Big government gives chance to fix nation, problems

Columnist and Columnist

The election of 2013 is now officially history.

This means only one thing: the mid-term election season has already started. Yes, there is no time for reflection or celebration in today’s American politics.

There is only time to fundraise, talk about and handicap the next election. As ridiculous as this seems and is, it is our reality. It is not just the time for perpetual campaigning; it is also time for the greatest lie in the American political discourse to appear. That lie is the story of small government.

At one time in America, we did indeed have small government. It was before the New Deal.

It was quite a great ride for the very few who were wealthy. Low taxes, bought politicians, racism, sexism, homophobia, slavery and no shared sacrifice ruled the day.

What a great time to have been white, male, straight, bigoted, and cold-hearted. One could sit back, exploit human beings, pay nothing in taxes and have the American military fight for one’s right to do so. Big wigs and their kept women were living in fat city.

Is this still the truth? Thankfully, even though Reaganomics has tried to take us back to this place, not really.

Still, many among us preach the lie of small government; as if that is possible in a country of 320 million citizens. The politicians and the media know just what an untruth this concept is but they do not number high enough to win elections. It takes an ignorant electorate to accomplish that.

Do you like drivable roads? How about overtime pay, unemployment insurance, student loans, public schools or Social Security?

Big government did that. How about the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act?

Big government did that too. How about cures for smallpox, polio and state-of-the-art treatments that cure cancer when it was once a certain death sentence? Yep, that is big government.

I could write a master’s thesis listing the good that big government has done. Small government’s achievements would not fill a grade school book report. It is a fantasy peddled by loudmouths and prevaricators.

It does not exist. What does exist though, is hypocrisy.

Citizens in every state of the Union pay taxes. Some more than others and some none at all, but there is no Cayman Islands-like state in America. What there is though is a clean, almost 50-50 breakdown of states that contribute more dollars in taxes than they get back from the federal government and those that get more dollars back than they contribute.

This chart is easily found on the Web. This chart is edifying and to a rational person, infuriating. This chart is America’s Chart of Hypocrisy.

So what does the chart tell us? It tells us that almost every state that gives more than they receive is a liberal, big government-supporting state.

Examples of these states are New York, California and Massachusetts. Most of their politicians in D.C. are Democrats and they almost always vote Democratic in the presidential elections.

The exact opposite is true in the taker states. Such conservative bastions as the Carolinas, Mississippi and Louisiana get many more tax dollars back than they contribute to the federal budget. Despite living off big government’s teat, these states continue to elect mostly Republican lawmakers who preach small government and vote for Republicans in the presidential elections. Why this dichotomy? Pure hypocrisy.

As long as we tolerate hypocrisy from our politicians and right-wing media, the lie of small government lives; coming out from under the bridge like an ogre during election season.

Let us all educate ourselves and understand that small government is a myth and not worth our collective breath to talk about. We are a huge nation; a huge nation with huge needs. This requires big government, big ideas and an end to fairy tales.

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