Do we have a problem with our federal government? Or with government in general?

We often complain about the excessive spending of our federal government, and for good reason. We even argue for “states’ rights” as a way to restrain the federal government. But are the states any better than the federal government?

This first chart clearly show that the federal government spends, on average, as a percentage of GDP, more than our state and local government. But notice that state and local government spending caught up to the federal government back in 2001 (after the fiscal responsibility of the 1990s).

Obviously, the chart above has two large spikes representing World War I and World War II. What would it look like if we excluded volatile defense spending?

Doing this, it looks like the state and local government spend more money than the federal government. More important, states and local government has grown from about 15 percent of GDP in 1980 to 22 percent today. The federal government has “only” grown from 15 percent to 19 percent.

Looking at these chart, I have no confidence that the states will act with more restraint than the federal government. If our governments are incapable of fixing the problem, that only leaves you and me. We have to replace the people running and governments. We have to teach them and ourselves the value of small governments designed to protect our rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Everything else government does is an infringement of our rights and they should leave us alone.

 

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5 responses to “Do we have a problem with our federal government? Or with government in general?

  1. Well, some states are certainly better than others. You don’t want to live in California, Illinois or New York for instance . . . but New Hampshire isn’t so bad: http://wealthalchemyblog.com/2011/06/americas-tax-haven-no-income-sales-or-property-taxes/

  2. Good point, Michael. I’m of the opinion that most voters give only a little thought as to whom they vote fro on the Federal level and even less on the State and Local level. As a whole we put far too much faith in the people we elect and not enough faith in ourselves.

  3. The problem is that people are too apathetic to care about it all. They think that we can have it all without having to pay for it, that government controls the spigot of wealth creation. A next to nil understanding of economics is what has contributed to the ridiculous political policies of many a generation since the income tax was instituted.

  4. Pingback: The status quo results in socialism | The Path to Tyranny Blog

  5. Pingback: The status quo results in socialism « Sago

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