Liberty, Not Lies

Terence Jeffrey pointed me to an article by William Kristol for the New York Times that argues against “small-government conservatism.” Following I summarize Kristol’s reasons.

* Though Jeb Bush has railed against “big-government” policies, “in his two terms [as the governor of Florida] state spending increased over 50 percent.”

* “Five Republicans have won the presidency since 1932: Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and the two George Bushes. Only Reagan was even close to being a small-government conservative.”

* The 1994 “Contract With America” failed to deliver.

* W. Bush expanded Medicare.

Krisol concludes, “So talk of small government may be music to conservative ears, but it’s not to the public as a whole.”

But then Krisol adds the following parenthetical note: “Besides, the public knows that government’s not going to shrink much no matter who’s in power.” No, the public knows that Republicans have expanded federal spending even faster than the Democrats.

But this contradicts Kristol’s main point. Kristol thinks “small-government” Republicans aren’t popular. The truth is that the public knows that most Republican politicians who claim to support a “small government” are damned liars.

Perhaps the reason that the public does not vote for a small government that protects individual rights and economic liberty is that Republicans offer no such policy, and those who claim to do so routinely advocate a massive welfare state, religious controls, and economic controls in the name of “small government.”