Americans Want Smaller Government and Lower Taxes

From Rasmussen:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 64% of Likely U.S. Voters prefer a government with fewer services and lower taxes over one with more services and higher taxes. That’s unchanged from last month and consistent with findings in regular surveys since late 2006. 

In fact, a plurality of Americans have called for small government and lower taxes ever since the days of Reagan.

But it has never worked out like that:

So what’s the difference? Is it that voters outwardly claim to be in favour of smaller government, and then when it comes down to it choose the advocates of big government? I don’t think so — I think it is that voters aren’t being given a real choice.

Here’s the increase in national debt by President:

The reality is that — with the exception of Obama — Americans have again and again opted for a candidate who has paid lip-service to small government. Even Bill Clinton paid lip service to the idea that “the era of big government is over” (yeah, right). And then once in office, they have bucked their promises and massively increased the size and scope of government. Reagan’s administration increased the debt by 190% alone, and successive Presidents — especially George W. Bush and Barack Obama — just went bigger and bigger, in total contradiction to voters’ expressed preferences.

The choice between the Republicans and Democrats has been one of rhetoric and not policy. Republicans may consistently talk about reducing the size and scope of government, but they don’t follow through.Today Ron Paul, the only Republican candidate who is putting forth a seriously reduced notion of government, has been marginalised and sidelined by the major media and Republican establishment. The establishment candidate — Mitt Romney — as governor of Massachusetts left that state with the biggest per-capita debt of any state. His track record in government and his choice of advisers strongly suggest that he will follow in the George W. Bush school of promising smaller government and delivering massive government and massive debt.

As Libertarian presidential candidate and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson put it:

Pick Obama, pick Romney, government’s going to be bigger. Government’s going to be more intrusive.

So will the American people eventually get what they want? To do that, they have to ditch the hierarchies and orthodoxies of the past. Ron Paul and his tireless band of youthful supporters look set to achieve a strong showing at the Republican convention, as well as so far winning party chairs in Iowa, Colorado, Alaska, and Virginia. The Republican party — currently dominated by ageing tax-and-spend boomer Republicans — is being taken over by the libertarian youth who crave small government at home, as well as a smaller foreign policy. Ron Paul has taken the majority of youth votes in a plurality of states in 2012. And even if Ron Paul is not on the presidential ballot, Gary Johnson — a consistent advocate for lower debt, lower taxes, and smaller government — seems set to take a large slice of the vote in November.

As the mainstream parties continue to defy a majority of voters’ will and accrue more debt and make government bigger and bigger (while failing to address problems of unemployment and underemployment)  it seems natural and inevitable that more and more Americans — especially young Americans (who tend more and more to be unemployed and underemployed) — will abandon the sclerotic big-government Republicans and Democrats.

Trouble is, things may go badly wrong before Americans get the chance to put a practitioner of smaller government into power. Already a majority of Eurasian manufacturing and resource-producing nations have ditched the dollar for bilateral trade. Dollars and treasury bonds have long been America’s greatest export — and the greatest pillar of support for growth in spending and welfare. With the dollar’s downfall, smaller government may not be a choice.

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29 thoughts on “Americans Want Smaller Government and Lower Taxes

  1. Pingback: Guest Post: Americans Want Smaller Government And Lower Taxes | TheTradersWire.com

  2. Clearly stated Aziz. Unfortuneatly, the press continues to frame the argument as one of “growth vs. austerity”. They fail to mention that by “growth” they mean growth in the size of government – the very thing that lead to the current crisis. The Paul plan calls for massive cuts in spending and taxes. The old guard give lip-service to smaller government and nothing more.

    • Well what most people refer to as austerity involve spending cuts as well as tax rises , and obviously that will have a contractionary effect on growth (as in GDP), as government will be sucking more out of the economy, and putting back in less. Government is like a drug, and once you are hooked it is hard to get off, and an economic contradiction like this is probably not a great time to try and get off. My kind of economic policy would cut taxes, regulation, barriers to entry and military commitments hugely right now, and as soon as there is some kind of organic recovery (say 2 years) starting I’d start the heavy (Ron Paul heavy — $1 trillion+, and across the board) spending cuts.

  3. I would guess that the same people who say they want smaller govt and lower taxes would also tell you that they are against reducing the military. They don’t equate big military with big government, but see it as a completely separate issue.

    And, to be honest, if you’ve been given a license from the rest of the world to buy everything you could ever want and pay for it with borrowed money, that both you and the lenders know will never ever be paid back – well, why not use that license for all that it’s worth? It’s way past the point of no return anyway, so why not make the most of it while it lasts.

    • It’s way past the point of no return anyway, so why not make the most of it while it lasts.

      That’s what has happened. We shall see where this leads.

  4. Pingback: Americans Want Smaller Government and Lower Taxes « Hawks5999

  5. Pingback: Americans Want Smaller Government and Lower Taxes « Hawks5999

  6. Pingback: New survey turns up a surprising result about the U.S. government and taxes « Investment Watch Blog

  7. What a joke! obama (UN) is running the show. It’s all government or atleast some of it is after China gets their share. Lets see they now have our oil, natural gas , movie theaters etc. etc. We can’t have our oil only china and yes china is now in the banking business thanks to obama. Guys we will have lost ALL our resourses by years end.
    If the thug gets 4 more years I will not shed a tear for your children they will suffer and it’s your fault! America you’re all losers!

    • What the world needs to fully understand is that the European bankers have infiltrated and taken over the control of money in the U.S.A. as they long ago did in Europe. In addition they have piece by piece caused the balance of government powers here to shift heavily toward the executive (president) branch. In this way they can work towards controlling everything through one man as dictator that they control.

      Most Americans are clueless to the truth because these same bankers own the media and use it for their agenda. At this point they have so much worldwide power that the Americans and the Europeans need to unite in the common cause to oust their greedy power mongering asses.

  8. Pingback: Americans Want Smaller Government and Lower Taxes « Financial Survival Network

  9. Your data is an outright falsehood ( how is that for being nice?). If we can’t even talk straight real facts ( Obama’s spent $5 trillion plus in the last three years) then it is easy to understand why the spending has not stopped. With data like this you definitely are a liberal.

    • Lolz! Too funny! You must be one of those lying ass groupies of Georgie boy’s if you really think the militaricans haven’t spent and corrupted this country to hell!

  10. The pathetic thing is, as you pointed out in the note accompanying the chart, is that once the election of a president is done, the president doesn’t care what his promise was. And the inertia of government is to cause more power to come into their domain.

  11. To be as down-to-earth as possible, I would say if you choose fewer services and lower taxes, you will then get fewer service but taxes won’t go down – they will continue to rise as spending will just increase on military adventures, banker bailouts, etc.

    • Well banker bailouts and foreign military adventurism are a form of “service”. There are politicians (e.g. Gary Johnson and Ron Paul) who are for lower-taxes, less military-adventurism and zero bailouts.

  12. Nobody wants to pay taxes, but everybody wants serrvices, don’t kid yourself about that. Do you need roads and bridges for interstate commerce? Well. Do you need hospitals and recreation areas and parks. i’ve lived in lots of modern countries; by comparison public services in America are cheap and efficient. The reality is that Americans love to beat up on government, even in a democracy, but they will let every businessman or financier fleece them in the name of free enterprise. You don’t need smaller government, you need efficient government that fregulates civil society in a way that stops the rich from diverting the national wealth into the coffers of a few. All this “free enterprise” isn’t free. It has managed to turn a people of plenty into a poorer and poorer society and ruin the last best hope of mankind — fthe American commonwealth.

    • But but but Robert! If the wealthy aren’t free to scam and make as much money as possible, tyranny will creep in!!! (/end sarc)

    • It was a pretty explicit question; less services and less taxes, or more services and more taxes.

      Yeah, constituents love spending and services too. And yeah, some spending on infrastructure, etc, is necessary.

      All of this begs the question of whether Congress should be able to authorise spending without having the money. Appropriations today is a joke; it’s a tool to spending borrowed money. I’m for honest choices: spending money and funding that spending properly, or not spending money.

    • It’s not the businessman that fleeces the public by concentrating the wealth–it’s the government entities that do that! Currently, the national government accounts for over 25% of all spending in the nation; they have to steal from someone (the public) to get enough money to spend. And the central bank’s main function (which they would deny in public) is to PROTECT THE BANKS AND THE SPENDERS.

  13. Of course we need services, and the government is the format to promote public goods and services. However, the biggest problem in government is the over paid bureaucrats who write endless policy documents and promote change to justify their positions. This causes a drag on the economy via higher taxes (We have to pay their wages!)

    By having higher taxes, we have lower disposable income. Bastiat’s “Unseen” maxim holds true. “That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen
    by Frederic Bastiat, 1850″ http://bastiat.org/en/twisatwins.html

    Sometimes a large millitary keeps manufacturing and engineering talent keen and sharp. i.e. the costs of the millitary don’t get tallied as a benefit. It works both ways.

    An Australian Political party recently elected has gone on an Austerity drive resulting in public service job losses. This is the Victorian Liberal Party ( Conservative Tori/Republican
    ideology)

    I think people are waking up to the fact that a well paid secure Government job is a luxury we can’t afford. It is an expensive work for the dole/welfare scheme.

    Do we really need so many services and departments?

    • Buddy, until recently NSW public servants received 4% pay rises each year for about 8 years straight, while the private sector average was 2.5% per year for each of those years. When O’Farrell reduced it to 2.5%, they took to the streets.

      Now how the hell is that possibly sustainable year after year after year?? The problem is not only too many public servants, but paying them well above market rates. We would eventually face the Greek problem, where public servants earn 50% more than in the private sector. No wonder they’re screwed. I’m not disagreeing with you, by the way!

      • I agree about unsustainable wage rises. I get sick of the union (especially Public sector unions) argument that if the CPI increasae 4%, then wages should go up 4%. This is wrong.

        If I am on $100,000 and basic living costs go up 5%, and if this equates to $1000 in annual expenditure (The rest is disposable income/savings), why should my wages rise by $5000? This means I am handed a $4000 real increase straight to my bank account.

        Lets call it what it is. An expensive work for the dole/welfare scheme. If these Private school types who would not otherwise land a job, end up in the white paper, policy wonkish world of the public service, I don’t want to pay for them.

        It is crazy, but these people are like a type of mafioso. They are creaming it, while others struggle.

        Drop taxes by cutting back on these bureaucrats, and lets see the income go into productive goods and services.

        100 Million went to our Governor General’s department last year (Don’t worry I wrote to her department giving them a serve). That is expensive public appearances and speeches. How many homeless mentally ill people could be cared for with that level of funding. Seen and unseen!

  14. Pingback: Americans Want Smaller Government and Lower Taxes

  15. Ron Paul has been explaining this mess and up-coming [here and now] economic suicide for the past 32 years that I have following him and learning from him. Everything that he has said and is saying in 100% accurate and true. It it now obvious that the Democrats and Republicans have combined into their Establishment Party which is [singular] taking it’s orders from the New World-One World Govt-promoting corrupt Int’l Bankers and their Military-IIndustrial Complex warmongers

  16. If Americans really wanted a solution they would vote Ron Paul. The truth is they just want a fellow criminal to lead them. Ron Paul has integrity so he has no chance.

  17. There is one more layer of “seen and unseen” to consider: If we pay a bureaucrat $100,000 a year + benefits (i.e. health insurance) and that person works (and I use the term loosely) for 30 years and retires – at full pay + benefits – then, hire a replacement…
    We are paying TWO people to fill ONE position. Anyone but a liberal should understand that that is unsustainable.

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