Big Government

Americans Now Prefer Smaller Government, But May Not Get It

No matter what the public wants, crises typically leave the state more powerful.

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Americans who notice an increase in the size and intrusiveness of government since COVID-19 first appeared in headlines may wonder whether this will be a permanent condition. The short answer: probably. History suggests that we're unlikely to see government fully return to its preexisting constraints even after everybody agrees the pandemic has passed along with whatever debatable need there might have been for officials to expand their reach. But that lingering inflation of state power will continue over the objections of a public that has lost its taste for an activist state.

"Americans have shifted back to favoring a more hands-off approach for government in addressing the nation's problems after a rare endorsement of a more active role last year," Gallup recently reported. "Currently, 52% say the government is doing too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses, while 43% want the government to do more to solve the country's problems."

In 2020, as politicians warned that we faced death by this new disease unless we shuttered businesses, sheltered indoors, and avoided one another, a rare majority of 54 percent thought government should take on a more active role. The only other time Gallup has registered a popular preference for bigger government was 20 years ago, which is a hint at the dynamic that's at play.

"Last year marked only the second time in Gallup's 29-year trend that at least half of Americans endorsed an active role for the government on this item," the polling firm adds. "The other pro-government response came in the weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks amid heightened concern about terrorism and a surge in trust in government."

That surge in trust in government resulted in the Patriot Act and the Transportation Security Administration. Which is to say, the public was quickly disabused of the notion that the state was worthy of such trust. Americans quickly reacquired a preference for smaller government, and yet we're still stuck with a surveillance state and airport security theater. Unfortunately, that's pretty typical.

"After each major crisis the size of government, though smaller than during the crisis, remained larger than it would have been had the precrisis rate of growth persisted during the interval occupied by the crisis," wrote economic historian Robert Higgs in his 1987 book Crisis and Leviathan. He coined the term "ratchet effect" to describe the phenomenon of hard times promoting government growth. The ratchet effect is celebrated in some quarters by people who see opportunity to remake the world.

"Crises have always granted reformist policymakers powers to bypass legislative gridlock and entrenched interests," Cornell University historian Nicholas Mulder gloated in March 2020. "The coronavirus crisis is already allowing the implementation of ideas that would have been considered very radical just months ago."

That explains why we're likely to be stuck with some elements of the expanded state apparatus and extended government powers that were allowed to metastasize during the 18-months-and-counting of the pandemic. Much of the public has lost its taste for large and expensive government, but its brief shift in sentiment allowed enough of an opening for the ratchet to click forward into a new position. And many people really have returned to their usual preference for smaller, cheaper government.

"Given a choice, half of Americans say they prefer fewer government services and lower taxes, while 19% want higher taxes and more services," adds Gallup. "Twenty-nine percent want taxes and services as they are now."

After a taste of lockdowns and mask mandates, the public may, by and large, want to push officialdom to the sidelines where it can do less damage. But that's not what lawmakers and presidents have been up to during these long months of viral fears, spending, and dictates. It's certainly not what's in the far-reaching, multi-trillion-dollar, 2,465-page bill that's pending in Congress.

"The $3.5 trillion social policy bill that lawmakers begin drafting this week would touch virtually every American, at every point in life, from conception to old age," Jonathan Weisman noted last month for The New York Times before Americans told pollsters they had changed their mind about how much they want the government to do.

Part of the problem might be that, while Americans have reverted to largely wanting government to leave them alone, they don't necessarily agree on what that means.

"Americans care about their freedoms, but what Democrats and Republicans see as liberty is quite different," Danielle Lussier, a Grinnell College associate professor of political science, observes of polling results published last week. "Democrats value the freedom to get an abortion, use recreational marijuana, and engage in public protest, while Republicans value the freedom to refuse vaccines, carry a firearm, punish children as they see fit, and seek religious exemptions from the law. Both sides appear to see freedom in narrow, partisan terms rather than through a lens of broadly shared individual rights."

Americans of both political tribes do agree that people should be free to become wealthy and to speak their minds. But they have wildly divergent views on many leave-me-alone issues. Tellingly, liberties that some Americans want to exercise in areas such as reproductive and self-defense rights are liberties that others of their countrymen want to restrict through the use of not-at-all-hands-off government power. That is, most Americans want to be left alone, but they don't want to leave each other alone. 

Ultimately, the determining factor for whether smaller or bigger government prevails might be whether people value their freedom more than they value restricting that of their neighbors, and whether the political class sees more advantage in catering to the former preference or the latter. Historically, as economic historian Higgs points out, the evidence is that the state gets larger during crises and never fully returns to its pre-crisis status, which is a hint as to how that choice often gets resolved. 

Americans may be over their brief flirtation with the questionable temptations of a larger, more-intrusive state. But that brief opening they allowed may be all that proponents of bigger government need to permanently change people's relationship with powers-that-be, to the benefit of the political class. The public doesn't want a bigger government, but we're all likely to get a taste of it, anyway.

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236 responses to “Americans Now Prefer Smaller Government, But May Not Get It

  1. "Ultimately, the determining factor for whether smaller or bigger government prevails might be whether people value their freedom more than they value restricting that of their neighbors..."

    Aka when the Progs are gone. Modern Dems seem to think 'Liberty' is the name of the middle school down the block that always messes up traffic in the morning.

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    2. For years public opinion surveys have indicated support for less government "in principle." Nevertheless, with the exception of foreign aid and anti poverty programs, there is little support for specific cuts in domestic spending. Republican politicians discover that pretty quickly when they get serious about reducing the size of the government.

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  2. Joe Biden is the mission creep.

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    2. Or a creep on a mission.

  3. Let's be honest. As Koch / Reason libertarians, we often claim to prefer smaller government across the board. But that's not quite accurate, is it? In practice, there is one very specific aspect of government we want to shrink, or eliminate entirely.

    I'm referring of course to "border enforcement" — that draconian practice of preventing our benefactor Charles Koch from importing cost-effective foreign-born labor (especially from Mexico). Which explains why we voted for Biden. Sure, he might have a $3,500,000,000,000 spending plan. But he also made clear to the entire planet that our borders are now 100% open.

    #ImmigrationAboveAll
    #LibertariansForBiden

    1. Despite years of regulatory setbacks to consolidate power and drive out small independent business, big money Democrats have finally realized completely saturating the market with immigrants is the truly humane way to destabilize the economy and drive the citizens to the waiting embrace of nanny government forever.

      America should be run by the elite who care, and with the wonderful new Biden regime we can all soon appreciate the opportunity to divest ourselves of privilege and truly live like the rest of the world, under responsible supervision.

      #leftisright

  4. Everyone who protested the lockdowns beg to differ that democrats value the freedom to "engage in public protest". Democrats have been signing off on the use of private and public violence to suppress protests they disagree with.

    1. ..........with the proper PERMITS, of course!

  5. "No matter what the public wants, crises typically leave the state more powerful."

    We shouldn't blame crises for bad choices. We're all responsible for the bad choices we make--despite cries.

    As a great philosopher once wrote:

    Victim of collision on the open sea
    Nobody ever said
    life was free
    Sink?
    Swim?
    Go down with the ship?
    Use your freedom of choice!

    Despite the best efforts of journalists and the news media generally, that electing Biden would mean lockdowns, the Green New Deal, and massive social spending programs was clear to more than enough Americans to make a difference. And all those voters who exercised their freedom of choice by failing to reelect Trump and failing to elect Republicans in Georgia are responsible for the foreseeable consequences of their choices. Crises are not to blame for the choices we make.

    Likewise, to whatever extent any particular journalist chose to emphasize the particulars of Trump's obnoxious personality before the election, to the exclusion of Joe Biden's horrifyingly, hard left, authoritarian and socialist agenda, each of them is responsible for the choices he or she made. Everything Biden and the progressives are doing was foreseeable, and everything Biden and the progressives are doing was foreseen. Biden and the progressives campaigned on doing exactly what they're doing.

    "Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face. It powerfully captures two basic truths, which are at the core of his plan: (1) the United States urgently needs to embrace greater ambition on an epic scale to meet the scope of this challenge, and (2) our environment and our economy are completely and totally connected."

    ----Joe Biden campaign website

    https://joebiden.com/climate-plan/

    Each of us who failed to choose the alternative to Biden and the progressives can't blame their terrible decision on crises. 47% of the voters chose the alternative to what we have now, and if you can't bring yourself to admit that they were right--from a libertarian and capitalist perspective--then the problem isn't the crisis. The problem is you. Crises force us to make choices, but they do not absolve us from responsibility for the choices we make.

    1. This was good = Crises force us to make choices, but they do not absolve us from responsibility for the choices we make

      I am stealing this one.

    2. All this assumes that Trump's fiscal policy would have been any different from Biden's.

      And it assumes that the marginal difference in their policies would justify keeping him in office, despite what we learned about him in December and January.

      I'm tempted by the theory that if only he had won, he wouldn't have needed to stage a coup, but that seems like a bad line of reasoning.

      1. Marginal policy differences? I know Sloppy Joe has plagiarism issues, but he really hasn't taken many economic notes from Trump. He much prefers children in cages; easier to sniff a captive audience, I guess.

      2. "All this assumes that Trump’s fiscal policy would have been any different from Biden’s"

        Trump killed a $2 trillion pandemic relief bill just weeks before the election.

        https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-54443057

        The Democrats passed a $1.9 trillion bill--without any Republican votes whatsoever--in March of 2021.

        Biden and the progressives are pushing a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill that wouldn't even be under consideration if Trump had been elected or the Republicans had control of the Senate. It's a reconciliation bill because the Democrat's can't find a single Republican who will vote for it.

        By my count, that means we'd be looking at spending (1.9+3.5=) $5.4 trillion less if Trump had been reelected or the the Republicans had won the senate runoffs in Georgia.

        And it isn't just the amount that's being spent. It's what the Democrats are spending it on. They plan to make the country vastly more socialist in the name of fighting climate change, and they're not only trying to expand our current entitlement programs but also trying to create whole new ones--like free community college.

        I know in the past, particularly during the Bush and Obama years, there was little or no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans on spending. That generalization stops being true when the facts no longer support it--and the facts don't support the generalization anymore. We might not end up with something as bad as feared because Manchin and Sinema prevail (although the jury is still out on that). The fact remains, however, that if we'd reelected Trump or the Republicans had prevailed in Georgia, we wouldn't even be considering these bills.

        The choice was clear.

        1. Here he is bragging about how the $2T bill was really $6T in March 2020 https://www.foxnews.com/politics/house-massie-bill-coronavirus

          Here he is in October 2020.
          Trump teases stepping in if Republicans oppose multi-trillion dollar stimulus package
          ”I will take care of that problem in two minutes,’ Trump said

          December 2020

          “President Donald Trump has been calling for the increased payments since the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act was passed by Congress last week. He reiterated his desire for the higher payments Wednesday morning.”

          1. Be careful. Ken likes to mute people who defy his wisdom with facts and logic.

            1. "Be careful. Ken likes to mute people who defy his wisdom with facts and logic."

              This from a steaming pile of lefty shit who has muted many.

              1. Sarc is such a loud mouthed whiny crybaby.

                1. He's been on a bender for months. I worry for his liver.

          2. Yes, both the Republicans and Trump were onboard with a $2 trillion pandemic stimulus package, and Trump supported higher direct payments rather than the Democrats' preference, which was increased social spending and bailing out the states. That was in March of 2020.

            Trump and the Republicans killed an additional $2.2 trillion pandemic stimulus bill in October of 2020--weeks before the election. So there was no good reason to think the Republicans weren't superior--unless you were ignorant, stupid, or willfully so.

            "Trump ends Covid budget stimulus relief talks"

            ----BBC, October 7, 2020

            The Democrats then passed an additional $1.9 trillion in pandemic stimulus in March of 2021, with the Republicans unanimously voted against it--in both chambers.

            The Democrat, right now, are fighting to spend $3.5 trillion in a budget reconciliation package, and the only reason they're doing it as a budget reconciliation package is because they can't get any Republican to vote for it.

            IF IF IF you believe otherwise, you're wrong. The reasons you're wrong may be because you're ignorant of the facts or because you're not smart enough to understand them. There's also the possibility that you're so partisan or hateful towards Donald Trump personally, that you can't think straight--but it's hard to understand how other people are supposed to tell the difference between that and being ignorant of the facts or stupid.

            Regardless, of whether the Republicans and Trump signed off on a pandemic stimulus of $2 trillion in March of 2020, just as the pandemic was hitting, that's no good reason to pretend that the Republicans are just as bad as the Democrats, after 1) Trump and the Republicans killed an additional $2 trillion in pandemic stimulus in October of 2020, after 2) the Republicans unanimously voted against an additional $1.9 trillion in stimulus in March of 2021, and 3) when the Republicans are unanimously opposed to a $3.5 trillion Green New Deal and socialist entitlement spending bill--as I type.

            In fact, everyone who voted for Trump and the Republicans because they believed they were more fiscally conservative than Biden and the Democrats was correct to do so. And everyone who still maintains that there was no real difference between them--despite the facts now--is either stupid or willfully stupid. There are a lot of ignorant people out there, but no honest, rational, and knowledgeable people who believe that Biden and the Democrats are more fiscally conservative than Trump and the Republicans would have been or the Republicans have been since the last election.

            People who believe that Biden and the Democrats today are just as fiscally conservative as the Republicans are like people who believe in geocentric theory, the Flat Earth Society, that the moon landing was faked, or that Tom Cruise can cure people's psychological problems with a tuning fork. People believe these things because they want to for various reasons, and they try to find ways that what they want to believe could be true. But that doesn't mean what they believe makes sense or that it jibes with the facts, reality, logic, or good sense.

            1. IF IF IF you believe otherwise, you’re wrong. The reasons you’re wrong may be because you’re ignorant of the facts or because you’re not smart enough to understand them. There’s also the possibility that you’re so partisan or hateful towards Donald Trump personally, that you can’t think straight–but it’s hard to understand how other people are supposed to tell the difference between that and being ignorant of the facts or stupid.

              Shorter Ken: Anyone who disagrees with me about anything is stupid or mental because I'm right about everything.

              1. He is right more often than most people posting on this board.

              2. shorter sarc.
                Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

              3. Apparently your calendar is broken

              4. All communist anarchists and mixed-kleptocracy looters argue from theorems whose premises are speculation about future outcomes. "Would" is the commonest such crutch. Like spotting a division by zero, it relieves one of wasting another second on gibberish.

            2. If Republicans were truly superior they would be CUTTING spending like they promised they would when Obama was president. But when Trump was elected they forgot about that and continued to spend spend spend.

              Republican's only care about spending when a democrat is doing it. They aren't opposed to the democrat led 3.5 trillion dollar spending bill because of the spending. They are opposed to it because it's democrat led.

              and Until the democrats get the 3.5 trillion dollar spending package passed, it is currently TRUMP a republican who is responsible for signing the largest spending package in the nation's history.

              If the republicans truly cared about the spending problem, they would CUT, including on things they like such as the military. and not merely spend a tad less than Democrats.

              The Republicans passed a 1.3 trillion dollar spending bill when they held the white house and both houses of congress proving they don't give a damn about our nations spending addiction anymore than the Democrats do.

              1. They are definitely more interested in controlling spending when they aren't in power but if you can't see the difference with all the facts laid out, that's on you.

                You're griping about the $1.3 trillion in COVID relief while the (D)s are arguing about how to push this year's theft to a total of $7 trillion.

                Math isn't too hard when you focus.

                Yes, $1.9T is bad but $7T is not the same.

      3. What coup?

        1. Somehow, even some people who intellectually understand that Trump left office willingly seem to have internalized the idea that he didn't leave office.

          I'm not saying Bubba did this, but I've seen it happen. I think it's fair to say that if Trump had exited more gracefully, it wouldn't have hurt his place in the national consciousness so badly.

          But there wasn't a coup.

          There just wasn't.

          1. A yes. He merely attempted a coup.

            Or best case, would have accepted one on his behalf.

            "I’m not saying Bubba did this, but I’ve seen it happen." That's the Trumpiest turn of phrase I've read since... Trump.

            1. "He merely attempted a coup."

              Because he stepped down at the end of his term, we know that is factually incorrect.

              He contested the election results. That is factually correct.

              You seem to have internalized something that you know not to be true.

              1. Ken, you either have no principles at all or are one of the most naïve humans in existence.

                1. Irrelevant authority fallacy.

                2. Joe,
                  You.
                  Are.
                  Full.
                  Of.
                  Shit.

            2. Feel free to provide exactly how a coup was ATTEMPTED (it was not) and then, how TRUMP did it (he did not).

              1. Sure Damikesc:

                Trump laid the groundwork months before the first vote (he knew he was losing, everyone did) by claiming the election was rigged. Afterwards he continued making this claim even when no evidence was produces and began leaning on state GOP officials to find votes or not certify results. He got 16 state AG's and Governors to ask the SC to reverse the results in states he lost. He leaned on Barr and then his successor to announce the election was rigged, then leaned on Pence to postpone certifying the results in Congress. In this effort he had a team he paid expenses for.

                He's a traitor with one purpose in life - Donald Trump. If you can't see this you it is dangerous for you to go to the state fair on your own.

                1. Joe,
                  You.
                  Are.
                  Full.
                  Of.
                  Shit.

                2. "He’s a traitor with one purpose in life – Donald Trump."

                  As opposed to Joe Biden, who is a traitor with one purpose in life - you know, the thing.

                  The question is what the outcomes will be of choosing one over the other. What will he do, besides taking care of his own matters? How will him pursuing his own interests affect your situation? People who like personal and economic freedom will prefer Trump. I don't even have to deny he is selfish to make this point. And a blind person can see that Trumps values are orders of magnitude more American than those of most Democrats.

                3. You are on an out of control sleigh, sliding downhill. Ahead of you is a cliff. If you pull to the right, you will end up hitting a tree and break your bones.

                  Trump is the tree. Biden is the cliff. Democrats choose the cliff because they hate life.

                  1. You are on an out of control sleigh, sliding downhill. Ahead of you is a cliff. If you pull to the right, you will end up hitting a tree and break your bones.

                    No. Trump is the path that leaves the country unable to resist someone even worse that him. Someone with the same desires, but is actually smart enough to pull off the authoritarian dreams he has. State election officials and legislators that will toss election results on bogus claims of election fraud is only the start of worse actions to destroy the power of the people to choose their government.

          2. "The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors,” the president wrote.

            “He could say, ‘In these states, the election was conducted illegally in these six states. Therefore, I’m throwing their votes out, they’re not certified,’ ” Giuliani suggested. “That would leave Trump at 233, and that would put Biden at 230, nobody has a majority.” If Pence threw out those electoral votes, according to the president’s attorney, the House of Representatives would then “automatically” vote to overturn the election and make Trump president, because the vote is conducted by state delegation and Republicans hold the current advantage in that tally.

            “I hope Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you,” Trump told a crowd of rallygoers in Georgia on Monday evening. “Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him as much.”

            ______________________________________

            Sam Nunberg described a meeting between Trump and Pence before the riot on MSNBC, “hey had a seven-hour meeting. It was supposed to be a lunch. It was a meeting. And he said terrible things to Mike pence and I think even he would regret saying… Along the line, I made you, you would have lost without me. How dare you do this to me? You’re completely misinformed. And he called him an expletive I don’t want to say, but it starts with a P.”

            1. Hey, Bubba, now do the Democrats MULTIPLE year claim that Stacy Abrams REALLY won the GA gubernatorial race.

              They have never once stopped claiming it.

          3. My crazy liberal neighbor is still going on about how we're witnessing the 'end of democracy' like he's still reading notes from a 2019 version of the Rachel Maddow show.

            He doesn't seem to realize that his party controls both houses of congress and the white house.

            It was bizarre under Trump - but it's stranger still now.

            1. "My crazy liberal neighbor is still going on about how we’re witnessing the ‘end of democracy’ like he’s still reading notes from a 2019 version of the Rachel Maddow show.

              He doesn’t seem to realize that his party controls both houses of congress and the white house."

              They've internalized that narrative!

              Meanwhile, President Biden has admitted to flagging posts and accounts for deletion by Facebook, they're rationalizing shooting unarmed protesters, and Biden has ordered the FBI to investigate parents for opposing their elected local school boards.

              If there's an assault on democracy going on anywhere . . .

              There should be a new verb, "Reichstaging". How far will they go to "save democracy"? They're already using the Patriot Act to go after parents for opposing elected leaders.

              1. Ken, prove it or shut up:
                "They’re already using the Patriot Act to go after parents for opposing elected leaders."

                The assault on democracy included 16 state AGs going to the SC trying to reverse the vote in states where they didn't like the results, Trump doing everything he can - still - to undermine confidence in our elections, something he began months before the first vote was cast because he know he'd lose, then not attending the inauguration of his successor.

                Defending a guy as transparent in his selfishness as a 5 year old says a lot about the person defending him.

                1. Joe,
                  You.
                  Are.
                  Full.
                  Of.
                  Shit.

                2. "Defending a guy as transparent in his selfishness as a 5 year old says a lot about the person defending him."

                  Typical Democrat. Appearance over substance. You prefer the Biden's, Newsom's and Harris's of this world, who are deeply selfish but make an effort to hide it (incompetently and transparently).

                3. A coup is coordinated, armed assault to depose leadership and install new.

                  Trump contested election results before yielding. Pretty much exactly what happens when any election is a close loss. Some supporters broke into the building to mostly mill about harmlessly and take photos. Tiny repair bill.

                  Hillary and Abrams spring to mind without that TDS fugue in the way.

                  1. I look forward to seeing where you disputed Trump and his fans calling the Russia investigation and the impeachment over Ukraine a “coup” because neither involved a coordinated, armed assault to depose Trump and install a Democrat.

                    Oh, and how did Trump “yield”? He has always said that he really won. Is it really “yielding” to only leave office because no officials will help you use force to remain? You are only saying that he yielded because no one had to physically force him from the property of the White House.

                    And I guess you consider $30 million to be a “tiny repair bill” from people just milling about “harmlessly” taking photos.

              2. I believe “White Miking” covers this.

            2. They speak of their love of "democracy" but they have no use for the real doing of it. It's only legitimate in their eyes if the people vote "correctly".

              1. And they're contemptuous of average Americans, which is why they're constantly damning them for being xenophobic, homophobic, sexist, and racist. They are elitist--not democratic. They're authoritarian because they're elitist, and they want to use the government to inflict their vision on the unwilling.

                1. Ken, democrats are the choice of "average" Americans, if by average you mean the majority of them or blue collar Americans.

                  1. Joe, you don't get it. Democrats aren't human beings. They're evil, disgusting creatures full of malice and bad intent. They are wrong about literally everything and they have ill intentions. Anything they support must be opposed in principle because ideas are judged solely by the politics of the source. Also, in the future civil war, they'll make for good target practice. It's not like they're human beings.

                    Meanwhile Republicans' farts smell like roses because they're ethereal beings incapable of evil, malice or error.

                    If you don't support Republicans then you're stupid or evil. And all true libertarians support Republicans.

                    Jeez. Don't you know anything?

                    1. Thanks for clarifying that sarcasmic. I am a Democrat and while I disagree with the GOP on most issues and am saddened to the extent they have sold their souls to a horrible human being who would be described as a compulsive liar if he actually cared what was a lie and what wasn't, I acknowledge there are decent human beings with political opinions not the same as mine.

                    2. I acknowledge there are decent human beings with political opinions not the same as mine.

                      Well then you're not in good company here. All political differences are personal to these folks.

                    3. sarcasmic, I guess that explains the commonality of death curses on a forum called "Reason".

                    4. Joe,
                      You.
                      Are.
                      Full.
                      Of.
                      Shit.

                    5. Cry harder you drunken little bitch.

                  2. That doesn't address Ken's point. The fact that some Americans are naive enough to believe the Democrat Party is working on their behalf doesn't mean said Party really is doing so. And as Ken said, the Party despises average Americans and whenever something is going wrong declares that average Americans are at fault.

                    1. Enjoy, average Americans would benefit from free community colleges, help on child care expenses, and medical coverage, funded by increases on taxes for corporations and upper income Americans, just like they benefitted from SS and Medicare, all Democratic proposals, and that's why they poll well in places like W Virginia.

                    2. Taxes on corporations get passed on. Or corporations relocate. Or both. So just a tax on the working class folks. No matter what Psaki psays.
                      As OBL points out, tax laws for the wealthy don’t actually hit. The Dems could confiscate all the wealth of the richest Americans and they’d be back at square one a year later. Then what?

                    3. Well, that's mighty white of them Joe. But it is still anchored in the belief that average Americans cannot make it through life without the benevolent guidance of their "betters". And in the long run these "benefits" will become the problem.

                  3. Barbie, Dems are not out for the average guy. You don't make nearly enough money.

                2. As they see it, anything that "fights discrimination" is good -- so good that no opposition to it can be countenanced. So, once they've convinced themselves -- or at least made a halfway plausible case -- that "their vision" is somehow related to "fighting discrimination," they can steamroll "the unwilling" with a clear conscience. Calling them "authoritarian" doesn't faze them; authoritarianism in service of "fighting discrimination" is acceptable, as is disregarding private property rights, interfering with personal autonomy (freedom of speech, freedom of conscience), eliminating due process, etc.

              2. That and they steal elections. Every time a Republican looses it's because Democrats cheated.

                1. Care to cite examples prior to Trump?

      4. You had 4 years of his statements and actions. Yet you still pretend Trump and Biden are the same. Weird.

    3. Ken, I would also indict the Republicans who couldn't find or develop an electable principled libertarian/conservative to run for president and went instead with an "obnoxious personality."

      1. The candidate's personality had little to do with it. Voters want an SOB candidate to stomp down the other party. Why do you think they chose Clinton and Trump last time? (Biden was more of a compromise choice among Dems because they knew Sanders couldn't win.) Trump lost mostly because Americans didn't think he was "handling" COVID-19 effectively enough (or taking it seriously enough), and because the lockdowns gave states the opportunity to loosen voting safeguards and ballot harvesting rules. Higher turnout favors the Dems (since they have more low information and younger voters), and the "temporary" rules made it easier for more of them to vote.

        1. And it makes sense if there is a pandemic going on to not make it worse by making people line up in person to vote. But it doesn't make sense to then loosen common sense safeguards against voter fraud when voting by mail, such as not checking signatures (or loosening the signature matching requirements in the software).

      2. "Ken, I would also indict the Republicans who couldn’t find or develop an electable principled libertarian/conservative to run for president"

        We had a clear choice between the available alternatives.

        When you hit an iceberg and your boat is sinking, the choice where you never get on the boat in the first place is no longer available.

        If you decide to give up and drown, that's on you. The fact that your first choice wasn't available doesn't mean you aren't responsible for making the best choice from the list of available choices. You could have tried to swim for a lifeboat, and if you didn't, then you're responsible for that.

        1. Shorter Ken: If you want to be a true libertarian then you must abandon your principles and give your heart to the Republican party.

          1. Shorter steaming pile of lefty shit:
            Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

          2. If you wanna be a person with a brain, you must abandon impotent fairytale land and deal with the reality at hand. Pinching your nose and voting out of your comfort zone is like pulling the trigger in self-defense. You don't have to like. But evolution will take care of you if you don't.

        2. The choice between two sinking ships both captained by maniacal totalitarians is not a choice at all.

          1. This is why bringing your own life raft is the best of all possible worlds.

            Also, in warmer seas, sailors overboard will take off their flare-legged pants, tie up the legs, blow air into the waist, make a life preserver, and hang on for dear life!

          2. Actually, it is. You can choose what grants you your best chance at survival.

    4. Well written as usual Ken, but to quote from the survey:

      "Given a choice, half of Americans say they prefer fewer government services and lower taxes, while 19% want higher taxes and more services," adds Gallup. "Twenty-nine percent want taxes and services as they are now."

      Seems as much as half the country wants this form of government; to provide for them and to screw with you [us]; I doubt they have any regrets over their choice, they just want more of it.

      The only solution I foresee, short of some level of violence, is a truly federal system whereby states like Mass and CA can engage in an all encompassing welfare and management model and others can determine not to follow that path. If we could hold onto common defense and currency, would that not be enough?

      1. Democrats believe someone else is paying for it.
        Biden “the cost is zero”

        They also, despite what actually happens, believe that throwing money at stuff helps the poor. Rarely is that true. Child care credit will help those with money and if any of the money reaches down to the poor. It will not be the A team care for their children.

        Democrats are not necessarily evil they rarely follow up on what works. They usually just claim not enough was spent!

  6. Oh, NOW the public wants smaller government.

    1. They want smaller government, free shit, more pay, more leisure time, and a really nice vacation that doesn't cost a thing.

      1. What I stated above, plus sufficient authority to fuck with those they do not like or agree with.

    2. No they don't.

      I want more of my stuff and less of your stuff.

    3. They don't. They didn't under FDR, or Reagan, or Clinton or Bush or Obama or Trump and they don't under Biden either.

      1. The numbers don't lie, Guy.

  7. "Americans Now Prefer Smaller Government, But May Not Get It"

    By lying about and demonizing Trump for the past five years, most Reason writers and editors advocated not only larger government, but more failed socialist policies.

    Now they complain about what they campaigned for.

    1. https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/578235-juan-williams-trump-is-killing-american-democracy

      Juan Williams: Trump is killing American democracy

      From there...

      A majority, 66 percent of Republicans, told a Yahoo News/YouGov poll in August they still believe “the election was rigged and stolen from Trump.” Just 18 percent say they believe “Joe Biden won fair and square.”

      This mass deception also serves as a cover for Trump loyalists to pass new state laws to suppress voter turnout and give Trump sycophants control of counting votes.

      And now he is threatening to discourage his followers from voting in upcoming elections.

      The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page responded by warning: “Mr. Trump may not be finished making his supporters pay for his narcissism.”

      SQRLSY back now... It seems highly possible that we will GET our "smaller government" when ONE man (Trump) replaces 100 Senators, 9 Supreme Court Justices, 50 Governors, 435 voting reps in the House, etc. ONE Trumptatorshit, ONE people, and ONE TrumpfenFuhrer!

      https://www.salon.com/2021/04/11/trumps-big-lie-and-hitlers-is-this-how-americas-slide-into-totalitarianism-begins/
      Trump’s Big Lie and Hitler’s: Is this how America’s slide into totalitarianism begins?

      1. Or maybe it's the wisdom of crowds.
        You trust a majority to elect the best candidate, but not to render a verdict on whether the election was conducted fairly and honestly?

        1. Clearly, ANY election NOT electing Trump, is totally riven with fraud! Those of us with eyes and ears, have seen this coming for years!

          https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/24/politics/trump-election-warnings-leaving-office/index.html
          A list of the times Trump has said he won’t accept the election results or leave office if he loses
          Essential heart and core of the LIE by Trump: “ANY election results not confirming MEEE as Your Emperor, MUST be fraudulent!”
          September 13 rally: “The Democrats are trying to rig this election because that’s the only way they’re going to win,” he said.
          Trump’s constant re-telling and supporting the Big Lie (any election not electing Trump is “stolen”) set up the environment for this (insurrection riot) to happen. He shares the blame. Boys will be boys? Insurrectionists will be insurrectionists, trumpanzees gone apeshit will be trumpanzees gone apeshit, so let’s forgive and forget? Poor Trump was misunderstood? Does that sound good and right and true?

          1. So states didn't change the rules on mail-in ballots right before the election? Often at the direction of the Governor or Secretary of State and not through legislative action as the law allows? Or ignore the rules? Or extend the deadlines? Or loosen the signature matching requirements? Or find 400,000 votes overnight in mailed-in ballots breaking 2 to 1 for Biden, in a state that was split 50-50, even though no other state saw a similarly skewed ratio of mail-in votes compared to in-person votes?

            I guess it was all made up.

            1. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/08/trumps-lawyers-kraken/619915/ Trump lawyers face the heat!

              https://reason.com/2021/03/23/sidney-powell-says-shes-not-guilty-of-defamation-because-no-reasonable-person-would-have-believed-her-outlandish-election-conspiracy-theory/
              Sidney Powell Says She’s Not Guilty of Defamation Because ‘No Reasonable Person’ Would Have Believed Her ‘Outlandish’ Election Conspiracy Theory

              Which particular lies are you wanting to hear and believe today?

              1. flags for the spastic asshole.

      2. The totalitarian threat comes from the people stamping out dissent (or using social media companies to limit what can be said) not from the guy who left pandemic policies up to the individual states.

        1. Well, the States were totalitarian, so totalitarian-by-default?

      3. Holy shit, you were just about completely lucid for the majority of the post. What gives?

        I mean, still off the rails TDS, but pretty lucid nonetheless.

    2. Uh, if you were asleep for four years, be advised that Trump grew government. (A lot.)

    3. A libertarian magazine criticizing a president's non-libertarian policies equals demonizing him and supporting socialism?

      Suuuuuurreee.

      Before Biden's term is over there will be people in these comments saying Reason is a conservative rag for criticizing the president's non-libertarian policies.

      All I can figure is that people who associate any criticism of their team as support for the other team simply have no fucking clue of what libertarians stand for.

      1. I am having a really hard time not reading you comment and replacing "Suuuuuurreee." with "Rrrriiiggghhtt" read in Doctor Evil's voice.

  8. Abstractions - "smaller government" - aside, the actions likely to be passed with the "reconciliation" bill poll very favorably with the public as do mandates for masks and vaccines and national action on global climate change. Ken and others might spend less time on mistaken "choices", and more on trying to convince fellow Americans of the rightness of their viewpoint. Given the popularity of Biden's platform, as well as the fact that Americans have voted for the GOP candidate only once in the last 8 elections and that the senate GOP has not represented a majority of American voters since 1996 (and then barely), y'all need to realize America is just not that into you.

    1. They poll favorably among capital interns. The rest of the world is not so receptive, and frankly think this administration is an unmitigated disaster, despite the decreasingly loyal press shilling breathlessly.

    2. A lot of that crap polls "favorably" because the details are obscure, and people have been gulled into thinking this will all be "free". When they find out the reality is rather different they may be less sanguine.

    3. It always bothers me when my ideas are rejected by a large number of wise, respectable, and mentally healthy people.

      Good thing that isn’t happening here.

    4. Americans have voted for the GOP candidate only once in the last 8 elections

      Maybe you mean 8 yrs.? 5 elections gets you back to the Bush Administration's second term.

      1. They elected Trump 4 years ago, over Hillary Clinton.

        1. It's popular vote bullshit. Democrats still don't understand how elections work.

          And yeah, Republicans have only won a popular vote majority in 1 election since 1988. So what?

          In 1992, you could claim that Democrats had lost 5 of the last 6 elections, two of them in 49 state electoral landslides. Clinton himself only won because Ross Perot pulled off enough GOP voters to give him a plurality. But nobody in the media claimed then that the Democrats needed to change their priorities or their platform. It was all a matter of properly 'selling' their ideas to the American voter, or a lamentation that Americans were too racist to understand that Democrats knew what was best for them.

          1. Paul, exit polling - the only way you know this stuff - found that Perot voters were split about 50-50 on their 2nd choice between Bush, sr and Clinton. Perot didn't decide it.

            "Research gathered, then published, in the book Change and Continuity in the 1992 elections shows Perot pulled an equal amount of votes from both political parties."
            https://spectrumlocalnews.com/tx/austin/news/2019/07/09/ross-perot-often-credited-for-costing-bush--92-election

          2. Bigger Utility Monster at the federal level (take from X redistribute to Y). The scariest is the global utility monster, who’d squash the U.S. Fed Govt with a pinky.

        2. No, that was the EC Brian. Americans gave Hillary a 3 million vote margin.

          1. I’m sorry, but fantasy elections don’t count.

          2. Now the shill is butthurt and cranky about the constitution itself. His business is to find new lows whenever he can.

        3. Right, that's once in the last 8 elections. Bush would be twice.

      2. mad, that is the 1 time in 8. Guess what? If Kerry had won 60k more votes in Ohio he would have been elected by a minority of Americans, the GOP's trick.

        1. We know that Democrats don't care about minorities, you don't have to repeat it.

          Federalism acknowledges the importance of smaller states and rural areas and doesn't want them to be tyrannized by indifferent urbanites. If you have a problem with that, move. If you hate the constitution, MOVE FAST.

          Furthermore, the rules count for both. Democrats participate in the same game around EC votes. They are just too radical to get the support of anyone outside of themselves. We see that in Congress at the moment. They can't even convince their own few moderate people. So broken.

    5. Nobody wants a 6 trillion dollar baseline budget, multi-trillion dollar annual deficits, and unchecked inflation.

    6. "Given the popularity of Biden’s platform"

      He's polling at...what?

      1. His polling numbers are trending like the covid vaccine efficacy percentage.

    7. Because Biden keeps saying it is free. Some one else is paying.

    8. Joe,
      You.
      Are.
      Full.
      Of.
      Shit.

  9. PS "Smaller government" to today's GOP means against the federal government and local government at the city and county level. Red state governors and legislatures are waging war against local autonomy by mandating standards on everything from development practices, environmental standards, to now vaccines and masks.

    These guys don't care about small government, they care about power.

    1. Deflect, obfuscate and speculate.

      Reality: Dems are totalitarians and Sloppy Joe is digging their grave with zeal.

    2. ...how DARE anybody prevent fascism!!!

      1. But our fascism waves a rainbow flag? Why do you hate trans people?

      2. And FORCING people to buy magazines is NOT fascist?

        Hey Damiksec, damiskec, and damikesc, and ALL of your other socks…
        How is your totalitarian scheme to FORCE people to buy Reason magazines coming along?

        Free speech (freedom from “Cancel Culture”) comes from Facebook, Twitter, Tik-Tok, and Google, right? THAT is why we need to pass laws to prohibit these DANGEROUS companies (which, ugh!, the BASTARDS, put profits above people!)!!! We must pass new laws to retract “Section 230” and FORCE the evil corporations to provide us all (EXCEPT for my political enemies, of course!) with a “UBIFS”, a Universal Basic Income of Free Speech!

        So leftist “false flag” commenters will inundate Reason-dot-com with shitloads of PROTECTED racist comments, and then pissed-off readers and advertisers and buyers (of Reason magazine) will all BOYCOTT Reason! And right-wing idiots like Damikesc will then FORCE people to support Reason, so as to nullify the attempts at boycotts! THAT is your ultimate authoritarian “fix” here!!!

        “Now, to “protect” Reason from this meddling here, are we going to REQUIRE readers and advertisers to support Reason, to protect Reason from boycotts?”
        Yup. Basically. Sounds rough. (Quote damikesc)

        (Etc.)

        See https://reason.com/2020/06/24/the-new-censors/#comment-8316852

        1. spastic asshole flag

        2. And yet the only party dictating Facebook, Twitter, Tik-Tok (doesn't count because it's foreign commerce) and Google is Democrats...

          The only proposed federal interaction from the right was an Antitrust suite.

          But don't let that get in the way of building your imaginary case.

          According to Obama; Facebook and Twitter are just arms of the Lefts Crony Socialist Nazi-Regime of which of course he came running to their defense when the plug was about to get pulled.
          https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-google-facebook-would-not-exist-without-government-funding

          1. So that's why you agree with damikesc, that people should be FORCED to buy Reason Magazines?

            Model TJJ2000 Dictatorbot, WHEN are you going to stoop so low as to answer the questions of the lowly peons like me? WHICH is the One True Party of the USA (the world? The galaxy? Whatever it is that you want to rule)? WHAT should be the penalty for wanting to follow a WRONG party? WHY do you NEVER answer simple, basic questions?

            https://reason.com/2021/01/18/carjacker-beaverton-mom-kid-waiting/#comment-8710844
            Model TJJ2000 Dictatorbot believes that the USA already is (and should be) a 1-party dictatorshit! That the USA HAS BEEN a 1-party dictatorshit for some 200 years!!! There is NO point in trying to persuade the Model TJJ2000 Dictatorbot of ANYTHING! Almost ALL of the circuits of the Model TJJ2000 Dictatorbot have gone kaput, big-time!

            Model TJJ2000 Dictatorbot is lusting after an UPGRADE to its rusting old body! Wants to be upgraded to Model TJJ20666 Dictatorbot, and run for POTUS in 2024, with Alex Jones as the VEEP of Model TJJ20666 Dictatorbot!!! Be ye WARNED!!! Model TJJ20666 Dictatorbot will be well-nigh INDESTRUCTIBLE! (Unreachable by ANY logic or considerations for the freedoms of others, MOST certainly!)

            PLEASE do NOT enable the lusting of the rusting TJJ20000 Dictatorbot!!!

            1. Meds wore off. Or kicked in. Wheee!

                1. So you gals's meds have now also worn off, and you agree with the dictatorbot, and y'all ALSO now believe that the USA already is (and should be) a 1-party dictatorshit!?! Wow! The unclean brain-infection is spreading! But I guess that's what echo chambers are for!

                  1. Are you talking to yourself? Seems so since you're actually the one that wants single-party rule.

                    Seek Jesus.

            2. SQRLSY, You worship nation organization like Iraq.. Is that where you are from? You've stubbornly dismissed the USA and keep insisting it's a [WE] mobs battle of GOV-GUN-POWER over all things.

              Just about every single Democrat does this too now days. They want to pretend politics is but a battle of popularity where the popular kids can bully everyone else anyway they see fit.

              The USA is based on a SUPREME LAW (The US Constitution); which appropriates minor sectors of Democracy. It IS NOT a democracy anymore-so than a car is a tire.

              You live a LIE. You might want to consider that.

  10. while 19% want higher taxes and more services

    Does just getting handed other people's money count as a "service"? Because then it's like 70%.

    1. At least over half guaranteed, given last year's taxes.

    2. How many people demanded higher taxes and fewer services? Because that's what lots of them are getting in some of the big Democrat-run cities and states.

    3. Am guessing 0% of that 19% currently pay more taxes than their minimum.

  11. No, most Americans do not want smaller government. Every day, millions of people see or imagine problems and reflexively think that somebody else should do something. And then default to expecting that somebody to be from a federal, state, or local government agency.

    Plus, in our modern era, most people have been conditioned to love or hate others based on political tribalism and branding, and then demand that government reward or punish people accordingly.

    1. Good point. Saying you are for smaller government and actually supporting that position are two different things.

    2. And too many people have been tricked into thinking that individuals are too stupid to solve their own problems but those same individuals become problem-solving geniuses if they become politicians or bureaucrats.

      1. But the traditional libertarian conception of government preserves a government for a narrow range of interests (owners of capital). So are capitalists the true helpless babes? Why can't you defend your intellectual property without my tax dollars? Are you a welfare queen?

        1. I wonder if you meant this to be a reply to something else since it doesn't relate to the point I'm making.

          1. Tony gets triggered by anyone who demonizes the Gov-Gods.
            He's one of those "too many people" you just wrote about.

        2. "But the traditional libertarian conception of government preserves a government for a narrow range of interests (owners of capital)."

          Shitstain lies; it's what he does.

        3. Do you actually believe what you claim, Tony? I seriously hope you don't.

  12. I would again suggest that the question we should be asking is not smaller or bigger government, but rather smarter government. Government should be the last resort for addressing problems, but if necessary it should be there when needed.

    The only real way to get to a smart government is to talk and compromise. Stalemates and deadlock have led to bigger government. Maybe its is time for a different approach.

    1. It's patently obvious at this point that our government isn't going to get any smarter. Anyone pretending otherwise is either stupid, or gaslighting for the left to grow government and pretend to be shocked when it doesn't work as advertised.

    2. Lying dumbasses gonna lie.

      One more run at Mao, Stalin, or whomever's 5 yr. plan will work once we get the right TOP MEN in charge!

      *Only real way?* Fuck that, shoot every TOP MAN with a 5-yr.-plan. They'll either get smarter or they won't. You want to talk and compromise? OK, shoot half and then ask the other half if they still want to stand by their plans. Either way, government gets smaller.

    3. I would again suggest that the question we should be asking is not smaller or bigger cancer, but rather smarter cancer.

      *barf*

    4. Government can only be as smart as the idiots who run it.

      1. How about the idiots who vote it in?

    5. "The only real way to get to a smart government is to talk and compromise."

      Compromise, on what exactly?

      Guns? Why of course you want to "compromise."
      Vaccine and mask mandates? Ditto
      Hate speech? Ditto
      CRT, 1619 [specious race baiting and revisionist "history" meant to serve an agenda? Ditto
      Right to privacy [as in the government trolling your bank account]? Ditto
      Freedom of assembly [during a declared "pandemic"]? Well that of course would depend on what and with who you want to assemble, right?

      Unlimited right to an abortion on demand? Oh the heresy to speak of any "compromise!"

      There is a difference between compromise [both sides give and take] and concession [one side just gives up what the other party desires].

      I for one am not giving up anything on any of the aforementioned.

      1. The problem here is that you and people like you see any compromise as a concession. Look at your list. You would be hard pressed to explain items on the list like CRT and hate speech an yet you indicate there can be no compromise on any of them.

        1. "The problem here is that you and people like you see any compromise as a concession..."

          No, the problem here is that TDS-addled assholes like you only accept one side giving in entirely.

      2. Another important point about compromise is this: when honest people compromise on something, the matter is considered resolved. If one party comes back with fresh demands then they didn't bargain in good faith. And the Left always comes back with fresh demands.

        1. If one party comes back with fresh demands then they didn’t bargain in good faith.

          ^This^

          They don't want to compromise, they want to bargain in bad faith. Bargain in bad faith and then whine about hyperpartisanship and the corrosion of civility.

    6. Ironically it's your "smarter government" that builds the Nazi-Regime overtaking the USA.

      The only 'smarter' government is a Constitutional USA government instead of the Nazi(National Socialist)-Regime trying to take over the USA.

  13. History has shown the government does not give back power it has assumed. It is only taken back by armed conflict. I hope we can be the first to do it at the ballot box instead.

    1. Arm conflicts rarely result in a return of power to the people. George Washington was unique in that he chose to return power. Many other leader of revolts chose to set themselves up as a strongman.

    2. I don't know about 'armed' but President Trump and his De-Regulation committee, Tax-Cutting administration sure did get a WHOLE lot of undeserved TDS demonizing.

      1. I woulda given Trump a sack tap with steeltoes if I met him in person, but he was one of few politicians ever to make my life easier and less of a headache.

        That I miss him as president is blowing my mind, but he did a much better job than given credit for.

  14. The cancer has been there for decades. Most people just didn't notice the symptoms.

    1. Enter FDR, Democratic Majorities, Court Stuffing and 12-Years of Nazi-Empire building in the USA as well as a Great Depression... or Great Recession... or whatever Great Crisis Democrats will create next.

  15. Americans always want smaller government, until it comes time to actually cut spending on specific programs.... The only single program that a majority favors cutting is foreign aid, which is around 1% of the overall budget.

    1. "The closest thing we have to eternal life on earth is a government program."

      You have to admit, like him, hate him, or indifferent, The Great Communicator had a way with words.

  16. It isn’t the girth of government as much as the length.

    1. Was that what Lady Liberty said? Is that why she and her blind Sapphic partner Justice have gone away?

    2. Uncle Sam's only reacharound is into your wallet, sadly.

  17. O/T: This is a telling post from Nanny Bloomberg. A media empire that beats the war drums of climate jihad for, at least, the past decade or more. The rhetoric that has pushed the Democrats to the brink of insanity is now proving to be a humanitarian disaster, complete with starvation, for the poorest in the world. Fossil fuels indeed. Amazing that he published this after years and years of climate and fossil fuel crisis alarmism..."SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING". Bloomberg, individually, should be held accountable when the starvation sets in:
    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-10-21/climate-change-shunning-fossil-fuels-too-soon-may-prove-catastrophic

  18. "the far-reaching, multi-trillion-dollar, 2,465-page bill that's pending in Congress"

    To put this in perspective, that's twice as long as all 3 books of The Lord of the Rings combined.

    1. It takes a lot of words to explain exactly how we’re going to treat everyone equally.

      1. They're still trying to figure out how a [WE] foundation can possibly recognize everyone equally since everyone is actually the [WE] foundation.

    2. How many copies of Atlas Shrugged does it come out to?

  19. "may" not get smaller government? That's pretty funny, I always appreciate dark humor.

    The only way we get smaller government in this corporate duopoly is to force it through the political system with ballot initiatives, like the ones that repealed cannabis prohibition.

  20. "Americans who notice an increase in the size and intrusiveness of government since COVID-19 first appeared"

    No, no, no..... Everyone knows it's since Democratic Majorities first appeared.

    The amount of project the left does is baffling. Every GD time they have some EXCUSE to blame their own idiocy on everything else. No wonder 70% of the prison population is registered Democrat; they do exactly the same thing. It's ALWAYS THEIR FAULT!!!

  21. This small government is just the result of party struggle. It is a disaster for civilians.
    fag bearing company

    1. Ironically, When Dems carry majority, the only time smaller government appears is by dead-lock.

  22. Americans have shifted back to favoring a more hands-off approach for government in addressing the nation's problems after a rare endorsement of a more active role last year," Gallup recently reported.

    I'm not sure I believe this study and B, presuming it is generally accurate, you notice the 'government is doing too much' seems to align quite well with Democratic administrations?

  23. Both the Democrats and Republicans are authoritarian parties and only care about increasing their power. Unfortunately the mass majority of people fall for their calls to divide us into camps supporting their specific brand of authoritarianism.

    Freedom and individual rights are lost as a result. It's not about what is right and wrong anymore, but rather Team D versus Team R. Many positions on policy switch based which team is currently in power.

    Make sure that you vote and choose any other party, but don't vote for Team D or Team R. We need masses of votes that vote against Team D or Team R.

    1. Shut up and get your vaccination, put on your mask, and show me your medical papers.

    2. Democrats are totalitarians while Republicans are "mere authoritarians." (Ken's words before he muted me for pointing out that he was encouraging people to vote for authoritarians. He since changed his tune and calls Democrats authoritarians and Republicans godlike saviors. He was right the first time.)

      According to the majority in these comments, you have a binary choice between the two and the pragmatic thing to do is vote all Republican all the time.

      So if you want to be one of the cool kids on these comments you must abandon all of your principles and embrace the Republican party.

      If you don't then you're a leftist.

      1. What you are obviously ignoring is that Republicans only use authoritarianism to save us from authoritarianism.

        1. At least the Republicans partly do what you are saying, which makes them the better rational choice for libertarians who don't want to be forever meaningless. Unless you are a citizen of idealistic, impotent fairytale land like sarc.

          1. Remind me of the last time the budget shrank under Republican rule.

            Remind me when deficit spending shrank under Republican rule.

            Remind me which alphabet enforcement agencies went away under Republican rule.

            Exactly.

            This is what the bitches call "both sides." When an honest person says "You both suck!"

            1. Well, remind me of the last time the Republicans tried to push a $3.5 trillion "infrastructure" bill through budget reconciliation, and then the least moderate of their wingers said that this insane sum is by far not enough.

              Again, a characteristic about you that I have named before is that you only think in binary terms. But it's not either "budged shrink" or "budget not shrink". It's: Who will display at least some level of fiscal sanity, even though it may not be much? And who wants to actively steer the sleigh of a cliff with full force? I think in "more/less of something". You think in: "either this is exactly what I want, or it is entirely shit". But with such idealistic standards, your preferences will never become implementable. They will never even be in the neighborhood of feasible.

    3. Sure, sure; And Trump never initiated a De-Regulation committee either.... /s

  24. Proposed wealth tax not a wealth tax, according to US Treasury Secretary:

    "I wouldn’t call that a wealth tax, but it would help get at capital gains, which are an extraordinarily large part of the incomes of the wealthiest individuals and right now escape taxation until they’re realized," Yellen said.

    1. Democrats hope to generate at least $200 billion in new revenue over the next decade from the tax, which would include stocks as well as other assets like real estate.

      So, drop in the bucket? No impact on everyone else's stock values or home values or 401K accounts when billionaires sell off hundreds of billions in assets to pay the wealth tax?

      1. Capital gains change every nanosecond of every day. Are they proposing a tax at closing every day of the year. I’ve spent a lot of my time trying to sound the alarm that Democrats want federal property taxes and land value taxes. DeBlasio said it out loud:” people just want the government to allocate where they should live”. There’s a reason economics (or how to lie with data or statistics) are placed in humanities departments. Keynesians have become sociopath utilitarians and have gone insane.

        This is the stuff of civil war.

  25. Well you had the opportunity and then you dropped the ball, so suck it up

  26. It might have something to do with the catastrophic global failure of the neoliberal reforms of the 80s to do anything but destroy the planet, enrich the few at the expense of the many, and encourage a return of fascism.

    Unfortunately for people who prefer their political ideologies to fit on a bumper sticker, these things will probably have to be taken on a case-by-case basis. People like big government for some things and small government for others.

    People, thankfully, are not ideological about this on the whole, even people who claim to be (small government activists demanding that government build big walls, for example).

    True anarchists are there, but they are leftists and not welcome in modern libertarian circles (because their project is a threat to capital). So libertarianism spent a long time trying to make a bed with far-right reactionaries, and, to nobody's surprised, the latter have ditched the low taxes and have returned to their true concerns: burning books and scapegoating minorities. It was never going to work, guys.

    1. You can't be anarchist and left-wing at the same time. That's purely an oxymoron since socialism requires an authoritative unit to run such a command economy.

      Anyone else want the honor to refute Tony's statements?

      1. I don't think you know what you're talking about even a little bit.

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  28. I don't get the "freedom to punish their children as they see fit." How is that any different from a mugger saying that the government is interfering with their freedom to rob people?

    The whole purpose of the government is to protect people from unprovoked aggression. If a parent punishes their child for something that isn't actually wrong, or punishes their child disproportionately, how is allowing the child to appeal to the government to intervene a violation of the parent's freedom?

    Your freedom to swing your face ends where someone else's face begins. If that other someone happens to be your child, that changes nothing.

    1. Family Matters are NOT the business of the State.
      Knowing where Gov-Guns should be used is 99% of the problem.
      Thankfully for the 'feds' we have a U.S. Constitution with enumerated powers for that.

    2. Get. The. Fuck. Out. Of. My. House.

      Your nanny state Karens are why most kids are growing up as worthless craven parasites that think they're shiny unicorns.

    3. You know, you could really fix the spelling of your handle. It's cringe worthy every time I see it. There is an 'a' where there should be an 'o'. Otherwise I have to assume you are NOT a man of culture.

  29. Hey, Tuccille! Tell us about your TDS affliction!

    1. Tuccille Doherty Sullum
      T D S

  30. He coined the term "ratchet effect" to describe the phenomenon of hard times promoting government growth.

    I'm not sure I really buy that hard times themselves are the driver of a ratchet effect. Maybe for a seemingly out-of-the-blue event like 9/11 and Pearl Harbor but those were true war events and to say that government grows during an actual fighting war is a statement of the uselessly obvious.

    I think that what drives the ratchet effect is a situation where Americans prove that they distrust and even hate each other. You can see it in the comment threads. Where Americans no longer even recognize the same reality. There is no trust among people. No communication. No ability to work together to solve problems.

    Government grows because it fills the vacuum when there are no alternatives. Obviously those advocating government solutions see that as an opportunity. But again that is merely a statement of the obvious. In the land of broken alternatives, the most constipated blind bureaucrat is king.

  31. The majority of Americans under 40 want cradle-to-grave socialism, and they want “the 1% and corporations” to pay for it. The believe that they are owed that kind of wealth and privilege by the universe.

    When they say that they want “less government”, they mean that they don’t want government to interfere with their weed, their sex, or their riots.

    They’ll have a rude awakening, but by that time, it will be too late.

    1. You want government to interfere with people's sex?

      1. Did I say that anywhere? No.

        The fact that the under-40 crowd has irrational concerns about government interference in their hypothetical sex lives doesn’t mean that such interference actually exists.

      2. Ironically; the BIGGEST interference of people's sex-tendency was handed down by the "lefty" Supreme Court not long ago by their insistence of the !!-Government-!! recognizing their relationships for them.

        Rand Paul: "I don't want my guns registered in Washington or my marriage"

        1. Government licensing gay men’s relationships is frot with issues.

        2. Nobody is forced to get married. I recommend against it.

          But if, say, straight people got a right to a tax cut for wearing a mullet, that should be available to gay people too. The point is equality under the law, not mullets, however much lesbians might insist on emphasizing the issue.

          1. And in the realm of "equality under the law" - we'll have to monitor speech and bathrooms so 'birthing persons' and 'non-sex bathrooms' and forced cake-baking for elephants who "identify" as humans???? How about criminals who identity as honest citizens or Nazi's who identify as patriots? Or tyrannical law that identifies as 'freedom'??

            Rand Paul pegged it dead-on; but if you're going to play the all things under the sun are the same "equality" and must be mandated by federal law - UR polluting common-sense.

            You need to consider that 'marriage' as defined when tax code was written was for offspring... Now I hate to bust your bubble but 'offspring' isn't an option for gay people. The term as used by the tax-code NEVER even inferred butt-poking as a tax deductible.

            Changing the definition of words in law is 'fiat' changing the law. Talk about Democrats championing democracy --- heck, just thwart democracy with a word redefining. No; that's B.S.

            The true USA patriots want 'marriage' to be a personal/local affair; not a 'federal' affair. But there can't be a !National! Socialist Regime if it's not 'federal'/National.

            Do you agree with Rand Paul?

  32. Bah. Americans only want smaller government when it’s presented to them in the abstract. When you start actually cutting programs and entitlements they all - on every side of the spectrum - get up in arms about it. Republicans pretend to care but they’re just the Dixiecrat Party at this point, The GOP died a long time ago, The only difference between them and the Dems is what they spend the money on and who they target with intrusive laws and regulations.

    1. The GOP was revived quite a bit by the Trump Administration as well as Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Thomas Massie and the likes.

      And the Democrats were so threatened they fortified the election.
      The only 'intrusive' laws by that GOP-Team was cutting foreign influence and ending foreign subsidizing which the DNC created and pushes endlessly by open-borders, U.N. Climate Change hoaxes, even to the point of wanting a U.N. tax, "The administration's strategy involves convincing other developed countries to adopt a global minimum tax for corporations"...

      And yet without National Defense from foreign countries; what is the point of even having the Union of States government?

      That is the biggest difference between the left and the right. The left want's the National Government to do EVERYTHING they aren't suppose to do while ignoring everything they are suppose to be doing. (per the U.S. Constitution)

    2. Yup. All it means is more of the stuff I want and less of the stuff I don’t care about.

      Democrats are not liberals and republicans are not conservatives. They flew away a long time ago.

  33. SNL COLD OPEN POKES FUN AT JOE BIDENS LOW APPROVAL RATINGS

    https://nypost.com/2021/10/24/snl-cold-open-pokes-fun-at-joe-bidens-low-approval-ratings/

    I think the left wants to decapitate themselves as soon as possible to grow another head (or two), Hydra style. They must have somehow gotten aware that JB is a losing bet and now they are trying to cut their losses.

    Will they get their sheepish voters to vote blue no matter who again? When will the left realize that THEY are the losing bet, long term?

  34. Socialism will creep into the system, it has too. As the number of workers needed to provide all the services needed for society decline then so will the dependence of those who have no jobs to do. I foresee not too long into the future that most infrastructure jobs will be eclipsed by robots. As silly as that seems now, just look how quickly Technology is changing in just one single generation.

    1. Low IQ jobs will decline and that's a problem. But socialism destroys societies, always. So if socialism is the only answer we can come up with, we have already lost. Nothing to celebrate there.

      1. Federal Minimum Wage destroyed the low IQ jobs but low IQ people keep supporting their own destruction by pushing themselves out of the the useful-labor market with higher-prices and stolen welfare wages...

        Because that's what Nazification (National Socialism) indoctrination does to emotionally driven selfish minds.

        1. Well, what's the solution you would suggest for truck drivers once they will be replaced by self-driving vehicles? I really don't know the answer yet. Someone with an IQ of 83 (SD 15 or 16 doesn't matter much) might become progressively more unable to find a job at all. How can that be addressed?

          1. I would hire 10-Employees RIGHT NOW; IF..... There wasn't minimum wage laws, FICA, SS, Healthcare mandates, OSHA regulations, B.S. Civil Suites, Workman's Comp, etc, etc, etc.....

            The walls that oppress hiring are actually endless. Ironically; In 1831 multiple 100's of "Trucks" were self-driven by ONE Train operator but it wasn't the Trains the put people out of work it was the Trains that launched massive wealth and thousands of new low IQ tack-laying jobs.

      2. If you're still worried about Maoism or Stalinism coming to the modern world, you're missing both any creeping socialism or any creeping anything. Stop being distracted by children's book versions of history.

        Socialism has already won. It won by fusing itself with capitalism into the eukaryotic cell of governments, modern liberal democracy.

        Why not help preserve that? I like it here. I'm free in all the ways. Free to sell shit without too much official meddling; free from persecution by reactionaries. Of course it's hardly perfect in either direction, but that's no reason to give up.

        1. Socialism hasn't won, because this society is still not entirely in shambles. There has never been a society based on laissez-faire capitalism.

          You shouldn't try to turn a mixed economy into an advertisement for socialism. A socialistic cell is cancerous. It may feel successful while it's spreading, but it kills the organism, and then itself.

          Enough of the analogies. If you talk about preserving and shielding against creep, that's what the rest of society is trying to do. While the Democrats are obviously trying to wreck it entirely. Starts with the antisocial tendency of trying to push the most radical and controversial policies trough Congress based on the thinnest majority since the discovery of infinitesimals.

          1. ^THIS;
            A socialistic cell is cancerous. It may feel successful while it’s spreading, but it kills the organism, and then itself.

            Gov-Gun-Forces =/= Wealth.
            You cannot eat guns. Guns do not provide shelter. Guns do not provide cable TV. Guns do not provide resources.

            The ONLY thing Gov-Gun-Forces can provide is Individual Justice from those who attempt to use Gun-Force to take that away. i.e Defensive Gov-Guns good; Aggressive Gov-Guns bad.

            Decent nations aren't built on Gov-Guns conquering and consuming (theft) of 'others' created/earned wealth. (i.e. Socialism)

        2. "Free to sell shit without too much official meddling; free from persecution by reactionaries." --- Either someone isn't old enough for comparison or doesn't *earn*/*create* anything.

          Growing Gov Oppression hasn't taken a vacation since Trump's De-Regulation committee made a very itsy-bitsy move in the right direction.

          Official Education, Official Housing, Official Healthcare, Official Wage, Official Vehicles, Official licensing.......... Give me a break Tony... UR claim is more Naive than the frog hot-tubing on the stovetop.

    2. "As the number of workers needed to provide ?all? the services"...

      I don't think there is a set 'service' amount that is static.
      That would be the same as assuming human progress has a limit.

      Maybe a cave and rock was ?all? the service in 2350 B.C.

  35. “Americans Now Prefer Smaller Government, But May Not Get It”

    Let's start by cutting all "equal opportunities," "diversity" and "equity" commissions. Then end government subsidies for gender and ethnic "studies" programs on campus. And while we are it, abolish the NGOs which front for the State Department, CIA and Pentagon.

    Those moves alone would undermine Big Government's ability to interfere in people's lives, at home and abroad.

  36. Voting for senile puppets has consequences.
    Believing media lies has consequences.
    Reading media that purports to be libertarian but is "woke" (like Reason) has consequences.
    Voting on personality has consequences.
    Being a "low information" voter has consequences.
    Not voting on policy has consequences.
    Voter fraud has consequences.

    You get the worst President and Administration in US history!

  37. By the 10th paragraph I checked it was Tuccille; but that 10th paragraph also contained the key. Nixon-subsidized political pickpockets daring to foist a law containing 2565 words with nary a tar-and-feathering is proof bribes have corrupted absolutely. Jefferson’s Declaration is 1337 words plus 56 signatures. The Constitution is 4543 words, and needs an amendment to limit all laws to fewer than that. From looters one expects many words and many lies. Sure enough, a graph of per cap GNP x wordiness of constitution shows a clear trend line. The shorter the constitution, the wealthier the populace. Heinlein’s proposal that one house do nothing but repeal by simple majority belongs in the LP platform along with the Atlas Shrugged Amendment and our original plank on women’s rights. Deleting the importation of illiterate criminals, the subsidy of violent criminals at taxpayer expense and cutting back on repetition would more than make room for these changes.

  38. Enzyme Activity Assay Service
    https://www.profacgen.com/enzyme-activity-assay-service.htm
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