So You Think You Want Smaller Government

Fareed Zakaria, author and foreign affairs analyst who hosts “Fareed Zakaria GPS” on CNN, made an interesting comment in a recent article (link below):

” … the reality here is that the American people want a certain level of government. It’s something of a fantasy to believe that they really want a radically smaller government than the one we have.”

Along these lines, I came across a letter to the editor of the local newspaper that contained some excellent points — most of which few of us consider in our day-to-day living. I’m quoting the letter here.

There was a guy who got up early one morning and made coffee with safe drinking water he drew from the tap from the city of [name]. He ate a bowl of cereal and pasteurized milk, not worrying about getting sick from it because it was inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Shortly after he finished his cereal, the school bus picked up his kids to transport them to their free public education.

He drove to work on paved roads maintained by city workers in a car in which he did not have to worry about his safety because it was inspected by government regulators. He performed his job in safe conditions because his workplace was regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. He was paid a living wage because U.S. Department of Labor employees regulated his workplace.

He got paid breaks in the morning and the afternoon because laws enforced by employees of the [State] Bureau of Labor and Industries guaranteed him this right. His employer needed him to work two hours overtime, for which he was paid time and a half because of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

After work, he went to a tea party meeting at a local restaurant where he could dine without fear of food poisoning because government inspectors ensured that restaurants comply with laws and regulations to protect public health. In that meeting, he stood up and complained, “I pay way too much in taxes, and government never does anything for me!”

If you would like to read more about what Fareed had to say, read the full article, “Can Obama, GOP Really Cut the Deficit?” His observations on the possibility of compromise between the Democrats and Republicans are thought-provoking.


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