Sunday, May 19, 2013

What is the proper size of Government?

Far too many people feel the need to put one either in the Tea Party camp or in the Liberal camp when discussing topics that are current in politics. This type of divide is disheartening as it doesn't aide the conversation nor is it an honest, genuine manner in which to debate a topic either. During a conversation on the emails stemming from Benghazi that were released by the White House the sides were drawn and if you raised skepticism on the threads starting point - which was that Republicans fabricated emails to promote the lie that President Obama was involved in the cover-up - you were labeled a Tea Partier.

At one point in the conversation, a few people asked me what I meant by smaller government. The request was a more expansive explanation than a "bumper sticker" response. A single response, I knew, wouldn't justify my stance on smaller government.

The role of the Federal Government is limited already by the United State Constitution but that hasn't prevented the Supreme Court from expanding Federal Powers through a liberal interpretation of the Commerce Claus, the Due Process Claus and most recently the tax code. The Federal Government's role should be limited to:

  1. Ensuring Interstate Commerce is conducted legally and ethically.
  2. Ensuring that our borders are secure from foreign invasion.
  3. Assist States in Commerce with foreign nations via trade treaties, pacts, and tariffs.
  4. Ensuring infrastructure is up to date and in working conditions - i.e. roads, bridges, and power grid.
At the State level government has a different role:

  1. Ensuring property is secure - i.e. Police and Fire Departments.
  2. Ensuring that the roads, bridges, waterways, energy sources are in working condition.
  3. Ensuring trade within the borders of the State is conducted legally and ethically.
  4. Ensuring that the education system educates the populous.
Granted these are some broad strokes to the idea of Government but it the foundation that our Government should be limited to. Our Government, no matter what level, should never delve into the Social issues of the day. Often Government creates these inequities on social issues by trying to solve them instead of staying out of the way. A prime example is marriage. Marriage should have never been ingrained into the fabric of public policy as the role of government is not to dictate to us who we are to share our lives with. Another example is abortion. The only role the government is to have in abortion is to make sure the procedure is safe just like any other medical procedure. The role of government is not to provide tax payer money for abortions nor is it to dictate that one who has a moral objection to it be forced to provide the service or access to the service.

What is your idea of the proper size of government? What freedoms are you willing to give up to have that size of government?