Have you noticed that there seems to be a very high correlation between angry citizens in Arizona who favor a major seal-the-border surge to cut off entry for illegal immigrants, and the Tea Partiers who continue to grab the headlines by shouting at the government to get smaller and stay out of our lives?
But there's also a major contradiction, to wit: Which small government does the Tea Party have in mind to hire and train the thousands of additional border guards and deploy all the new technology it will take to "seal" the border? Who's gonna pay for all that?
Oh, those costs will be covered by "prudent fiscal management." In Washington-speak, that means eliminating existing programs.
Well, OK, which ones? Social Security? Medicare? Support for our troops? Health care for our returning veterans? FEMA help during the next disaster?
I have never seen or heard of any example of a credible U.S. government budget claiming to be able to run the country without these programs.
What I hear are old canards like abolishing the Department of Education. Or cutting taxes and doing away with the IRS. Or vaporizing the National Endowment for the Arts. Or privatizing Social Security and Medicare because the private sector has done such a splendid job of leading our economy off a cliff.
What I hear are empty generalities, like those written by one Carla Howell of the Center For Small Government. She says, "When government gets too big, it won't go away on its own. We must carve out pieces of it that don't belong, that cost too much, or that do more harm then good. We must remove them the same way we get rid of a fallen tree: One piece at a time."
And which are the pieces she says are bloating federal spending?
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