American Morning

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January 21st, 2010
06:18 AM ET

Is bigger government better?

By Carol Costello and Bob Ruff

The size and role of government, not surprisingly, has been a popular subject of presidential inaugural speeches.

Remember JFK in 1961? “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”

And Ronald Reagan 20 years later: “….government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Bill Clinton said this in 1993: “It is time to break the bad habit of expecting something for nothing from our government or from each other.”

And one year ago Barack Obama picked up the government theme in his inaugural address: “The question… today is not whether our government is too big or small, but whether it works.”

What’s interesting is that no matter what each man said about government, government itself just kept on growing. Even conservative President George Bush, from 2001 to 2009, presided over the largest dollar increases in regulatory spending in decades, according to George Mason University.

We went over to the Office of the Federal Register in Washington, DC., to the building where the government stores all the books that list and explain every Federal regulation. The rows and rows of packed shelves are testament to the breadth and depth of government involvement in our lives. In 1951 there were just 41 volumes of regulations. Today there are 222 volumes containing 160,000 pages.

We asked Mr. Libertarian, Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), who ran for president on a platform of small government, what he thought about all this spending and regulation.

“Government always grows,” he told us. “You never see any years where you have less employees (or) the budget actually shrinks. It just doesn’t happen.”

Why does it keep growing?

Even Paul acknowledges it’s because “people want government. You know they complain about government. They complain about taxes, but they want all the good stuff. They don’t want to pay for it.”

Paul sees no real difference between the two major parties when it comes to government growth. Right now the “Republicans are doing better because the Democrats look worse than the Republicans (on spending)….but the Republicans have lost a lot of credibility. They had their chance. They had eight years. Both on foreign policy and domestic policy and deficits–and that’s why there’s a tea party movement.”

William Eggers takes a different view of all of this. He co-authored a book about effective government. When it comes to the size of government, Eggers says big government gets a bad rap.

Everything from the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe to the abatement removal of acid rain at home demonstrates that government can be effective. Where government goes bad, Eggers says, is when it tries to do too much. “Think about yourself,” he says, “If you try to do too many things, it’s hard to do anything well.”

There are so many examples of government failure that it’s hard to pick just one. We like the example of President Ford’s “Whip Inflation Now” program. In an October 1974 address to Congress he even urged Americans to wear “WIN” (Whip Inflation Now) buttons. That idea was eventually derided as a public relations stunt.

Today, the specter of an ever-expanding government is cited as one reason why President Obama’s popularity has fallen, and why Democrats lost a crucial Senate seat in a special election this week. Eggers says the president must convince Americans that government CAN work, even if it’s big.


Filed under: Politics
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. petersammarco

    Knowledge without experience is philosopying
    And
    Experience without knowledge is Ignorance.
    Thus wisdom is a combination of both. (c)2010 Canpeace Consultants Inc.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:59 am |
  2. petersammarco

    Our choice must be to ask ourselves what we are for in order to be empowered.
    – Peter Sammarco
    (c)2010 Canpeace Consultants Inc.

    February 3, 2010 at 5:57 am |
  3. Mike

    The solution is to trust freedom and follow the Constitution.
    "Still one thing more, fellow-citizens—a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities [happiness]." Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 4, 1801

    January 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
  4. Mike

    Yes. The solution is to trust freedom and follow the Constitution.
    "Still one thing more, fellow-citizens—a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities [happiness]." Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, March 4, 1801

    January 22, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
  5. tajitj

    Other than having Ron Paul on, that was a very lame report. So acid rain and EPA is all we get for $3 TRILLION a year in 2009.

    January 22, 2010 at 3:00 am |
  6. shane

    Obama is right that the Bush administration created problems. However, he is continuing to make the same mistakes as the Bush admin and then adding some new mistakes of his own.

    Get out of Iraq & Afganistan.

    Faze out Social Security... it is a ponzi scheme.

    Faze out Medicare/medicaid... they are a ponzi scheme.

    90% of the federal government is unconstitutional.

    Please support candidates that are truley anti-big government...not because they are a republican or democrat.

    Charity is a choice. If it's not a choice then it is theft.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
  7. aaron

    Big government serves the interest of big industry, and both parties have been serving big industry ever since we became a permanent war economy after WW2.

    Anybody who believes in the false dichotomy of the two party system is falling for their trap, every 4 years we "throw the rascal out" and nothing changes.

    Obama is no different from Bush, he rose through politics by serving industry (Aggro & Finance) and he will remain in politics by serving industry.

    When will America wake up and return economic control the consumers and take it away from the easily corrupted bureaucrats?

    January 21, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
  8. Ron Bedell

    Big government and our 12 trillion dollar debt was created by the policies of the Federal Reserve and both major parties. The bigger the government the less freedoms and rights the people have. And you're right, it's very difficult to reduce the size of big government. The reason for that is because the politicians are much too power hungry and they don't respect the rights of the people.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  9. Stan Lee

    Carol should have her own show! This piece was very well done. CNN is finally giving small government forces a voice. Awesome I'll watch more!

    January 21, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  10. america the loser

    senior citizens the weak the young they all suffer ,the unemployed.america suffering .government is lying to us again promised help only hurt.example reduce debt on credit cards ?why is so hard for them to understand if you dont have the money whether its half or the whole amount you can not take advantage if you have no job you can not pay or your on a fixed income and they take your increase of living pay raise your insurance cut what it will pay tell me how stupid can washington be.i blame obama dems and republicans they keep gettig richer and keep sending billions overseas to all those countries who would kill us and fail to stand behind them when we neded them most. the news media turns their back and washington turns it back on its on people.i would love to see every set in the house senate and congress ,presidency overturned and keep voting that way until washington gets gets the message clean your on house first help your country first then give to other countries.stop the lying and protecting the rich .and get some economist that have to pay doctor bills feed a family go to a store on little or no income .before long we will be a third world country.God save the USA from corrupt lying politicians they have the values of street cats and are only after the money.america lets keep voting them all out till they get the message dems and republicans .thats all we have to fight the liars with they stopped looking out for us a long time a go.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  11. Mitchell

    Government needs to be bigger and bigger. That way we can be taxed more and more to pay for it. All the power can be held in the hands of just a few liberal eleates. We can all be mindless sheep and let them take care of us–right into a bankrupt and socolist nation." Change you can believe in"...sure it is. It once was "yes we can" but now it is just "yes you will". Thank god for the voters of Massachusetts for helping put the breaks on this socolist madness.

    January 21, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  12. Cris

    About Big Government. Sen. Liberman and company could've considered this when they created DHS with agencies having nothing to do with INTEL gathering, like the FBI, CIA, NSA, DEA, etc. Instead they broke up INS which is not disfunctional in four halves with other agencies like CBP which has no clue what to do with inspecting arriving aliens creating an even worst situation by letting in any and all travelers whose electronic visa/passport scan electronically. The fraud that has gone uncontrolled since DHS's inception is amazing. U.S. Customs and INS together mission could've have been expanded to take on what TSA's was created to do. With officers already trained to do what has taken TSA all these years to catch up with. DHS is never going to provide effective INTEL enforcement until the right agencies are corraled in to do what they're suppose to do and politicians quit lying to public about its ineffectiveness.

    January 21, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
  13. JB

    Cooperate greed and corruption is what causes big government, if the banks, big buisness, and Insurance Companies stop robbing us, we will not need the government to get them back in line.

    January 21, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  14. Joseph Daniel " Brian" Lawlor

    A realization..The President is not only dealing with the Republicans coming at him as he also has the past actions and directions of his own party to contend with. Two parties with self serving agendas to which he himself is part of.

    To expect a young President to reverse the errors of past administrations within the first year of his administration an example of the narrow minded insights to the American Peoples themselves in understanding the situation we are now in individually, nationally and globally.

    January 21, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  15. Wayne M. Hall

    A growing government is a natural extension of our ever evolving and growing complex society. Without government looking out for the average american where would we be, and what would we be like – Haiti?

    What would America be like if Wall Street and big business were allowed to have their way. There would be no middle class, driven into extinction just like the dinosaur, it would be just the rich and the desperately poor. Oil companies charging $8.00 a gallon for gasoline, and getting mega-mega-rich because who's to stop them (need I remind people of the $400 million dollar retirement bonus paid to the retiring Exon/Mobil CEO a couple of years ago)? 1970's and 80's type junk cars that get 6-7 mpg if it wasn't for the EPA fuel mileage standards, and fold like a tin can if it wasn't for NHTSA crash standards. Wal-Mart being the sole retail chain in the country thanks to no FTC, and because everthing else was driven out of business. There go the cheap prices!! 10% unemployment – try 30-40% plus, the great depression of the 1930's would look like a picnic compared to what it would be today. Health Care? Yeah right, you would be footing the whole bill not just a part of it, if unable to – just crawl off someplace, die, "and decrease the surplus population". An environment gone haywire due to global warming, and Los Angelos type air quality across the country because of no EPA to stop it. How would you like spent uranium nuclear fuel rods from a nuclear power plant buried in your backyard because there is no-one to stop them from doing it. Think about it.

    Those that don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. "Big Government" – how about FDR and the WPA. Do you remember that a large majority of the people in this country cried "Socialism", and screamed bloody murder it was bad for the country (sound familiar?) – the legislative topic – "Social Security".

    Sure the goverment has made mistakes or just plain screwed up! How about Reagan's trickle down economics, or Clinton and NAFTA (a lot of you unemployed can thank him for that one), the Bush years. Yikes.

    Don't blame Obama for the mistakes of past administrations – but he sure is the one that has to deal with them. What is the alternative? Let Wall Street crash, let the automakers fail, let the numbers of those with no health care grow. Let medical costs continue to skyrocket. Unemployment runs rampant, business at all levels fail, government shuts down at all levels! Are you ready for – "Dark Ages The Sequel". Don't laugh – it could happen! Think About it!

    January 21, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  16. Frank

    Jackie is right we need more union workers. Unionizing Greedy Big Boxes would help. Then in America a person could be a union worker or own a small business that wouldn't be runover by Greed. If everyperson went to where they shop and said "Unionize or I shop somewhere else" we could see real gain in person incomes.

    January 21, 2010 at 9:23 am |
  17. Craig Myles

    The gov't may be forced to grow more due to the complete negligence and dishonesty of the Bush-Cheney regime, which led the country to an economic firestorm, and an illegal war costing $1.6 Trillion.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  18. nancy

    @ Jackie ~~
    "The employees of Wal Mart need to unionize. The big threat Wal Mart does is to say that they will close down. That wouldn't be so bad. It isn't just Wal Mart that is enslaving their workers, it's about every company out there.

    Government oversight is needed, the workers need protection."

    Oh boy, you are right on the money with that statement. 🙂

    January 21, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  19. Jackie

    Mitch is right. It's American Greed. Big companies and small companies only look out for the few at the top. Profits over people.The employees are slaves, kept at low wages and in constant poverty. Just look at Wal Mart. They keep their employees below full time, offer no benefits which place their employees on the states welfare system. Wal Mart employees make up a significant portion of workers across America who receive food stamps and medicaid.

    The employers know what qualifies a worker to receive welfare benefits, then make sure they fit the qualifications.

    The employees of Wal Mart need to unionize. The big threat Wal Mart does is to say that they will close down. That wouldn't be so bad. It isn't just Wal Mart that is enslaving their workers, it's about every company out there.

    Government oversight is needed, the workers need protection.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  20. stanchman

    Government's primary responsibility is to set rules and standards for the country. Requirements which create a consistency for all states to operate. These are intended to protect the population and environment. As the areas of our activities expand so should the involvement of the government. Included in this involvement is the safety net for the population, a source of resources which assist us in times of despair.

    Unfortunately, much of this standardization once defined is left to the states to enforce. A practice which leaves gaping holes in the respective enforcement.

    A good example of not having these regulations in place is Haiti. No building codes for example. Construction requirements are non-existent and the current results are the result. We can not allow the population to not be guided as the path they will follow will ignore safe and sound practices for the sake of money.

    People hate the government when their reach into their pocketbooks or tell them what to do, but these same people are the first to blame government for not helping them when needed, very self serving.

    On the flip side, government is run so inefficiently and questionably it continues to lose the support of the people. Therefore the resulting frustration. Discontinue politicians the ability to run for re-election will
    help to correct this.

    Overall, your guess is as good as mine to how to correct this, without having to start all over. But we may have to refer to the 200 year life cycle of the Chinese dynasties which did.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:14 am |
  21. Frank

    If Government can use terms to get votes they will i.e. "Big Government." The tax code worked fine then somebody say "Big Government" and who in their right mind would want to pay more then they have to. So they cut taxes the debt when through the roof and that means they didn't cut taxes. Make them put their plan in detail first then vote for them.

    January 21, 2010 at 8:09 am |
  22. Peter Sammarco

    Ms Carol Costello has made some very valid points about Government and its role and increased regulations of todays 222 volumes.

    Sadly though we forget that our population has also increaded dramatically since 1951, in both Canada and the USA, not to mention the world.

    Since we As Voters have allow this growth in Government we know the purpose if realized is to increase those who are empolyed by governmet will also find time to Vote for the government that has hired them in the first place. This includes military personel to all form of gov't positions.

    But let's all remember governments are made of people, like you and me. We all have a role to become fulfilled in our daily lives through our goals dreams and friendships:

    "But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life; and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine."
    – Thomas Jefferson

    We must realized what a privilege we have here in Canada and the USA and respect that once we live by our principles we can enjoy the benefits of government: their role in helping lives and improving the roles... of many when we help one another grow, learn and become more empathic human beings. Let's find ways to help one another be happy and let's find a way to see that government life or life of governmet be one way to improving our inner world.

    Yes governments is too big; yet lets us find ways to eliminate spending and reduce our critism of government and find real solutions to helping government to be run by the people and for the people of our great land.

    LOTS of Love,

    PETER
    Vancouver, BC. Canada

    January 21, 2010 at 8:03 am |
  23. Kirk

    "American people want health care reform, they just don't want to pay for it" You are WRONG Carol! Republicans "don't want to pay for it"!

    January 21, 2010 at 7:56 am |
  24. C.Schmidt

    Yeah lets disband government like the fool libertarians are so anxious to do: Without regulation the bankers will be stealing more, food companies would add more poisonous additives, insurance companies could hold people hostage, surgeons would be maiming and killing and builders will be putting up cardboard housing with toxic plumbing!! Look at Haiti and Turkey after earthquakes and see what entrepreneurs do without regulations. How foolish are people? Gvien too much leeway most people will not rise to do their best but fall as low as their greed will take them. We just had eight years of deregulation and we have a failing infrastructure, a failing economy and a failing social system.
    I bet all your most vehement anti government writers are all liberally using Medicare, Social Security and anything they can glom on to. Threaten their government “benefits" and they'd change their tune fast. People: Read something more sophisticated than Atlas Shurgged will ya?

    January 21, 2010 at 7:45 am |
  25. Craig

    Yes, too much government! Too much from the Republicans under Bush in spending and earmarks, and way too much from the Democrats under Obama with bailouts and trying to take over healthcare.

    We need more personal responsiblity by all americans.

    The federal government has never, repeat never, been effective in doing anything other than national defense and securing fair trade across state and international lines. When the feds try to run anything you get institutions like the Post Office. Now there is model for effective finacially responsible spending.

    We need more personal responsiblity by all americans. Stop thinking government will solve your problem. That's like a child wanting a parent to do their homework.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:44 am |
  26. val

    Federal Government has been to big for many years, since the market crash of "29". They have taken over state rights and bullied the citizens into paying for their big ideas that work in theory but not in practice. State's need to assert their rights once again, and create the programs they can afford and need, which vary according to their population. The Feds should not burden states to enact any program that the feds are not willing to pay 100% of the cost.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:41 am |
  27. Janet Curl

    Yes, govenment has become too big! And we are sick and tired of both parties taking us for granted and not listening to what we want. Our new battle cry is REMEMBER MASSACHUSETTS!

    January 21, 2010 at 7:37 am |
  28. jay

    Corruption & Lobbyists for both Democrtas & Republicans are the main problems. For you folks blaming G.W. Bush for everything, you really need to wake up and smell the political coffee.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:36 am |
  29. todd

    It is long past time that the Federal Government returns to what is written in the Constitution – not the ‘living constitution’ of our current government but the Real Constitution of our founding fathers. Limited federal government in our Republic. Most people including our elected officals do not under stand this concept.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:36 am |
  30. bill bianchi

    I saw the tv story. Yes, government has gotten too big, way to big.
    Originally, the states were set up to be the authority for their people. The federal government was only there to do what could not be done by the people for themselves. The federal government has well overstepped its constitutional bounds.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:36 am |
  31. Mike Lambers

    It struck me reading this that government has taken on the identity of an entity not by the people or for the people but in spite of the people. Government is not an independent state. It only exists to serve the will of the people. Of course, that is the ideal, but not the reality of 2010, and certainly not the vision of 1776.

    In fact, the U.S. Government is the tail wagging the dog. It is completely out of control as the world's largest non-profit organization. This is what happens when less than a thousand elected officials can decide the fate of 300,000,000 people with the stroke of a pen. The so-called system of check and balances is an island in a sea of loopholes. The Constitution is a document to be studied by scholars, but not to be considered relevant in the "modern era".

    So in fact, the size of government is not the issue. It is people's representatives' lack of accountability that is at issue, and their thirst for power that drives their every thought and deed. Getting elected to Congress is like winning the lottery. The salary is not of any import to a congressperson, even though they continually give themselves raises. (An absurd notion to begin with.) Their wealth is derived from special interests, favored treatment and just plain old under the table brown paper bags of cash.

    So what's the fix? There are really only a few choices, none of them likely to occur.

    Leadership is one choice. Leadership that can convince the masses that fiscal conservatism is the only hope for the future of this Great Experiment. That leadership will not come from a political party. The parties cannot and will not support a leader who is on a mission to return power to the great unwashed.

    Another is choice is revolt. A revolt at the ballot box is not likely to be enough to turn the ship of state. That kind of course correction takes too long and can easily be cut off by those in power. It would take a cataclysmic event to mobilize enough of the populace to cause change, such as a threat from the Chicom's to the U.S. to either pay their debt of be taken over.

    The bottom line, just like the guy that ate his way from 150 in high school to 350 at age forty-five, it didn't happen overnight. And he sure isn't gonna lose those 200 pounds overnight either.

    But we can't just give up. What happened in Massachusetts was not about the Republican Party or Scott Brown. It was about the people saying, "We've had enough and we're going to get off the couch and do something about it."

    If enough people get off the couch, this country will get fixed.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:35 am |
  32. darryl

    Thomas Jefferson said Show me a government that can give you anything you want you have a government that can take everything you got Government is way to big

    January 21, 2010 at 7:35 am |
  33. John

    Not only is the government huge, it's operating with very little feedback from those it's supposed to be working for. This is exactly why I've created NewBallot.org, a website where you vote on legislation and your votes are sent directly to your Congress members every week. We're just getting started, so there's still plenty to do, but we'd love to have your participation and feedback.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:34 am |
  34. Jason Lennerth

    I want my vote back if health care is not passed. The Dems had their chance to pass a bill while they passeed their majority but, they dragged their feet. I will not vote for any dem because, they had their majority but, they didn't pass anything. What a joke. Obama's slogan should be the changed we promised, the nothing we deliver.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:34 am |
  35. Bob

    "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." – George Washington

    January 21, 2010 at 7:34 am |
  36. Mitch Ruchti

    In regards to big government, we need their eye and regulations when it especially comes to Big Buisness.When George W. Bush was in office and de-reguated any oversight and let big business run a muck.There was one thing the american people needed to understand and except that the one problem regarding this issue comes down to one word and one sin only:GREED! It's greed and only greed, that brought our economy to it's knees.Without Government oversight and regulations, it'll be greed that will ruin us.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:03 am |
  37. Julie Kay

    Gov't is definitely too big!!!

    For your younger viewers . . . if you think gov't is the answer to healthcare, wait until you need to apply for social security or medicare. My husband played telephone tag for nearly a half a day with the gov't agencies trying to find out information. Most of the employees at these places couldn't answer most of his questions about Medicare. They pointed fingers in other directions. These programs have been around a LONG TIME! We can only imagine what would (or would not) happen if gov't took over anymore of our economy!!! Please, young people wake up! Medicare legislation is part of the problem. If they could fix streamline Medicare (& Medicaid) much of the industry would correct itself. We used to have more nonprofit hospitals until the gov't approved the deals to make them HMOs and profit entities. Gov't IS THE PROBLEM.

    January 21, 2010 at 7:00 am |
  38. mark fricchione

    I think big government is insanely over sized and I believe it is part of the problem. I think we need to come together, stop the bickering, put our partisans aside and commit to the fair tax act to make government simple, eliminate the IRS forever and pay a flat tax on only things we purchase. You"ll see, people will have more in their pockets and naturally spend more but wont be taxed if they chose to save.

    thank you,
    mark fricchione

    January 21, 2010 at 6:50 am |
  39. jhwebb

    The Federal Govt. is grossly overseized. It is so big that it is oppressive in both seize and costs. Politicons have sold the 'big lie" that it can fix all problems. It can fix almost nothing.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:49 am |
  40. Frank

    What do views think Big Governments is? The Quick thinking of the private sector just didn't pan out they didn't employ people i.e. building a Empire State Building. I think Big Governments is a trogen horse to put the taxes on Middle Class and Working Poor. They cut taxes and the national debt when through the roof. What we needed was smart Government that show Leadership and got ride of abuses. But what are they, everyones talking about them and i think that because nobody would reelect them it they cut what they think the abuses are. If its is worth cutting tell the American Public. One I heard was the Department of Education, and what is the fallout from doing that. We need a Government that puts it on the table and no spinning.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:46 am |
  41. Peter

    The Constitution is not 2,000 pages (like most congressional bills these days), but it seems to be as little read by Senators and Congressmen as the bills they vote on. Unfortunately it seems it is not read or understood by students in our government (public) schools either. As a professor at a major university, I'm appalled at the lack of knowledge of the Constitution, the role of the states and the Federal government, and that our rights are "inalienable" (i.e. not dependent on government, and certainly not bestowed by government but by God...read the Declaration of Independence if you don't believe me).

    If it were, there would be a greater sense of alarm and greater uprising against the unconstitutional expansion of the reach of the Federal government into every single aspect of our daily lives.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:43 am |
  42. Hector Del Valle

    The US government needs to be reduced in size,scope,and finances.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:43 am |
  43. jeff

    why does big gov keep getting bigger? Have you ever tried to fire a federal worker? ha ha Think Newman on Seinfeld...... good luck....

    January 21, 2010 at 6:40 am |
  44. James Palmer

    Government is not to big in some area such as lack of regulation like glassteagal and lack of health insurance. The only place where goverment has it wrong is non-essential goverment like the war industry reform in the wrong places. So no I would rather have a socialized democracy because republics doen't work in industrialized nations.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:40 am |
  45. Jeff

    Goverment has grown way to big. I can't afford it. Barely can eat now, let alone be force to feed all those goverment employee's.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:35 am |
  46. karin los angeles

    what about the republicans making a sat. emergency session to keep terri schiavo alive-that is gov't intrusion not small government. government intruding in our choices and privacy- then there is the patriot act, and the going into our phones and data and on and on. republicans are the party of big government not to help the people but to intrude. please talk about that.

    January 21, 2010 at 6:35 am |