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November 13, 2013

Gov’t Says: ‘Trust Us’

In 1776, the federal government’s portfolio could have easily fit in a file folder.”

Essential Liberty

Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “At its core, the government exists to do certain things that people aren’t equipped to do on their own. The list of those things has gotten longer and longer over the years. In 1776, the federal government’s portfolio could have easily fit in a file folder: maintain an army and navy, a few federal courts, the post office, the patent office and maybe a dozen or two other pretty obvious things. Now, the file folder of things the federal government does is much bigger. … The number of civilians (i.e., not counting the military) who work for the executive branch alone is today nearly equal to the entire population of the United States in 1776. The Federal Register, the federal government’s fun-filled journal of new rules, regulations and the like, was about 2,600 pages in 1936 (a year after it was created). Today it’s over 80,000 pages. And that’s just at the federal level. … The justifications for all of these laws and all of these workers – the good, the bad and the ugly – have one thing in common: the assumption that the rest of us couldn’t get by without them, whether we like it or not.”

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