In response to:

Federal Spending Has Always Been Wasteful

M444ss Wrote: Feb 11, 2013 5:18 PM
The federal government was designed to be inefficient. Our Founders did NOT want the government to be able to implement tyranny quickly so that the People would have time to ID and stop it. On the other hand, there is a big difference between inefficient practices and inefficient (read "stupid") agencies and programs. The Congress and White House will never balance the budget by rooting out inefficiencies in government processes. On the other hand, if the federal government would stop all spending on unconstitutional or just plain stupid programs, we'd have a huge surplus.

A new article by Ivan Eland describes how wars have stimulated growth in the American welfare state. I was interested in his discussion regarding the overexpansion of pensions following the Civil War:

In 1879, the Arrears Act caused many veterans, who hadn’t realized they were disabled until the government offered $1,000 or more for finding aches and injuries, to flood the Bureau of Pensions with claims.  Although, according to its commissioner, the bureau was the largest executive bureau in the world, it had...