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Government Grows and Grows and . . .

With the President and Congress "near" on a taxpayers bailout of "the $700 billion Wall Streat rescue plan," according to today's Washington Times, it's worth contemplating past episodes of increases in the size of Leviathan. The following two paragraph are taken from the Independent Institute's OnPower.org project:

"Government has continually grown in size and scope during this past century, but how and why has it done so? Is such growth inherent in the nature of government, because of some greater societal need, or are there other causes?

"In his book, Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government, Independent Institute Senior Fellow Robert Higgs shows that the main reason for such growth lies in government’s responses to national “crises” (real or imagined), including economic upheavals (e.g., the Great Depression) and especially wars (e.g., Civil War, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, Cold War, etc.). The result is ever increasing state power, which endures long after each crisis has passed--fostering extensive corporate welfare and pork, raising taxes, and undermining civil and economic liberties and economic growth. Moreover, crises are usually the creation of earlier government interventions and the flouting of constitutional law. Thus, government action begets further government action in an endless 'death spiral.'"

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