Why did the federal government grow?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2004
Why did the federal government grow?
11
Thu, 10-10-2013 - 10:35am

      Prior to 1933 the federal government was relatively small and there was relatively little federal government involvement in the economy.  What caused the increase in the size of the federal government and its involvement in the economy was the change in the opinions and feeling of the American people toward the appropriate role of the government and the appropriate role of the United States in world affairs.

      Prior to the depression the American people felt that government and the federal government in particular should remain small and for the most part stay out of the economy.  With the start of the depression people began to feel that the federal government had a large role in regard to regulation and the providing of safety net services and during World War II people began to feel that it was very important for the United States to maintain a strong military and to be the “leader of the free world.”  Because of these changes in the feelings and opinions of the people the elected officials increased the size of government.  Elected officials who were willing to increase the size of government were elected and those who were not were not elected.  This is how democracy is to work.

      The evidence in support of the above is the great change in the fortunes of the Republican and Democratic parties after 1933.  After the Civil War and before the depression the Republicans with rare exceptions dominated the national government.  This was particularly so during the 1920’s, just before the depression.  However, after the depression and the Second World War and until 1981 it were the Democrats who dominated things again with rare exceptions.  This change would not have occurred if the people did not tend to favor the policies of the Democrats over those of the Republicans and the policies of the Democrats were for bigger government.  Actually in regard to the increase in military spending both the Democrats and the Republicans were for bigger government.

      Starting in 1981 Republicans gained back some power, but the size of government was not reduced to any great effect.  Also the Republicans did not come to dominate the federal government.  Since 1981 power in the federal government has been pretty evenly shared between the two parties.  Even in 2012 President Obama was reelected by a majority of the voters even though he was very clearly connected with Obamacare.

      Tom,

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2004
Mon, 10-28-2013 - 10:03am

      Deen you seem to have a very poor opinion of the people of the United States and of the concept of American democracy.  If the voters did not vote for bigger government we would not have bigger government.  It seems to me that you agree with me that people started voting for bigger government because of the depression.

      Tom,

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Sat, 10-26-2013 - 5:03am

*** Deen, so as I now understand you you feel that many people who voted for big government are not “liberals,” but that “liberals” somehow caused these non-“liberals” to vote for big government (let me know if I am incorrect).

Um… yes.  Liberals give people, both liberals and conservatives, free “stuff.”  People like free “stuff.”  Once people get “stuff” they’re loathe to give it up and so are less inclined to support the people who want to take it away.

Liberals are also better at crafting soundbites, lying and demonizing their opponents which attracts more of the low-information voter… but it also intimidates those who might speak against liberal intrusions.

*** Much has been made of polls that show that less than a majority of Americans favor Obamacare.

In lieu of an ONSLAUGHT of liberal propaganda from the full weight of the government AND the liberal media, the people still overwhelmingly oppose Obamacare.  That speaks volumes.

*** However, not much has been stated about why those who oppose it do so… because it is “not liberal enough”… This could explain why President Obama was reelected even though he is clearly connected with Obamacare.

Again, the lies.  “You can keep your plan.”  “You can keep your doctor.”  “It will save every family “$2500.”  “30 million uninsured will get insurance.”  Lies… every one.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of the people in this country are low-information voters.  Too many believe the lies when the President tells them a lie, even when it contradicts common sense.  We’ll give you LOTS of free stuff and no one will have to pay for it… er… duh!  And as I said, liberals are good at soundbites and demonizing their opponents.  Obama lied about Romney and, being a man of character, Romnry refused to get in the gutter with Obama.  McCain was the same.  Never calling Obama out on his radical associations, his socialist policies, his lies and his political record.  Needless to say, it was incredibly frustrating.

*** For example, the most recent poll (October 18-20, 20013) shows that 41 % favor Obamacare, 38% oppose it as being too “liberal,” 12% oppose it as not being “liberal” enough and 12% have no opinion.  So it seems that a majority (53%) either favors Obamacare or wants something more “liberal.”

Nope.  With hundreds of thousands getting thrown off their current insurance, and millions to follow, and millions more getting substantial increases in their premiums, you can almost hear the train whistle of the coming train wreck.  As I said before, there are a host of ignorant sots who will believe the President, but once they feel the pain in their own lives, they’ll soon jettison their support and start pointing the finger at the pain-givers… the Democrats.

*** I continue to feel, as I wrote in my first post to this thread that “What caused the increase in the size of the federal government and its involvement in the economy was the change in the opinions and feeling of the American people toward the appropriate role of the government and the appropriate role of the United States in world affairs.”  I feel that that change was due to events, in particular, the depression and World War Two.

The depression, yes… following that was the lies of the liberals.  The “experts” who, in the face of facts to the contrary, kept pushing policies that sounded good but were, in fact, detrimental to the country and fostered a nanny state that bound people to lives of dependence.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2004
Wed, 10-23-2013 - 11:17am

      Deen, so as I now understand you you feel that many people who voted for big government are not “liberals,” but that “liberals” somehow caused these non-“liberals” to vote for big government (let me know if I am incorrect).  One of the problems I have with thinking about this is what the definition of “liberal” is, but it is still the case that between 1933 and 1980 a majority of voters voted for bigger government in that a majority of voters voted for people who increased the size of government.  If that was not the case then Democrats would not have dominated national politics.  Even when a Republican was elected President, the voters still elected enough Democrats to Congress to keep government from getting significantly smaller, although I am not clear how much those Republican Presidents would have reduced the size of government even if Republicans controlled both houses of congress. 

      Much has been made of polls that show that less than a majority of Americans favor Obamacare.  However, not much has been stated about why those who oppose it do so.  The only poll that I have seen that does this is the CNN/ORC poll (see here).  This poll consistently shows (going back to 2010) that more respondents either favor Obamacare or oppose it because it is “not liberal enough” than respondents who oppose Obamacare because it is too liberal.  This could explain why President Obama was reelected even though he is clearly connected with Obamacare.  For example, the most recent poll (October 18-20, 20013) shows that 41 % favor Obamacare, 38% oppose it as being too “liberal,” 12% oppose it as not being “liberal” enough and 12% have no opinion.  So it seems that a majority (53%) either favors Obamacare or wants something more “liberal.” 

      I continue to feel, as I wrote in my first post to this thread that “What caused the increase in the size of the federal government and its involvement in the economy was the change in the opinions and feeling of the American people toward the appropriate role of the government and the appropriate role of the United States in world affairs.”  I feel that that change was due to events, in particular, the depression and World War Two.

      Tom,

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Wed, 10-23-2013 - 1:07am

No, I wouldn't say the majority of the people are liberals.  In fact, polls specificallly say otherwise.  It's a complicated issue fraught with human frailty and political corruption.  It basically boils down to two major components... politicians giving handouts in exchange for votes, and the liberal minority's dishonest and immoral method of attacking opponents.

Frankly, the handouts are akin to a drug addiction.  Would you refuse free money or services?  And once you got them, you would probably be loathe to give them up.  Even something like Social Security... people feel "entitled" to it because, as far as they're concerned, they "paid" for it, even though the amount they'll take out of the system probably exceedes what they paid into it.  But SS was designed at a time when most men died at 63 and most women at 67.  The policy had a built in surplus... until people started living longer.  But you'd think it would be an easy solve... increase contributions and raise the retirement age slightly.  But liberals put up a stone wall at those practical suggestions and there isn't much populous support to ask "me" to pay more or to raise "my" retirement age and even less for a politician to run on a platform of "taking things away from people."

Then you have the dishonest, immoral way that liberals attack opponents.  Try suggesting entitlement reform and liberals have you "throwing granny off a cliff."  Suggest easing regulations to promote economic growth and suddenly you support "dirty air and water."  Disagree with liberals and you are a homophobe... you hate women... if you oppose Obama's socialist policies you're a racist... hell, just today we saw a Democrat comparing the Tea Party, who only oppose debilitating government spending and taxation, with the KKK.  And did we hear liberals calling him to task for his outlandish language?  No.  Under this kind of assault, it's not surprising that most people would either remain silent or be coerced into going along.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2004
Mon, 10-21-2013 - 12:21pm

      Deen since it was the majority of the American people who voted for and continued to vote for (or don’t vote against) relatively large government then the majority of the American people are “liberals.”  Further I do not believe that the majority of American people voted for large government because of a “twisted ideology of social justice.”  I believe that as a result of the depression when so many people were in desperate circumstances through no fault of their own the majority of Americans wanted to have the government provide safety net programs to protect themselves from that happening again.  Further, increases in government spending also came about because of increased military spending.  Again I feel that the majority of Americans voted for increased military because they felt it was the best way to avoid a third world war.

      I feel it is difficult to make major changes in the government and in society in general.  This would include an increase in the size of government as well as a decrease in its size.  For example it took the very extreme situations of the depression and of World War Two, to result in the increase in government.

      Tom, 

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Sun, 10-20-2013 - 2:11am

Perhaps instead of "liberals" I should have said "liberalism," because even so-called conservatives can pander and support policies that cause government expansion... but for the most part, it's liberals who have built the large government through a twisted ideology of social justice.  Unfortunately, it's difficult to reverse big government, even if you oppose it, largely because it requires taking things away from people and trying to sell a philosophy of self-reliance and personal responsibility instead of handouts.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2004
Wed, 10-16-2013 - 10:25am

      Deen, if it were liberals who caused government to grow then the majority of the people of the United States were liberals because it was the majority of the people of the United States who voted for and continued to vote for (over a period of 80 year) relatively large government. 

      Tom,

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Tue, 10-15-2013 - 4:46pm

Liberals.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-25-2013
Thu, 10-10-2013 - 12:18pm

Yes, I understand it is what the people wanted. However, seeing where it is leading, at what point do people wake up and stop thinking about themselves and realize our future generations are in trouble? We must put in place some kind of measures to control this.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2004
Thu, 10-10-2013 - 11:52am

      Alviejo, what you say may or may not be correct, but the point is the government we have now is, for the most part, the government that people wanted in that it is the government that people have voted for.  It is the government that has come out of the American system of democracy.

      Tom,

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