Exclusive – Kris Kobach: The Opportunity of a Generation to Shrink Government Through Attrition

Friday, August 25, 2017
By Paul Martin

by KRIS W. KOBACH
BreitBart.com
24 Aug 2017

For more than eighty years, beginning with FDR’s New Deal, Americans have witnessed a constant increase in the size and scope of the federal government. This expansion has continued unabated during both Democratic and Republican administrations.

Whether measured in terms of dollars spent, or in terms of percentage of Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”) consumed by the federal government, big government has become inexorably bigger.

In 1940, federal spending was a relatively modest 9.6% of GDP – or $9.5 billion out of $98.2 billion. In 2009 under President Obama, federal spending hit a high water mark (excluding the World War II years) of 24.4% of GDP – or $3,517.7 billion out of $14,414.6 billion.

The growth of the federal civilian workforce has slowed since 1960 – levelling off between 2.5 and 3 million – but this has masked the transfer of federal programs to state and local bureaucracies. Since 1960, the number of state and local government employees has tripled to over 18 million. This growth has been driven by a tenfold increase in federal grants to cities and states.

For conservatives, this trend has been depressing. We plead for smaller government, but our cries have been futile as Congress and state legislatures refuse to make significant or lasting cuts in the size of government. The growth of the Leviathan has seemed unstoppable.

The forces pushing the expansion of government are powerful. Bureaucrats justify their existence by spending every dime appropriated to their agencies and then asking for more. Politicians of both parties find it easier to win votes by serving up pork than by offering austerity. Congresses deals with every crisis by spending money. And the progressive Left continually pushes the growth of entitlements for its own political advantage.

Fortunately, there is now hope in the fight against big government. There is a demographic sea change at work – something that has the potential to shift the forces in favor of conservatives who are serious about shrinking government. The baby boomers are retiring.

The baby boomer generation – those born between 1946 and 1964 – includes 76 million Americans. Over a 19 year period that started approximately in 2011, virtually all of them will retire. That’s an average of four million people retiring every year, or nearly 11,000 every day. And a large percentage of them are working for the government. Government agencies across the federal government, as well as in state and local governments, are seeing a slew of retirements.

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