Guest Post: Americans Want Smaller Government And Lower Taxes

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by John Aziz of Azizonomics

Americans Want Smaller Government And Lower Taxes

From Rasmussen:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 64% of Likely U.S. Voters prefer a government with fewer services and lower taxes over one with more services and higher taxes. That’s unchanged from last month and consistent with findings in regular surveys since late 2006. 

In fact, a plurality of Americans have called for small government and lower taxes ever since the days of Reagan.

But it has never worked out like that:

So what’s the difference? Is it that voters outwardly claim to be in favour of smaller government, and then when it comes down to it choose the advocates of big government? I don’t think so — I think it is that voters aren’t being given a real choice.

Here’s the increase in national debt by President:

The reality is that — with the exception of Obama — Americans have again and again opted for a candidate who has paid lip-service to small government. Even Bill Clinton paid lip service to the idea that “the era of big government is over” (yeah, right). And then once in office, they have bucked their promises and massively increased the size and scope of government. Reagan’s administration increased the debt by 190% alone, and successive Presidents — especially George W. Bush and Barack Obama — just went bigger and bigger, in total contradict to voters’ expressed preferences.

The choice between the Republicans and Democrats has been one of rhetoric and not policy. Republicans may consistently talk about reducing the size and scope of government, but they don’t follow through.Today Ron Paul, the only Republican candidate who is putting forth a seriously reduced notion of government, has been marginalised and sidelined by the major media and Republican establishment. The establishment candidate — Mitt Romney — as governor of Massachusetts left that state with the biggest per-capita debt of any state. His track record in government and his choice of advisers strongly suggest that he will follow in the George W. Bush school of promising smaller government and delivering massive government and massive debt.

As Libertarian presidential candidate and former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson put it:

Pick Obama, pick Romney, government’s going to be bigger. Government’s going to be more intrusive.

So will the American people eventually get what they want? To do that, they have to ditch the hierarchies and orthodoxies of the past. Ron Paul and his tireless band of youthful supporters look set to achieve a strong showing at the Republican convention, as well as so far winning party chairs in Iowa, Colorado, Alaska, and Virginia. The Republican party — currently dominated by ageing tax-and-spend boomer Republicans — is being taken over by the libertarian youth who crave small government at home, as well as a smaller foreign policy. Ron Paul has taken the majority of youth votes in a plurality of states in 2012. And even if Ron Paul is not on the presidential ballot, Gary Johnson — a consistent advocate for lower debt, lower taxes, and smaller government — seems set to take a large slice of the vote in November.

As the mainstream parties continue to defy a majority of voters’ will and accrue more debt and make government bigger and bigger (while failing to address problems of unemployment and underemployment)  it seems natural and inevitable that more and more Americans — especially young Americans (who tend more and more to be unemployed and underemployed) — will abandon the sclerotic big-government Republicans and Democrats.

Trouble is, things may go badly wrong before Americans get the chance to put a practitioner of smaller government into power. Already a majority of Eurasian manufacturing and resource-producing nations have ditched the dollar for bilateral trade. Dollars and treasury bonds have long been America’s greatest export — and the greatest pillar of support for growth in spending and welfare. With the dollar’s downfall, smaller government may not be a choice.

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francis_sawyer's picture

The new 'taxer in chief' is a........ GONG!

idea_hamster's picture

Yeah!  Government should be cut back to its basic functions:  violently suppressing dissent and debouching the currency.

Other than that, I think market forces can take care of everything -- but when it comes to the jack boot on my neck or the shinplaster in my pocket, I prefer mine to be standard issue, thank you very much!

BKbroiler's picture

Re:2nd chart, WHAT??? You mean it's not all Obama's fault? You mean Reagan wasn't the poster boy for fiscal responsibility?  This goes totally  againts what Fox, Drudge, and ZeroHedge have been telling me.  Charts are socialist.

AldousHuxley's picture

lower capital gains taxes by 5%

lower income taxes by 15%


win repubs and democrats.

FEDbuster's picture

Ron Paul was our last chance, and even that was a slim one.  Next up defaults and collapse.  Not a question of if, just when.

lunaticfringe's picture

Reagan could get away with increasing the debt for two reasons. !. We were leaving a very shitty recession. 2. We stll had the capacity to pay down the debt. We had jobs then. Since then we have lost 30 million jobs. It's hard to pay any debt down when there is no money coming in. That dynamic, whether it was used or not, is no longer in play.

CrimsonAvenger's picture

Just waiting for a tax on schnitzengruben.

Andy_Jackson_Jihad's picture

Will it be progressive or flat?  I love me some schnitzengruben but if its taxed at a progressive rate then I think 15 is my limit on schnitzengruben.

Dixie Rect's picture


He said the "taxer in chief" is near


No, gone blame it dang blammit the "taxer in chief is a .... GONG

LowProfile's picture

Second head should be smaller, but LOL

francis_sawyer's picture

Americans want SNAP cards & iThingys


There, fixed it...

Lucky Guesst's picture

Not all Americans want welfare. There are a lot that do and the number is rising. It always will as long as the option is there. But there are still plenty of hardworking self-respecting good people left. They just haven't gotten mad enough yet to FORCE a change. The government knows it to thats why they spend so much of their time stressing over "home-grown terrorists". Eventually it will be time to put up or shut up.

CH1's picture

there are still plenty of hardworking self-respecting good people left.

There are, and they are increasingly dropping out of the system altogether.

It's the right thing to do. We are not meant to labor on the behalf of parasites.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Yep, just like corporations want bailouts and the military industrial complex wants a blank fucking check.  Fuck all of them.

barroter's picture

Correct! God forbid we shut off that tax money flow to those leeches.

Calling them dirt shit pigs is an insult to pigs.

Arthor Bearing's picture

Democracy is mathematically certain to lead to debt. People want more government services and less taxes, in the aggregate. That's what they vote for and that's what they get.

rich_wicks's picture

This is a flat out stupid statement.

If wanting more for less leads to bankruptcy, why then do corporations exist?

People wanted more television shows for less money - they got it.  They wanted more computing power for less money, they got it.  They wanted more food for less money, they got it.

You can argue about the quality of the product, but people got what they wanted with increasing profits for those that provided it.

Government doesn't innovate, that's why they go bankrupt.  Why, for example, can't I do a simple thing like submit and track my taxes online?  Why do I need to submit my taxes in a paper form at all?  Why aren't school books available online - they are paid for by taxpayer money after all.  Why can't I mail the IRS and get a response?  Why doesn't the government provide the ability of people to be directly polled on bills?  Why isn't there a breakdown on how government money is spent right down to the square mile, and where it's sourced from?

Democracy doesn't lead to bankruptcy of a nation - corruption does.

We don't live in a Democracy.  We voted in 2006 to end the Iraq war - did it end with the new Democratic congress?  Oh, they were blocked by Bush, so we elected Obama - did it end?  Well, he got the Nobel Peace Prize - you can get them out of a Cracker Jax box today I understand.  Did we vote to continue warrantless wiretapping?  The Patriot Act?  Keep Guantanamo open?  Did we vote for our Congress to do insider trading? Did we vote for TARP?  QE1?  QE2?

We don't live in a Democracy.  Do you really think people are in favor of all this crap?  Sure, you have a minority of idiots that support anything the government does, but with an unrelenting stream of propaganda that is laughably called the media, the former 4th estate, the current 4th Reich - people can be made to believe anything.

Why don't we have a free media?  Is it because it's not lucative?  People don't want to know what is going on?

Why does this site exist?  Why is viewership of television news plummeting?  Why are newspaper subscriptions crashing?  Why did our esteemed president actually say there might be monetary injections (and there probably are) to support our "media"?

We do not have a Democracy.

It's very simple, you pay as you go - real simple.  Maybe you want to take a bit of a risk, and go into debt - then you issue bonds - but somebody has to buy them.  The Federal Reserve buys nearly 1/2 of all the US bonds that are issued today - banks that were bailed out probably buy the other half.  You don't really know, because you don't live in a Democracy.

You live in a Dumbocracy.  We're in fascism light, we might be in fascism heavy in another 10 years.  It's pretty obvious to anybody paying attention that nobody likes this government, but you can tell?  We have electronic voting machines, we have free speech zones, we have polls you can never verify (well you could, try calling some random numbers and just see what you hear when you do your own survey).

There's no Democracy here.  A few hundred people show up to a Mitt Romney speaking engagement - that's big news.  5000 people show up to a Ron Paul speaking engagement, that's not news at all.  Libya's gold disappears, it's mentioned, that's it.  Jon Corzine, well connected, steals a bunch of money - nothing happens to him.  We have a bunch of criminals in our financial sector, Franklin Raines lied about Fannie Mae's books for 3 years - nothing happened to him - nothing will ever happen to him, not by government hands anyhow.  There's no law for certain segments of the population.  The USSR was like this, Russia is like this in many ways, Nazi Germany was like this.

We do not live in a Democracy.  Just because it's drilled into your head endlessly that "this is a Democracy" doesn't mean it is.  We're not in a Democracy at all.  We haven't been for over a decade.

dizzyfingers's picture


The "government" exists as a make-work job program and guarantee benefit plan (as well as gigantic number of guaranteed votes if you factor in how many extended families of government workers' daily bread if paid for by "government workers") i.e. for people who can't otherwise find employment or are too lazy to do productive work in the rough-and-tumble of a capitalist society, and don't forget that when they are no longer "working for you" (you pay their salaries and benefits) you're going to be paying their pensions for as along as they live, and for every person elected to office in the government too. See the problem? YOU'RE A SLAVE, WORKING TO PAY THOSE SLUGS IN GOVERNMENT. NO GOVERNMENT WORKER IS EVER GOING TO BE OFF YOUR BACK, AS LONG AS YOU LIVE BECAUSE EVEN AFTER THEY'RE NO LONGER WORKING, YOU'RE STILL GOING TO BE PAYING THEIR BENEFITS!!!!

Slugs work for government and produce nothing. THAT IS WHY "GOVERNMENT" IS BANKRUPT, dolt, but in fact GOVERNMENT is BANKRUPTING AMERICAN TAXPAYERS of future generations, INCLUDING the working "rich" (those who strive in the rought-and-tumble capitalist society. Only SURPRISE!!! 100,000 million Americans of working age who could be working, want to work, can't find jobs in the capitalist society that has been collapsed by the puppetmasters of THE GOVERNMENT!! So that's a lot of missing tax receipts that over time are going to sink the USA's Mandatory Programs, which learn more about here

The SUPER-RICH are another story. THEY OWN GOVERNMENT, and because they're super rich, those in government who are supposed to be "looking out for" "the people" are really looking out for the SUPER RICH, all about whom you can read here:  and here:




hedgeless_horseman's picture



I think it is that voters aren’t being given a real choice.


Red Team, Blue Team, same league ownership.

Keep buying giant foam # 1 fingers, watching the game, listening to expert analysis, and cheering like your voice really impacts what is happening on the field.  It is the American way.

When was the last time either Rush or NPR truly addressed, in depth, the truth about The Fed, The Inflation Tax, bank bailouts, campaign contributions, term limits, or legalized bribery (aka lobbying)? They stick to the divisive social issues. 

Divide and conquer is alive and well.

Arthor Bearing's picture

The emotional experience of "watching politics" and wanting either the dems or repubs to win is identical to the emotioinal experience of watching sports.

Captain Kink's picture

Threw out my TV. wish I could sleep until after the election to avoid the inanity.

StychoKiller's picture

Inanity == insanity (eventually) :>D

Doubleguns's picture

Yep exactly right, red team, blue team, republicrat, demican its all the same. Only difference is what is one each others shopping list. Both will expand govt and spend us blind. They are all liars!!! 

marathonman's picture

Rush always talked about the need for smaller government but never made the connection about the incentives that the government has to increase debt by any means possible because at the end of the day, the Fed and the big Fed banks make a killing on US government debt (redistributing our income taxes right to their banks) and would never allow their hands to be removed from the throats of the American people.  I've always thought about calling the show and trying to get through the screener but haven't tried yet.  A local Houston area talk show guy, Micheal Berry (who is actually pretty dog-gone funny), cut off a caller that wanted to talk about fractional reserve lending and The Money Masters youtube video.  Quickly said the topic was too boring.

My blinders have only been off since about 2009.  The squid won't give up easily.

LowProfile's picture

Good to see people are catching on that Rush is complicit in this crime.

DaveyJones's picture


along with his own personal ones

lunaticfringe's picture

What I find insane about the one mongrel dog their success in convincing bloggers and/or sites like Ace of Spades or Huffpo into actually believing there is one fucking shred of difference between these two money sucking, vulture parties. Both parties exist to fleece us. That is how they have evolved.

As long as the parties and their minions maintain this divisiveness (we waste votes voting for third parties) we are assured of one shitbag after another. Ad infinitum.

It is patriotic to vote well or not at all.


So sayeth the lunatic fringe.

Kreditanstalt's picture

When push comes to shove, and their beloved entitlements are threatened with cuts, most will vote for socialism.  You know it.  I know it.

Remember, most Americans aren't even net taxpayers.  More power to them for achieving that dubious status, but they have no skin in the game.

Whats that smell's picture

Every week my paystub has a place on it called deductions. There is one for something called "Social Security" another is called "Medicare" I do not know what it is for but know I get nothing in return. Is this an "entitlement? How do I sign up to be "entitled" to get my money back???

Arthor Bearing's picture

Age rapidly.

Those deductions are put into the social security trust, etc., where they are then removed and exchanged for a government IOU which will never be repaid. In other words, the trust is a farce, your deduction is an extra tax, and the money is treated as entirely fungible, meaning that social security is (in its practical application) a spend-as-you-go entitlement. One which you will likely never benefit from.

Shizzmoney's picture

Just wait until the 18-34 crowd finds out that this money won't be there for them in 35+ years.

Thats gonna go over well.

LowProfile's picture

35+ years?

IMO that makes you a starry-eyed optimist!

DaveyJones's picture

I always laugh whenever anyone calls it a "trust fund." If lawyers ever did what our government does to our "trust" they'd lose their license and go to jail.

unless they work for the government..

barroter's picture

Have fun purchasing private health insurance when your 65. I guess $40,000 a year is doable?

GeezerGeek's picture

Social Security 'contributions' are made to provide a modicum of retirement income for your older relatives. It is a very worthwhile contribution because it helps avoid having your grandmother move into your room while your parents move you down in the basement. SS allows the elderly to live independently and not interfere with the rest of the family. It was not supposed to be a retirement plan, but politicians kept raising the benefits to buy the votes of the elderly.

Likewise, Medicare is a surreptitiously socialized form of healthcare for the elderly. You pay your Medicare taxes (or are they contributions, too?) so when your retired father requires extremely expensive healthcare during the last two weeks of life, he will not have to pay it himself. You benefit because he will have left a larger estate to you.

It should be pointed out that your employer pays an equal amount of each of these. (Actually, in yet another vote-buying exercise, SS is currently maintained at a below-normal level. Enjoy the tax break while you can.) The employer of course considers these matching amounts as part of the cost of employing you, and therefore avoids paying you directly for the value of your labor.

It should also be pointed out that, as I write this, my tongue is so far into my cheek it is starting to hurt. Oh - and the part about Medicare covering substantial healthcare charges in the last two weeks of life did apply to my father. I didn't care about the fact that Medicare picked up the tab; good fathers are priceless. Enjoy yours while you can.

barroter's picture

...and considering how wonderful private health insurance is now!  I can imagine the plans they'd have for 65 year olds if Medicare was abolished.  I doubt nothing under $30,000 a year with a ton of provisos.  

 There's nothing like a cornered, desperate customer wanting to live. Can extract his retirement savings in weeks!

StychoKiller's picture

People want Doctors to take responsibility for making them well, AND they want someone else to assume the responsibility for paying for it!


Health insurance should cover accidents and catastrophes, NOT routine medical bills.  I've noticed that my auto insurance does NOT cover oil changes and tire rotations...

Bizaro World's picture

Sadly you are right. Too many are dependent on entitlements, which was/is the exact goal of socialist politicians, especially Barry the self proclaimed Kenyan. Make enough dependent on the state that they will continually vote for more and more free S***. It will continue to work until the day it doesn't, then there will be riots.

FeralSerf's picture

 Not that I like Barry -- I don't -- but the chart above clearly shows that Reagan, GWH Bush and GW Bush all increased the national debt by a large percentage more than Barry did (although Barry certainly did his part).   These huge geometric increases are the real reason that the debt is absolutely fucking unpayable now.  There is no way the American people can be taxed enough to pay down the debt at this point.  This is the real reason the Fed needs to print 60% of all federal spending now with interest rates at historic low (thanks to the Fed's negative real rates policy).  That 60% can only increase thanks to miracle of compound interest.

Both Republicans and Democrats are to blame for this mess, but it can be argued that the Republicans are more to blame due to their absolutely unaffordable military spending.  Reagan/Bush started us down this rabbit hole of no return (though LBJ is not entirely blameless).  His cheerleaders claim his (it was more accurately GHW Bush's, the power behind the throne) military spending bankrupted the Soviet Union.  Perhaps it did, although it can be argued that there were other causes of the SU breakup.  It definitely bankrupted America and the rest of the West.

Remember The Dick's immortal words: "Reagan proved deficits don't matter."   I suggest Reagan and his successors proved deficits do matter.

Xkwisetly Paneful's picture


Ignore that most of the free world is dead broke much of it having no military spending-like the major US cities and  states,

or have decimated their militaries beyond belief like most of Europe and have higher taxation to boot but are still DEAD BROKE. SO they largely followed the liberal plan to a tee and WOW shocking same end result-maybe even worse since they can't cut military moving forward.

But it's the military spending not the hundreds of trillions of globally unfunded social obligations.

Illinois refied again recently, paid corp junk rates for military spending!


LowProfile's picture

This started with Johnson's "Great Society" welfare/warfare state.

All parties have contributed to it in equal numbers.

FeralSerf's picture

It was recently pointed out by another poster on another thread that Greece would not have the debt problem it has were it not for the NATO spending that it agreed to.  Military spending bankrupts countries.  It's happened before -- Louis XIV's France is a good model and there are many others -- and it's happened right here in the good ol' USofA.

Social spending provides a better educated, housed, and fed population although it can be argued that the slackers don't deserve it.  Military spending only enriches a small percentage of the population and doesn't provide anything to support the needs of the people.   Claimed benefits of protection are just that -- claimed.  There is no evidence that the huge military spending has protected Americans much if at all.  There is plenty of evidence to the contrary -- that it has caused Americans to die in foreign conflicts.

And your employer, the fascist, rascist State of Israel, does absolutely fucking nothing to deserve the American taxpayer's largess -- quite the opposite in fact.  Israel has done more to bankrupt America than the Soviet Union did.

Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

Oh try try again-

no military spending in the entire world since 1979 and the world is still buried in debt.

Hundreds of trillions that is what is being financed worldwide, not getting to hundreds of trillions in military spending probably going back to the first weapon ever built.

What will it take before the completely brainless neo marxist fanatic acknowledges epic fail?

I see nothing possible.  Despite it being obvious the rich and powerful built these massive governments to their own benefit, still have complete fucking morons who think big government benefits the people and not the rich and powerful. Mind numbing. Yo dumber than dirt imbecile, if small government benefitted the rich and powerful they would have spent the last 100yrs dismantliing governments not growing them to obscene sizes.

As far your daily crapping of jew hate-

have you found the billions from Ms Arafat yet?

How about Mubarak?

How about Daffy? 

Yea largesse! the US wastes more money on backward ass tyranical muzzie dictators hell bent on setting back the human race than they ever could on those evil joos.   That not even counting the boatloads of cash for oil, something that should sell for what it costs to get out of the ground plus a little and not some ludicrously inflated price because of the deterioration of the dollar.


TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Xkwiseetlee Panefool Wrecktal Itche said:

Yea largesse! the US wastes more money on backward ass tyranical muzzie dictators hell bent on setting back the human race than they ever could on those evil joos.

You neglected to include US military spending, a significant portion of which is wasted due to the US military's indirect control by backward ass tyrannical izzie dictators, like Netinyahoo, hell bent on setting back the human race.

But hey, such self-imposed blinders, paid for by America, are part of the eternal nature of izzie citizenism.


Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

Include everything times ten just don't exclude the obviously inflated oil revenue.

Still not getting to the shitloads of money going to the tyranical muzzie dictators.

It is fucking laughable beyond all comprehension.

It is laughable regardless,  like not even in the same universe laughable even excluding oil.

But hey, fanatics are fanatics for a reason.  Afterall who gives a shit where less than 1% of the federal budget goes? total US foreign aid= less than 1% of the federal budget. Oh right the joo haters do and then they like to deny that their beloved muzzie dictators did not receive superior largesse even though it is not close.




TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Xkwiseetlee Panefool Wrecktal Itche said:

But hey, fanatics are fanatics for a reason.

Fanatical izzie citizenism is as fanatical izzie citizenism does. But hey, it must be great because it is brought by izzie citizenism so...

Afterall who gives a shit where less than 1% of the federal budget goes? Oh right the joo haters do and then they like to deny that their beloved muzzie dictators did not receive superior largesse even though it is not close.

Ah, the good old days when the Arabs falled in love with izzie citizenism and volunteered to squander their property on accomplishing the promised land.

Forget about the story of pride of izzie citizen tax payers funding their government state society to crush and enslave stateless stories.

They are just disturbing stories.Nothing more.


Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

The only disturbing story around here, is the lengths the local fanatics will go to in order to post the earth is flat.

and even that is not that disturbing because afterall you are a fanatic.

Who else would try and compare all the money shipped to the muzzie dictators compared to the zionists?  Only a fanatic. Anyone else would instantly know how silly that happens to be. Maybe instead of actually catagorizing aid by country, they should do it by religion to make it easier for the special kids.