Your closing comment, "Maybe all Americans really want is a bit of effective government," is correct ["The Return of Big Government," April 21].
Big government, restarted by Clinton and carried on by Bush, has shown that it does not work regardless of what Congress or the President thinks. There is no real accountability for their actions, nor do they take responsibility for doing the correct thing... by thinking about the country and not about the compensation they expect to receive. None of the candidates running for President in 2008 are effective...just more of the same. More government intrusion is foisted on citizens who are encouraged to rely on the government rather than themselves. Our founding fathers must be disappointed about the past 16 years.
Albuquerque, N.M .
Let me get this straight. The American people want the U.S. Government to solve this country's problems many of which were caused by the same government. The high oil and gasoline prices we see today and the subprime mortgage mess are two problems that can be attributed to the actions of our elected politicians and unelected bureaucrats. And we expect these same people to fix our problems? Unbelievable!
As soon as our government shows the taxpayers in measurable ways that they have stopped pork barrel spending, gross inefficiencies, wasteful and unnecessary spending, then come and talk to me about new social programs. But if they did clean up their spending, the money would be there. Based upon Congress' past spending history, why would anyone entrust more of their hard-earned dollars and their health insurance plan to the U.S. Government? I am all for contributing to the greater good, but at a certain point I get sick of picking up the slack for others making poor decisions and those not held responsible for their actions.
How can we expect government to solve our problems, when government is the problem?
Charles H. Bertram
Ormond Beach, Fla.
I found the article "The Return of Big Government" quite interesting. Understandably, people are cautious to the Big Government, fearing it may waste taxpayers' money or trigger the painful memory of the stagflation. Good or bad, however, is a relative term. To measure whether the government is big or small is not to calibrate how much the government spends or how many new programs the government is to auspice. Rather, it partly depends on how serious the challenges are. The next government needs to do combat with the recession, cope with the credit crisis, fight against global warming, reform or even overhaul the medical system, all of which are urgent and crucial for the whole society. In order to handle these issues, a big government should be legitimized. The question is by spending more will the government resolve these issues, and that requires new government, especially the remaining candidates' courage and wisdom.
The founding fathers must be turning over in their graves! The cover of your April 21 issue states, "Americans want Uncle Sam to solve their problems." What ever happened to the independent, self-reliant, free-thinking, innovative, pioneering principles America was founded on? Let anyone who wants government to do everything for them move to a socialist country like China or Iran, and leave America to those of us who want to think for ourselves and are willing to take personal responsibility for our own actions.
Jean J. Lang
I will speak for this American and say I am personally sick and tired of "Big Government" dictating our every move and taxing us into oblivion. When you look at most things that are harming the average American, "Big Government's" dirty little fingerprints are all over it. We have grown into such a bureaucratic state that we cannot even get something as simple as our un-employment benefits without going through 20 miles of red tape. I can solve my own problems, thank you very much.
Gary Morris, Jr.
The U.S. Constitution is nothing but the creation of national government. What is big about it? The executive and legislative branches expand its outreach and programs depending on what the public needs and as the population increases. Yet more than 60% of the population doesn't trust "big government." Let's clarify the topic. Some legislative programs may be over-reaching and over-funded, but how can anyone be against the democratic system that protects individual rights and guarantees freedoms through the judicial branch?
Arizona State University
I am shocked that U.S.News & World Report of all magazines would make such a blanket statement on the cover. There is a very sizeable chunk of Americans who want less government and who want to solve their own problems. Such a statement on the cover continues to show that U.S. News is drifting left from the center and a well balanced format. Such a bold statement is demeaning to many and shows a liberal political bias of who proposed, wrote and approved.
John R. Carpenter
La Mesa, Calif.
It is not for nothing that we have the proverb: The seven most feared words in the English language are, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." One small example will suffice: Our government-mandated creation of an ethanol-for-fuel industry has consumed billions in federal subsidies and has done little or nothing to hold down the price of fuel. It remains an open debate whether it creates more usable BTUs of energy than are consumed in it production, or whether it leaves a positive or negative carbon footprint. It has created several other problems as well—food inflation, severe disruption of our livestock production industries, and criticism from a good bit of the rest of the world for making it harder for the poor to afford the most basic foodstuffs. Our politicians' economic ignorance and lack of respect for the law of unintended consequences is simply breathtaking. We should remember this as we have our nation debates concerning even more meaningful issues such as government-run healthcare systems, carbon taxes, or cap-and-trade energy regulations.
Dennis R. Schminke
I don't know anybody who wants Uncle Sam to solve their problems. And I know many Americans, right, left, in the middle, and all colors. No hand-outs, just quit making it worse by doing the wrong thing, for the wrong reasons, and for the wrong people.
Phillip J. Roche
I don't want Uncle Sam to solve my problems (only the über-wealthy campaign donors get that). I just wish Uncle Sam could just not cause my problems, i.e., war, environmental concerns, gas prices, food, security, a sorry education system, worse foreign relations, rotting infrastructures...oh, yes, and a ruinous national debt.
Robert Lee, Texas
I am not looking for the government to solve my problems. I am looking for our elected representatives to solve the government problems. If they can't, we will hopefully find some who can.
Two important points: First, and this is unfortunately harsh, a society that lives by the subsidized program will eventually die by the subsidized program. There is not a bottomless money well. As we are seeing today, some federal and state programs are either being cut back or eliminated. To me and many other Americans, there is nothing worse that being dependent on the government. Second, and more important, entitlement programs have robbed many of us of initiative to work industriously and to take risks. These were qualities that contributed to the United States' greatness and strength. I pray that these qualities can be regained, but I fear that federal and state legislatures will continue taking us on the path to economic destruction.
As the Founding Fathers knew, government is one of the most lethal, inept, corrupt, and oppressive organisations ever created by man. Uncle Sam can never resolve the problems of individual Americans—that can be done only by themselves. That is the history of the United States.
The last thing this country needs is "bigger" government. We have more government than we need, thank you. As you article alludes to, it's not "big government" that is needed, but "big solutions" and the best solutions have always started in this country with individuals and the private sector. Many have made their own bed and now need to figure out their own escape plan, not look to Uncle Sam. Please don't paint us all with the same broad brush strokes. After all, individuality and the independence to make, and rectify, our own mistakes is as American as it gets.