Bernie Sanders

The Size of Government Question

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How big should government be? That was the gist of the very first question at last night's Democratic presidential debate. The question, posed to Bernie Sanders, noted that spending by the federal government is already equal to about 21 percent of the economy. How much bigger would it be in a Sanders administration?

Sanders, you may not be surprised to discover, did not directly answer the question. Instead, he simply insisted, as he has so many times before, that government has a responsibility to do much more than it is doing right now, on health care, education, infrastructure, jobs, and more. After a follow-up from the moderator, he briefly acknowledged that there should be some sort of limit on the size of government, but did not even attempt to suggest what that limit should be. Instead, he reiterated his belief that the government has a responsibility to do much more than it is doing now.

Sanders' response was a dodge, and a telling one for a candidate whose plans for the federal government are so ambitious. But he was onto something anyway. Because the way he answered the question was essentially to reframe it, not as a question about the size of government, but about its role.

This is the hidden debate in American politics today, the big question that is rarely discussed directly but arguably lies at the foundation of nearly every major policy and political debate. What is the purpose of government? What is it essential nature and character, its mission statement? What are its essential duties and functions?

The question Sanders actually answered was not, "How big should the government be?" but "What should the government do?" This is a question worth dwelling on, and one for which neither party has a particularly good answer.  

For Sanders, the answer is just about everything, or pretty close. He acknowledges, when pushed, that government should have limits, but he cannot articulate where those limits might because he cannot really imagine any arena where government might not have some role. That's not to say that Sanders, who has worried darkly about the threats posed by too many styles of deodorant and sneakers even as children starve, has a plan for government to everything right now, but it is difficult for him to imagine any area where government might not ever need to intervene at some point.

Later in the debate, when asked about what parts of government he might cut, he initially could not name anything except a vague reference to "waste." In what department? In what program? Sanders didn't say, and it didn't appear to be a question he'd given much thought to over the year. A moment later, he interjected to say he favors unspecified cuts at the Department of Defense, where he is sure there is excess spending and duplicative effort of some kind, but even here he had nothing specific. His view of government's role is both practically unbounded and almost undefined: Its job, potentially, is to do anything and everything he thinks should be done.

For Sanders' opponent in the Democratic presidential race, Hillary Clinton, the answer is somewhat different. Her follow-up to Sanders on the size of government question was instructive: Sanders' plans would grow the size of government by about 40 percent, she said, but the main problem with his plans is that they aren't practical. "Every progressive economist who has analyzed [Sanders' health care plan] says that the numbers don't add up, and that's a promise that cannot be kept," she said. The problem with his plan, for her, isn't that the government would be too big or doing too much or going beyond its mandate, but that it wouldn't work.

Clinton's view, in other words, is that the government should do everything it's doing now, whatever that is, plus a little bit more. She seems to view herself as a caretaker and manager, nurturing government as it exists today, and growing it somewhat here and there. Her response on the what would you cut question was that she'd streamline some training and education programs and "take a hard look at every part of the federal government and really do the kind of analysis" needed to see what might not be necessary anymore, which is another way of saying she'd make no significant cuts. This is a view of government bounded only by practical and political considerations. There are things government cannot do, at least right now, but nothing, really, that it simply should not do. There's no mission statement either, no real idea about government's specific place and purpose—no sense of what exactly it is for.

This sort of fuzziness about government's purpose is perhaps an occupational hazard for politicians of the left, where active government is a default assumption, but in different forms it is evident on the right as well. The Republican presidential field is united in the belief that taxes should be lower, but have far less to say about the sorts of program cuts and reforms that would be necessary to account for the reductions in tax revenues that would certainly result even under optimistic dynamic scoring scenarios. Similarly, too many GOP policy reforms are merely focused on making existing programs leaner or more efficient rather than on fitting them into a larger government schema. There is nothing wrong, of course, with saying that "government should take in less revenue and be more efficient," but it is not a vision of what government should be, and most Republicans do not really seem to have one, or at least not one they can explain.

This inability to clearly articulate a rationale for government's existence, to explain what sort of business it is in, is responsible for much of the confusion and frustration on both the left and right, and for much of the sprawl, complexity, and inefficiency in government today. We have Republicans whose idea of government is lower taxes and better management, and Democrats whose idea of government is higher taxes and more programs—perhaps a few more, perhaps a lot more—and maybe better management too. And this is why it is so hard for both sides to answer questions about the proper size of government: Neither side really has a clear sense of what it should do and what it should be.

There's a lesson here for reformers of all stripes, but especially for those who, like me, would prefer to see a smaller, more restrained government: It's not enough to talk about what to cut and what to shrink; it's important to talk about what government should be doing, and how to ensure that it does it well. Give government a purpose and a mission—a clear, positive, and limited mission—and get enough people on board, and the size will right itself.

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179 responses to “The Size of Government Question

  1. The government has the responsibility to realize they don’t know fucking shit.

    1. Government is just the ignorance we perpetrate together.

      1. Government is the one thing we all belong to.

  2. How big should government be?

    This big ? .

    1. Minus a period

    2. 220/221 whatever it takes.

      1. That is not wrong.

    3. It should be small enough and weak enough that no one wants to buy it.

  3. Fuck Bernie Sanders.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

    That’s it muther fucker. That is the only role of government.

    1. Consent of the governed? I’m guessing your parents didn’t tell you the truth about Santa Claus and Elton John either, huh?

      1. “The governed” is everyone except anyone who might voice a lack of consent.

        1. Yeah but strangely those latter people are also subject to the government.

          1. Well, yeah. They don’t count because they don’t speak for The People. Government speaks for The People.Through the magic of Representation, only they know The Will of The People. Who are you to question the magic of Representation and the power of The Will of The People?

          2. As Bernie’s latest commercial says, we’re all in this together. Well except for those fucking Republicans, “we” need to crush them into dust.

            1. Ok. I feel the same way about him and his fellow travelers. Let’s go ahead and have a violent, bloody civil war and see who comes out on top. My roe diction is the wholesale extermination of progressives.

              Mmmmmm…….that thought makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

  4. “Government is the great fiction where everyone endeavors to live at the expense of everyone else.”
    -Bastiat

  5. What is the purpose of government?

    To enrich elites and nourish their desire for control over the lives of others, using brute force.

    What is it essential nature and character, its mission statement?

    To act like the mafia or a large criminal gang, but with better PR.

    What are its essential duties

    None.

    and functions?

    See answer #1 above.

  6. OT: Woman Fatally Struck by Emergency Vehicle Remembered As ‘Loving’ Mother of 8

    The vehicle’s driver, Deputy Jeromy Snyder, was responding to reports of a burglary in progress when the collision occurred. His partner, Probation Officer Monique Garcia, was also in the vehicle at the time, the Sheriff’s Department stated in a news release.
    […]
    Duboise was initially described by the Sheriff’s Department as a transient, but on Tuesday, Sgt. Marc Bracco said it was no longer clear if she was a transient or resident of the area.

    Multiple people who contacted KTLA in response to a story about Monica Duboise’s death said they knew the victim and that she was not a transient.

    The Sheriff’s Department also initially said speed was not a factor in the crash that killed Duboise, but Bracco again said this was no longer known.

    Investigators planned to continue “reconstruction work” of the crash and will later determine if speed was involved, he said.

    At the time of the crash, the unmarked vehicle did not have emergency lights or sirens on, Bracco said.

    The vehicle had the capability of having these turned on, but Bracco said that is not common practice for non-injury related calls.

    Who wants to bet against the “and nothing else happened” outcome? The cops are already being presumed innocent of any negligence.

    1. The narrative has been set: the emergency vehicle was not speeding and the victim was only a vagrant that no one cares about.

      When the truth gets out it won’t matter. The narrative has been set.

    2. You know what’s even weirder?

      They are admitting that they don’t use lights and siren to respond to calls for a felony in progress. WTF? It sure sounds like it is “not common practice” to get to felonies in progress in any particular hurry.

      Ladies and gentlemen, you heroes in blue.

      1. Oh, they speed to get there, they just don’t bother with sirens and lights to warn people of a rapidly-approaching emergency vehicle.

        1. I don’t think “Oh, we’ll speed, run lights, and all that other high-speed shit, but we won’t turn our lights and siren” is really going to help them much.

      2. I’m betting the excuse is that they don’t want to tip off the criminal that they’re coming. Because f$#@ the innocent people that might get run over by speeding vehicles.

        1. If those innocent people think they’re so deserving of life, maybe they should have become cops. It’s their own damn fault.

    3. San Berdo Sheriff’s, eh? They’re about as bad as the LA Sheriff’s gang.

  7. Being a proud socialist, the correct answer for Bernie should be that the Government should equal 100% of the economy. That is the end goal of that ideology.

    1. Socialist parasites know that they need a private sector to feed on. Their problem is that they just don’t know when to stop. So they eventually kill their host (and themselves).

      1. And, unfortunately, most everyone else around them.

      2. I suppose ‘end result’ would have been a better choice than ‘end goal’, but it depends on how smart the socialists are. If they are true believers, than the total centralization of the economy is the goal. Slightly smarter socialists that use it as a means of power, realize they need to leave something in the hands of private individuals, but they inevitably reach to far and end up killing the economy anyway.

        1. Caput, I understand they you are a Heyna and go up de Eynon? 😉

          1. Nah, I live up da line, so I go down to Eynon. But yeah, I have the misfortune of living in the greater Scranton area.

            1. Carbondale?

              I grew up in Honesdale.

            2. Next time I visit my parents we should go out and get a couple two, tree beers.

              1. I want to drink with Internet strangers. I offered to buy Pro Liberate a beer and then he disappeared. Am I really that off putting?

                1. I’ll go drinking with you, though from my experience Floridians don’t do well this far north until at least May.

                  1. I probably wouldn’t survive since I don’t own a coat or closed shoes.

                    1. It was -5 this morning without factoring in windchill, so yeah that would kill you. That’s why we drink, it makes us feel warmer as we freeze to death.

                  2. Not all of us. I’d rather it be -40 than 80. Heat affects me like cold affects most people. I hate the heat but I love my city. Driving here is better though. Snow actually has slightly better traction than freshly rained on roads, but the water at least evaporates. The downside is that people who aren’t from here don’t understand that our rain is a little heavier than most places. You can find them in the ditches along the interstates after they hydroplaned.

                    1. Is it……chubby rain?

              2. Further north, Forest City. I spend a lot of time in Honesdale, that’s were my parents lived until I came along. Went to church there until my parents gave up on making me religious. I’m always down for drinks, bars are one of the few things we manage to get right.

                1. Holy shit! I went to grade school in Forest City. Grades 1-4, woulda been 70-74, class of 83. Used to live in (near) Pleasant Mount (still have property there) until my parents moved us to the big city.

                  Small world. How old are you?

                  1. You probably know my father, or at least one of his 5 siblings, he graduated sometime in the early 80’s. I graduated in ’06. Pleasant Mount is a nice place, I was in the scout troop there.

                    1. It’s possible.

                      I just changed my moniker link to a junk email if you want to compare notes.

                      If not, no big. But I’ll definitely let you know the next time I head back.

                    2. Shit, that didn’t work. Try it now.

                    3. Test email sent, with my handle as the subject.

        2. The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

  8. “…Instead, he reiterated his belief that the government has a responsibility to do much more than it is doing now….”

    This from a loser who failed every attempt at making a living until he learned to slop at the public trough.
    Is there any doubt he sees government as the answer to what ails ya? It saved him from admitting he was a total and complete failure and he presumes everyone else is an equally pathetic excuse for a human and equally bereft of moral agency.
    And he is willing to use guns to make sure everyone else is.
    He is evil top to bottom, inside to out, front to back and side to side. There is no part of him that is not evil, regardless of his occasional ability to support some ‘freedom’ he’d have the government grant to us.

    1. That’s a good point that doesn’t get discussed enough. Aside from politics, Sanders has proven an utter and complete failure at everything he’s ever tried. Not just mediocre or unexceptional – an abject failure. From his work to his marriage to good grooming, Sanders has proven uniquely incompetent. And yet, for some reason, he presumes he’s fit to manage the lives of three hundred million people.

      1. That is what scares me most about him. He has delusions of grandeur

        1. Maybe he should start with delusions of adequacy?

          1. Well, it’s a shorter stretch, but still a stretch.

      2. BUT… Is he worse than Clinton?

      3. He’s fit for execution.

    2. I’m not so sure that he’s evil, but he is the worst kind of stupid – he is convinced that he is smart while in reality being heavily intellectually stunted. In a sense, that’s probably worse than being evil.

      1. Every socialist is evil. If more people simp,y accepted that, we could finally get down to eradicating them.

  9. Sanders, you may not be surprised to discover, did not directly answer the question. Instead, he simply insisted, as he has so many times before, that government has a responsibility to do much more than it is doing right now, on health care, education, infrastructure, jobs, and more.

    His ilk will never tell you the optimum size of government, but they’re certain that it always needs to be bigger than whatever it is now.

    1. “The rich aren’t paying their fair share! How could they have? They’re still rich!”

  10. What is the purpose of government?

    The ONLY legitimate function of government is to protect the rights of the individual.

    1. Sure – their right to free shit

    2. Sure – their right to free shit

      1. We can have a discussion about rights next.

    3. Expropriating my property to protect my property. Thanks, legitimate government.

      1. If they didn’t take half of what your earned and ask for continuing payments on things you already bought, some guy could just break into your house and steal your TV. Do you want your TV stolen or not? Also government is not responsible if your TV gets stolen.

        1. Damn it, the statists have thought of everything.

  11. Bernie wants at least half the GDP to play with.When that doesn’t work he’ll want more.

    1. The beatings will continue until morale improves!

  12. Yeah well Trump hasn’t really answered the size of government question either, the only thing he know is that it’ll be Uuuuugeee!!!!

    1. And there will be so much winning, we’ll be bored with all the winning!

      1. That’s ok, I’m used to that, I’m a Patriots fan

        1. So you’re used to entitled cheaters reaching for more?

    2. The Mexicans and Chinese will pay for all the yugeness.

  13. How big should government be?

    The answer is always “MOAR BIGGER!”

  14. BTW, went by a Prius (natch) with a Bernie sticker: “Bernie can’t be bought by billionaires!”.
    Bullshit. Anyone can buy him for two bits or so; he’s a cheap whore and he brags about it.

    1. I live in a fairly affluent area and I’ve seen more than a few Bernie stickers. I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with people.

      1. Wait til he comes off their income. They don’t realize when he talks about the “rich”….that they are included

        1. I’m trying not to pay attention, but evidently Bernie said for $500 of taxes you’ll get $5000 of government healthcare. I’m guessing the people think that is a really good deal but never stop to ask, where does the other $4500 come from. I just can’t understand that kind of short sightedness. Anyways I guess that is how he is selling higher taxes to these rubes that are already paying a third of their income to the FedGov.

          1. He is either really dishonest or really really stupid.

            Case in point: his campaign projected savings on drugs each year at $324B (1 trillion total for healthcare). Guess how much the entire US public and private spent in 2014? $305B

            So the drugs will not only be free but they will pay us to take them!

            1. Bout time someone paid me for my healthcare.

          2. $500 of taxes you’ll get $5000 of government healthcare

            Enslavement of doctors, like they have in Cuba.

            1. I’m sure none of these doctors will just walk away instead of paying to go to work.

              1. You don’t get to walk away when the State chooses you to be a doctor while you’re in high school.

                1. I meant with the current physicians in the US. I’m curious what happens if they tell them they don’t have a right to quit. Personally, I’ll refuse to work if they try to enslave me.

              2. Maybe the government can offer the doctors tax payer subsidized loans to offset the costs they’ll be forced to incur. That way, they’ll be more like serfs instead of slaves.

                1. This is what I expect to happen.

      2. Florida dude, there has been a definite trend in recent years of affluent educated white people rejecting what they perceive to be bourgeois excess (examples: ditching cars for bicycles, holding on to a 10 year old cell phone, only eating local produce, only drinking tap water, etc.). This is all about guilt, but they will change once they can no longer deduct 529 contributions or child care for little Dexter and Millicent.

        1. It’s like when Chinese princes would throw off their wealth and become ascetic monks. Nothing new under the sun.

          1. No, it’s not like that. The US upper middle class believes that “asceticism” amounts to driving to Whole Foods in a Prius, while their Mexican nanny watches the kids in their three bedroom house and the gardner plants heirloom vegetables using organic methods.

            1. Yep. I want to hurt people like that.

        2. Those names are way too sensible.

          It should be little Braidin and Mikynlie

        3. People who feel like that are weak progressives. They should be strangled. At least I always feel like strangling people like that when I’m unfortunate enough to encounter their kind.

    2. “Stalin can’t be bought by gulag inmates!”

  15. OT

    Virginia school district has banned the use of an educational video about racial inequality after some parents complained that its messaging is racially divisive.

    The video contextualizes historic racial disparity in the United States using the metaphor of a race track in which runners face different obstacles depending upon their racial backgroundblack runners fall into ditches of underemployment, stumble over rocks or wealth disparity, and struck by racist white lightening. The white runners somehow avoid these pitfalls. There are no hispanic or asian runners. It has been shown hundreds of thousands of times at schools and workshops across the country

    It is sad but probably not how the video’s creators intended.

    1. white lightening

      It’s not my fault they keep getting into my moonshine!

      1. You have a sideline beside python hunting, gator tossing and meth cooking?! You are a busy Florida Man!

        1. Since my meth ingestion level prevents sleep, I cram in a third more activities than a normal human.

          1. Like alligator wrasslin’ and anaconda noodlin’

            1. I had really hoped to spot an anaconda this year, but no luck. I did see a Florida panther, so I still call it a good trip.

              1. Is it anacondas or pythons that have invaded Floridia? Or both? I can never get my giant snakes straight. Take that how ever you want.

                1. +1 Left hand curve

                2. Its both the Burmese Python and the green anaconda.

    2. Do they feature:

      (1) Welfare traps? (probably not, since it applies to all people on welfare, not just African-Americans)
      (2) Dumb economic licensing laws?
      (3) Shitty schools caused by a lack of choice and powerful teachers’ unions?

      ???

      1. shitty schools. that may have been the rocks they stumbled over. no mention of either school choice or unions.

      2. How about voluntarily embracing a culture that glorifies violence, misogyny, apathy, sloth, irresponsible sexuality, irresponsible drug and alcohol consumption, and anti intellectualism all while denigrating work ethic, social cohesion, family, intelligence, education, and personal responsibility.

      3. (4) Limited job opportunities and stagnant wages due to the increasingly high tax and regulatory burden placed employers?

      4. ???

        Officers don’t respond to starting gun fire by shooting the nearest black male?

        /metaphor fail.

      5. A central bank which is constantly picking their pocket via inflation?

        1. …unless of course the central bank is literally picking their pocket with negative interest rates.

    3. What a load of shit. Poor whites face all of those same pitfalls.

      1. False. All whites, especially white men, are oppressive billionaires who just have wealth and opportunity given to them on a silver platter by the white cohorts in racism. No white man has ever suffered from underemployment, lack of opportunity, or umm….lightning?

        1. It’s almost as if people actually believe that there is a secret white guy handshake or something that allows white men to skip over all the difficulties that everyone else faces.

          1. I wish I had been taught that handshake before I had to spend time learning my trade – would have been nice to just skip to licensed professional without all that bothersome training. . .

        2. I wish someone had given me my silver platter when I was a kid in the Ozarks. I could have sold it for food so I didn’t have to hunt for meat and cut wood for heat (we had a wood heater…in 1984).

  16. Related: If you’re looking to kill some time, interesting white paper on the changes in mandatory versus discretionary spending over time over at Cato.

    http://www.cato.org/publicatio…..-different

    1. Good paper – thanks.

      It would be interesting to looking at mandatory (government-mandated fees/taxes) versus discretionary spending on an individual/family level.

  17. For Sanders, the answer is just about everything, or pretty close.

    Which is why anything Senator Venezuela says about there being too many people in prison is so much horseshit.

    1. You misunderstood: when he says there are X too many people in prison, he means there are X too few people in work camps.

  18. I had posted this in another thread that i dont know will get much action

    OT: why do liberals who claim to care for everyone and claim to be inclusive…in my experience they are really condescending, elitist, kind of look down on everyone else. As if they were superior due to their ideology and everyone else is brain-dead. They really like to rip on white “uneducated” people who vote republican. I saw some things from guys like Paul Krugman and then was reading another thing where the DOJ said cons/libertarians are bigger threats than ISIS. They get really angry when you don’t go along with them. Anyone else notice this?

    It is almost as if those who have to say they are something are the complete opposite!

    1. They really like to rip on white “uneducated” people who vote republican.

      Well, you see, poor people aren’t allowed to have principles. That’s for rich, white liberals only.

      1. I’ve been around liberals discussing abortion and one of the first things they would bring up was “quality of life” which was code for their life isn’t worth living if they’re going to grow up poor

        1. Well, they are wrong. What they should have brought up is that it is none of your business to debate why someone chooses to have an abortion.

    2. It makes me angry that not enough people are fed up enough to march these people into ovens.

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  20. Size of government = my penis size.

    1. Inverted? That’s not a size.

    2. “Size of government = my penis size.”

      Very clever. For a 5YO.

      1. 3 inches….this pathetic even for joe

    3. Jack, if you ever have omens where you consider ending your life, just go with it. The world will be better off without you, and even your family could never feel love for a piece of shit like you.

  21. Every president since LBJ, with the possible exception of Jimmy Carter, has proudly grown the size and/or scope of government. Might as well finish the job, Bernie! Personally, I would rather have the confusion and buffoonery that would result from his attempts to create a cradle-to-grave system, than Hillary’s maintaining the status quo of regulations slowly creeping into every corner of our lives.

    1. Carter was absolutely no exception.

  22. How big should government be?

    No.

  23. Bernie said “government has a responsibility to do much more than it is doing right now, on health care, education, infrastructure, jobs, and more”.

    This is flat fucking wrong. And I can fix it for him with the following alterations…

    “…local governments have a responsibility to do much more than they are doing right now, on health care, education, infrastructure, jobs, and more”

    The problem is not how big should government be. I think it is a question of scalable government in general. They are using our perfectly scalable system of a federation ass backwards. The more people we have in a country, the more local representation they need in densely populated regions. All throughout American history as territories have been added and population increased, territories and states themselves have split up in order to focus on the needs of the local governed. And this is the way to do it. How we discarded these scalable practices and smaller local structures for the monolithic beast that we have today still kind of baffles me.

    1. Because the perception of government over time has morphed from the Fedgov being an adjunct of local gov, to the Fedgov taking precedence over local gov.

      It started about 156 years ago.

      1. Yeah. That is what a lot of folks say. Can’t say I disagree either. Once states were forced to remain in the Union, they cant make any major moves for themselves without federal blessing.

        1. I’d disagree and say that, fiscally speaking, rather than the civil war, it was the Johnson (maybe to a lesser extent Kennedy) admin that changed the framework by deliberately seeking to make the state govs financially dependent on the federal gov.

    2. Giving power back to the states and people is now considered racist in America, also because many who argue for “states rights” are actual racists and/or southerners trying to relitigate the Civil War.

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  26. This inability to clearly articulate a rationale for government’s existence, to explain what sort of business it is in, is responsible for much of the confusion and frustration on both the left and right, and for much of the sprawl, complexity, and inefficiency in government today.

    What sort of business government is in?

    All of it. Everyone’s business. 24/7/365.

    Sigh. That Libertarian Moment sure was sweet, huh?

    1. That Libertarian Moment sure was sweet, huh?

      Hey, at least when people ask me what Planck time is I can give them an easily understood frame of reference.

      1. I don’t think even the good socialists at Wiki gets this joke, since they write that Planck Time is t = 5.8 x 10^{-44} but then claim that the standard error is 32, which means that the 95% confidence interval for tp is (-64, +64), which does indeed contain 5.8 x 10^{-44}, but in a rather meaningless way.

  27. Ah…..mission statement? The constitution…..the strict constructionist interpretation

    1. THIS!
      I could have sworn…no, I am certain: The Constitution, in Article 1, Section 8 lays out the powers granted to the Congress.
      Unfortunately, these have been stretched, twisted and distorted beyond recognition and clauses, like “promote the general welfare”, have been expanded to get us to the point we are at, today, and the likes of Bernie and HiLIARy want more.

      It is more than instructive that liberals/progressives/demoncraps/communists – they are all the same – always want to cut the one thing that was definitely expected for a national government to pay for: defense.

      1. When did the word “promote” get changed to “provide?”

  28. Q: How big should government be?
    A: Bigger

    Q: What should government do?
    A: More

    These are really pretty easy questions for some and they never have to learn any other answers.

    1. Q: How big should government be?
      A: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut

    2. Q: How big should government be?
      A: More

      Q: What should government do?
      A: More

      That way, the State-theists don’t have to bother with learning 2-syllable words. . .

  29. I didn’t know that Sanders was interested in cutting the military budget. Are there any other candidates from the major parties that are talking about cuts to military spending?

    1. By “major parties” I assume you mean “looter parties,” correct?

      1. “I assume you mean “looter parties,” correct?”

        Is there a non-looter party I’m not aware of?

  30. Actual = black man’s ______

    Should be = Asian man’s _____

  31. Why the government is never big enough and there are never enough taxes and regulations.

  32. I prefer the question, what percentage of your income do you think the service the government provides, is worth?

    For me, it’s 4-6%. Some might say higher, but I expect, unless gaming the system, few would answer higher than 20%, even liberals.

    When you think about it in terms requiring someone else to pay, nearly everyone can come up with something new for government to provide…them.

    1. “I prefer the question, what percentage of your income do you think the service the government provides, is worth?”

      If you ask a Senator, of any party, I expect you’ll get an answer higher than 20%. Senators have subsidized pensions, travel, housing, food, and all manner of other lavish amenities that American tax-payers generously provide.

    2. I prefer to ask, how much of your rightfully-owned property is it ethical to expropriate?

      For me, it’s 0%.

  33. Sanders has rather obviously never read the Constitution…. or if he has, his failing memory has removed it from his cranium. He needs to get a copy and read it…. at least twice a week from now until the primaries are done. His utter lack of understanding that document indicates he will NOT uphold his oath to uphold and defend it. So why make him president if he won’t do what hs’e pledged to do?

  34. Here’s the spending breakout, for FY2014, the last year I checked closely.

    http://jrdonohue.com/actual2014.jpg

    As for what the purpose of proper government is?
    No one has formulated it better than Ayn Rand.

    from the intro to “The Virtue of Selfishness.”
    In her essay “Man’s Rights,” Rand explains why the widely misunderstood and often distorted concept of individual rights presupposes this philosophical foundation and is the key concept to creating a society consistent with man’s nature and the freedom he requires to live, think and flourish. In “The Nature of Government,” she explains why government is necessary to secure and protect the rights of the individual ? and why government is legitimate only when this is its sole function.

  35. What do they call that? “Double speak?

  36. Why does the GOP not articulate the proper role and size of government? Because the majority of the electorate wants more, more, more. The only place where significant cuts can be made to federal spending is entitlements. There was only one presidential candidate from the GOP or Democrats who had a specific plan to cut entitlements. He was lambasted for it, got little voter support and is no longer running.

    1. Sadly, this is true.

    2. The GOP has clearly articulated that the role of government is to bomb non-christians, arrest or shoot potheads and brown people and force them bitches to squeeze out pups that can be indoctrinated into proper National Socialist family values as True Christians?. As for size, that’s filed under “lebenstraum.”

      1. More antichristian bigoted bullshit from you……….

  37. The Federal Government got by just fine spending 3% of the GDP prior to 1900. The only possibly legitimate function of the Government is to protect us from the Force of others. They don’t even do that well, but it amounts to about 15% of the current budget. They have absolutely no business protecting people from themselves. So I say we have a minimum cutback to 1/7th of the Federal Government’s current size. We could start by abolishing all the UnConstitutional alphabet agencies and give the rule-making responsibility back to whom it belongs — The elected Congresspeople.

    1. It’s nice to say, but the state never will give up it’s power or shrink itself.

      1. It will if the alternative is losing elections to libertarian spoiler votes…

  38. “that government has a responsibility to do much more than it is doing right now, on health care, education, infrastructure, jobs, and more.”

    Meanwhile, all the things mentioned and unmentioned that gov’t does, winds up in crisis, and chaos. So how will more intrusion and control lead to it becoming more effective and efficient??

    The same “phenomena” doesn’t happen where gov’t has no presence. When was the last computer, phone, boiler, watch, shoe, wedding hall, engagement ring, lamp (and many others) shortage and crisis? How long did it last?

    These folks have no clue what they are doing. Bernie can’t even make a cabinet, but people want to trust him to run and pick advisors for whatever areas the gov’t wishes to screw up and control.

  39. I for one think we should all give Bernie the benefit of the doubt. Bernie would be the guy, the guy that finally fixed all the sloth of the federal govt and fixed our system.

    Unicorns and rainbows for all the people!

    1. Really? If a minority Harvard professor who was said to walk on water couldn’t “fix our system”, why should a lily white, privileged senior from Vermont be able to do so?

  40. Herbert Hoover, Republican, doubled the federal share of GDP and the federal deficit while ruining the economy by using the communist income tax to enforce the Prohibition Party’s amendment making beer an illegal narcotic. Now, did Bernie quote Ayn Rand on abortion and individual rights or was that my imagination?

  41. til I looked at the draft which had said $8465 , I accept that my friends brother was like trully making money in their spare time on their apple labtop. . there aunt haz done this less than 1 year and recently cleard the loans on there house and bought a gorgeous Saab 99 Turbo . view ….

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  42. My mothers neighbour is working part time and averaging $9000 a month. I’m a single mum and just got my first paycheck for $6546! I still can’t believe it. I tried it out cause I got really desperate and now I couldn’t be happier. Heres what I do,

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    1. So being triple penetrated on webcam pays well?

  43. was moot all of ten minutes ago.

  44. Govt staff should be less than 1% of country population goo.gl/NFK0A

  45. Well, with multipliers, couldn’t the government easily be 200-300% of the entire economy? At least according to Sandeconomics?

  46. People who think we can go to great lengths to “vet” refugees and other immigrants from various hellholes are advocating bigger government.

  47. “Give government a purpose and a mission?a clear, positive, and limited mission?and get enough people on board, and the size will right itself.”

    If only there were a blueprint or a set of guidelines or rules. . . we could call it a “Constitution.”

    Oh, wait – there already IS a clear, positive, and limited mission. . .

  48. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do..
    Clik This Link inYour Browser….

    ? ? ? ? http://www.WorkPost30.com

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