Argument: Government waste is much smaller than Republicans allege
GovernmentIsGood: "Introduction: Why We Need to Stand Up for Government.": "This is a common stereotype about government and it has now become the number one citizen complaint about this institution. Many Americans believe, for instance, that the government wastes forty-eight cents of every tax dollar. In reality, studies show that the amount of waste is more like two cents for every dollar – hardly an alarming figure.1 And what about the charge that the federal bureaucracy is growing at an uncontrollable rate? Not true either. In 1970, 2,997,000 civilians worked for the federal government; by 2007, that figure had grown to – or rather been reduced to – 2,695,000.2 So much for the ever-growing federal bureaucracy.
The articles on this site will show that most of the other right-wing criticisms of government are off the mark as well. It is constantly being alleged, for instance, that Americans are hugely overtaxed, that big government inevitably impinges on individual freedoms, and that government is the natural enemy of business. But under examination, none of these things turn out to be true. In the end, much of what we think we know about what is wrong with government – and what conservatives keep telling us – is simply mistaken."