The central theme of my new book Stealing You Blind is that America is over-governed – at federal, state, and local level (there’s a primer on the book’s themes at NRO today, in the shape of a rather combative Q&A interview with me).
Of course, just complaining about over-government does no good. We need solutions. At the Examiner today there’s a brief excerpt from the book’s conclusions in which I call for a drastic slimming-down of federal bureaucracy (I talk more about abolishing the Commerce Department here and here and will be writing even more about this soon):
Attempting to reduce the size of government program-by-program is almost certainly a fool’s errand. With a trillion-dollar deficit looming every year, ending earmarks or finding even $60 billion of “wasteful” programs is not going to help much.
There needs to be an immediate and radical reduction in the size of government and its functions. Whole government departments need to be swept away.
At the state and local level, we can look even more at privatization as a good option. One example is municipal fire departments, which are often privately-run anyway. Matt Melchiorre and I write about how viable this is over at the American Spectator today. We conclude:
SSFD’s success refutes the idea that fire services can only be provided by government. Now, as local governments across America look for ways to bring their budgets under control, true privatization of emergency fire services should be an attractive option. No doubt, empire-building politicians and public employee unions will try to scare the public into continuing on as before, stoking fears of their houses burning down. The Southside Fire Department, however, shows they are crying wolf.
Over-government is a massive problem, but it’s not an insuperable one.