Smaller = "More Effective"

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jan 04, 2011 5:54 PM
Ruy Teixeira,a liberal author and thinker who wrote a book called "The Emerging Democratic Majority" in 2002, has a piece in the Washington Monthly.

In it, he's clearly trying to help President Obama come up with a spin for refusing to reduce the cost and size of government, notwithstanding clear instructions from the voters in the most recent election.  Teixeira argues:

Make no mistake: a more effective government is the public’s priority, not a smaller government. In a survey I helped conduct for the Center for American Progress’s Doing What Works government reform project, we found that, by a decisive 62 to 36 margin, the public said their priority for improving the federal government was increasing its efficiency and effectiveness, not reducing its cost and size.

Make no mistake, readers: Teixeira's got it wrong. That's because, in order to have a more effective government, it needs to be a smaller one.  No entity can be all things to all people -- yet that's what Democrats would like to see the government become.  

Ultimately, the question is this: Do Americans want a government that's effective at safeguarding their liberty and fulfilling functions that the private sector simply can't manage (like national defense), or do they want a government that's large enough to run their lives?  Could it be that there are some things -- like micromanaging our personal choices -- that Americans actually DON"T want government to do "effectively"?