam Brownback?

If you believe the lives we live right now are manacled by big, bad government, what would you demolish? What should go away? How much smaller should the military be? Is half a million installations worldwide too big? Is nearly 900 overseas bases too big? Would the Founders have considered that big government? Is Social Security big government? What's your plan for demolishing it? Do you propose privatizing the interstate highways? Should there be tolls on all of them?

And no, no more abstract blather about more freedom and more choices and fewer taxes. Paint us a picture. Describe for us, in detail, what your small-government utopia will look like in day-to-day, physical terms. Lowly fiction writers can do that.

How much government is too big, how much government is too small, and how much government is just right?

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