Conservatives should finally lay to rest the major (false) premise of liberalism: that big government is the little guy’s best friend.
The optimal – or “right” – size of government studies and research uniformly confirm that big government, with its high taxes, profligate spending and suffocating regulations is the enemy of economic growth and prosperity of a nation. When governments at all levels in a nation tax and spend more than 18-20% of GDP (total government spending now exceeds 40% of GDP), that nation has exceeded its “right size” and begins to sacrifice its economic growth potential, to the detriment of all its citizens, especially those least able to compete.
Per numerous worldwide studies, all indicators of social and individual well-being in a nation improve when government size decreases and the economic growth rate increases: literacy, infant mortality, life expectancy, poverty, hunger, personal health, etc. Similarly, the economic opportunities and earnings of the individual improve through expansion of employment choices, wage rates, increased access to automobile transportation and communication improvements, etc. “Life satisfaction” is enhanced by a smaller government which allows the population of a nation a high degree of personal freedom.
The greater the wealth of a nation, the more there is for all citizens. The rate of economic growth is the key. Big government is the enemy of rapid economic growth.
But how big is “too big” – or how limited should “limited government” be? We now have an answer – through the research and intellectual framework of the optimal (right) size of government. This should be the new rallying cry for the war against liberalism.
Lew Uhler is the President of the National Tax Limitation Committee