A couple of paragraphs from a local newspaper in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Not tremendously far from where I grew up, and a really nice piece of phrasing touching on one of the reasons I’m so incredulous that small-government conservatives are still sticking with this Republican party.
There are two types of big government. There’s big-government liberalism, in which the government administers broad-based entitlements (Social Security, Medicaid) and provides services collectively that individuals can’t purchase on their own (police protection, roads, public parks, etc.). Has this vision suffered from excess and waste? Of course. But it has raised the standard of living for most Americans. The elderly can’t buy affordable health insurance on the private market, and most individuals can’t purchase their own personal police or fire protection. At the very least, big-government liberalism’s heart is in the right place.
There’s nothing good about big-government conservatism. It’s an iron triangle of politicians, lobbyists and industry wallowing in the spoils of government contracting and favoritism linked to campaign contributions. The recipient of big-government liberalism is likely to be a 90-year-old who can’t get out of bed, or a pregnant teen in need of pre-natal care. The recipient of big-government conservatism is a Halliburton executive or someone who lobbies on Halliburton’s behalf.