Small Government February 12, 2013 The State of the Union is . . . obvious. We have a huge infrastructure deficit, millions unemployed, and interest rates so low we would be nuts not to borrow to put them to work repairing 150,000 bridges, modernizing 35,000 schools, weatherizing 80 million homes . . . and everything else that would make us more efficient, competitive, prosperous, healthy and secure. (Side-benefit: we’d jump start the economy, increase tax revenues, decrease safety-net payments, and lower the deficit.) No? We would do this not by hiring more government workers, by the way, any more than our Interstate Highway system or our sewers or submarines were built by government workers. But hang on: why all this government bashing in the first place? Peter Stolz: “We should attack the Republican Party’s key premise: that smaller government is better. It’s not true because the government is the people. Have they not heard of “government of the people, by the people and for the people”? Government is the people’s ONLY tool by which they can run their country themselves and determine the future of the country themselves. Without the people using the government to manage and run their country, it would be run by big business and those with the most money and therefore the most power. Democrats need to start making a strong argument against the right wing dogma that smaller government is better. If we invalidate that piece of nonsense it will go a long way toward eliminating one of the key foundations of the Republican party. Government is the arm of the people. It is the only way by which we the people can exert power to govern our own country. A strong government of the people, by the people and for the people is a very good thing. It is not something that we want shrunk and weakened. Conservatives frame it as a choice between bigger government in control or people in control. Democrats should decode this right wing double speak and make it clear that when government is in control in a democracy, that is the only way for the people to have power over their own country. If government is shrunk and made weaker the resulting power vacuum will inevitably be filled by the richest and most powerful corporations and individuals in the country. The power taken away from government will never go to the individual people. The rich and most powerful will grab every bit of power that government is stripped of. That is a dictatorship of the rich, by the rich and for the richest and most powerful, which is an oligarchy and a plutocracy. It certainly is not a democracy. The Republicans want to shrink the power of your government, they want to weaken your only source of power. At least with any member of government you can vote them out of power. If government power is greatly diminished and corporations take over that power, which they already have done to a large degree, they can’t be voted out as government can be. If we can make this point clear it will greatly invalidate the Republican party’s core message. Every time you hear a Republican talk about making government smaller in the future, you should hear it as, we want to take power and control of the country away from you the people thru your elected representatives, and give it to our rich and powerful friends.” In the meantime, shouldn’t we put people to work modernizing our infrastructure? AND WHILE I’M BEING ALL SERIOUS . . . Take 30 seconds to watch Gabby Giffords’ first ad. Talk about simple and direct. And obvious. “Since 1968,” Politifact confirms, “more Americans have died from gunfire than died in … all the wars of this country’s history.” Guns should be legal. And no safety regime will eliminate homicides, suicides, or accidents. But shouldn’t a government of, by, and for the people be able to enact commonsense regulation that 92% of the people favor?