Limited Government

Small Government: Only One Side of the Coin

By on 6.17.14 | 5:11PM

"Small government" may be a catchphrase of conservatism, but it is only one side of the coin that buys a healthy society. Limited government is not an indisputable good, but rather a means to an important end. This end involves keeping space in public life for the institutions that promote human flourishing, and the maintainance of those institutions is a grand American tradition. As Tocqueville wrote:

Americans use associations to give fêtes, to found seminaries, to build inns, to raise churches, to distribute books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner they create hospitals, prisons, schools…Everywhere that, at the head of a new undertaking, you see the government in France and a great lord in England, count on it that you will perceive an association in the United States.


The Big Conundrum of Small Government

By 4.24.14

In Washington, it is never too early to discuss who will next reside in the White House. But the real question is not who; it's what he will do there. Could even a President Paul, Lee, or Cruz accomplish the dramatic downsizing of government that we need? How would he push a Tea Party agenda, given what I call the Big Conundrum?

The Big Conundrum is that those of us who believe in limited government abhor how much power has been appropriated to the executive branch. It would seem a type of hypocrisy to use those same powers to radically reduce the scope of government. But then, to foreswear the tools that were used to grow government is to adopt a self-defeating strategy. Is there a way to pursue an aggressive agenda as president, while leaving a legacy of reduced executive authority?