Let the world change you... and you can change the world

Big vs. Small Government Is Not The Issue

This article blaming Newt Gingrich for the Obamacare website problems is admittedly a bit over the top, but the point being made is still very valid. The Office of Technology Assessment was a very important part of the machinery of government in this day and age, and going without any kind of agency like this is incomprehensible in the 21st century.

But there’s a bigger issue here, one that rarely gets discussed. We continually hear the argument about big vs. small government, and there’s a lot to be said for both sides. Heck, in a perfect world I suspect that most liberals and progressives would prefer as small a government as possible. But clearly we live in a far from perfect world. We have megacorporations that don’t give a damn about anything but bottom line profits, and walk all over the rights of workers and consumers and citizens in order to make a buck. And then we have the wealthiest Americans engaged in a never-ending game of “he who dies with the most money wins” and who are totally devoid of compassion for the millions of less fortunate people who struggle to make ends meet. And so we must have government to insure that everyone doesn’t get trampled by the rich and powerful.  It’s the only thing that separates us from medieval feudalism.

The real issue here should be how to make government as efficient and effective as possible in order to insure justice and equality for all. That after all, is what a true democracy is all about. You want a government that is no bigger than it has to be in order to achieve that end. That’s what we all should be working towards.

But that’s not what we have in today’s America. A big chunk of the Republican Party wants to simply do away with as many government services as they can, and failing that, they try their best to make sure that government doesn’t work — I guess the theory being that helps make their case for no government at all. And so they attempt to do away with agencies like the OTA, the EPA, the NLRB, the Dept. of Education, the US Post Office, and on and on the list goes. It’s one thing to want “small government”, but it’s something totally different to want “bad government”. And that’s what today’s GOP seems intent on.