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My biggest problem with government is not SIZE, but SCOPE

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What size are you?

It’s hard to answer that question if you’re not sure exactly what I’m referring to. I could be talking about height, weight, shoes, jeans, dresses, collars, rings, underwear, or cowboy hats. Context matters, and the word “size” is not one-size-fits-all.

With that in mind, what is the size of the government? I think we can all agree that the government is too big, but we need to specify what we mean by that — simply that the government has too much power in general, or that it has power over too many things? Both are troublesome, but I tend to place priority on the latter. So while many people complain that the government is too tall — that wherever it has jurisdiction it seizes excessive control, which I agree with — my primary health concern is that the government is too fat. This is why I adore the term “bloated government.” It imagines one that is too wide, spread too far over too many areas.

Issues of government height call for analysis, argumentation, and compromise. Defense, for instance, is a legitimate function of the federal government. But the appropriate amount of military spending, which wars to enter and when, and how many soldiers to enlist are all circumstantial. Standards of engagement must be decided case by case, and peacetime spending will certainly decrease, but by how much? There is no universal answer, so in that area, government height is subject to rational debate and vigilant scrutiny.

We should, however, know how to settle with relative ease whether the government should be involved in a particular field at all — this is government width. We babble ourselves breathless about cutting taxes and government spending, but not all revenue is created equal.

Why would we even consider slashing defense spending when the federal government has already proposed Social Security expenditures topping $1 trillion for fiscal year 2018, nearly one third of the government’s total estimated revenue of $3.654 trillion? Medicare and Medicaid account for an additional $986 billion of the FY2018 budget, meaning that these three welfare programs alone make up over 54% of projected spending. Before we can make the federal government any shorter, we have to trim the fat.

So when we say we need to cut spending, that doesn’t mean “reduce spending in all those areas in which we’re currently spending.” It means “cut out entirely those areas in which the federal government has no business spending.” And if we can cut out almost $2 trillion on just those three unconstitutional social programs, imagine what that will do for your tax rate.

Suppressing bloated government (federal or state) and securing power to those to whom it rightfully belongs is the essence of federalism. Reserving certain powers to the states doesn’t magically grant states the authority to violate our unalienable rights, as I’ve discussed previously, but matters of health, education, and welfare (among others) cannot be handled at a federal level for a bevy of reasons: 1) The federal government stinks at it. 2) We must respect the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law. 3) Local authority is much easier to restrain.

This is the beauty and genius of our separate but equal system of government: the judicial, legislative, and executive branches keep each other in check both federally and locally; federal and state governments maintain balance between themselves; and the people place checks on all of the above. Somehow we always forget about the second — there must be balance between federal and state powers. Historically, when one has been so powerful that the other could not bridle it, we’ve ended up with the Civil War, Japanese internment camps, and a crippling welfare state. Extremism on both sides is detrimental to the foundation of our republic.

The United States of America has endured progressive politics for over 100 years from both Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover, as well as Democrats like Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Party tribalism is not and has never been the answer. Devotion to principles — particularly those on which this country was built — are the only hope we have of recovery.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards, Co-Host of The New Guards Podcast, lifelong fan of the Anaheim Ducks, and proud Hufflepuff. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in English from Brigham Young University in 2017. One day later, his wife gave birth to a beautiful daughter. Richie is a constitutional conservative and doesn't see any compassion in violating other people's rights.

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Media

Jim Acosta is building his own celebrity, not seeking the truth

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Jim Acosta is building his own celebrity not seeking the truth

The press shouldn’t be part of the news. It happens from time to time based upon proximity; because they have to be close to situations, they occasionally get drawn in. What a good journalist should never do is intentionally insert himself into the news, but that seems to be exactly what CNN’s Jim Acosta is doing.

He doesn’t care about reporting. It’s as if he now enjoys being the news. That’s the only logical conclusion one can come up with when viewing his actions over the past several months. Once an obscure media figure during the Obama era, Acosta has found true celebrity status by going after the President and his staff.

He tasted blood and he liked it. Now, it seems he’s addicted to it.

The latest “outburst” against him came from the President himself. It happened during an event with the President of Kazakhstan in which Acosta asked an unrelated question:

‘OUT!’ Trump orders CNN star Jim Acosta to leave Oval Office after reporter’s newest outburst

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/01/16/out-trump-orders-cnn-star-jim-acosta-to-leave-oval-office-after-reporter-s-newest-outburst.html“Did you say that you want more people to come in from Norway? Did you say that you wanted more people from Norway? Is that true Mr. President?” Acosta frantically shouted.

“I want them to come in from everywhere… everywhere. Thank you very much everybody,” Trump responded as Acosta continued to bark questions.

That’s all acceptable, albeit slightly inappropriate considering the reason for the event. Acosta took it up several notches with his followup question:

“Just Caucasian or white countries, sir? Or do you want people to come in from other parts of the world… people of color.”

This was intended to insert himself into the news once again. It’s a ridiculous question to ask and embarrassed the President and the nation on an international stage. “Journalists” like Acosta are willing to harm the country and its people as long as they can harm the President at the same time.

I’ve treated the President fairly since he was elected. When he pushes a big-government agenda, I voice my concerns. When he does well, I give praise. I would never attempt to shame him (and the nation as a result) with petulant outbursts of absurd questions. Jim Acosta apparently doesn’t hold such standards.

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Culture and Religion

The strange tale of the Turpin family

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The strange tale of the Turpin family

Abuse of children is one of the most horrible things anyone can do. Rarely do I even read stories about abuse. I know it exists. I’m against it. I don’t want reminders of how evil some people really are. The story of the Turpin family drew me in and made me weep for a world that allows such things to happen.

Here’s the story, followed by my brief thoughts:

California family: Parents charged after children found shackled

http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/16/us/california-turpin-13-siblings-held-captive/index.htmlDavid, 57, and Louise, 49, are accused of holding their children captive in their Perris, California, home in filthy conditions, some of them shackled to beds with chains and padlocks. The 13 siblings range in age from 2 to 29.

The parents are charged with torture and child endangerment, and scheduled for a court hearing Thursday. Bail was set at $9 million each. It was not immediately clear if the suspects had attorneys or whether they had entered a plea.

On Sunday, one of their daughters, a 17-year-old, managed to escape from their home by climbing out a window and called 911 from a deactivated cell phone she found in the house, police said. She told officers her parents were holding her 12 siblings captive inside the home, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.

My Take

There’s a danger here. We have to be mindful of children who are being abused. Unfortunately, that also means there will be times when the state must intervene. Any time that happens, I get worried. I want as little intervention as possible and only when absolutely necessary. The story of the Turpin family is an example of it being necessary.

The problem is that this evil was allowed to continue for decades. How can that happen? How do we respect the rights of parents and embrace a non-interfering government when there are people like the Turpins in the world? It’s a slippery slope and I have no answers.

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Culture and Religion

Is the Republican Party racist?

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Is the Republican Party racist

Racism isn’t broken down by party lines. There are racists in every political party in America. Some are more public than others, but generally speaking it’s clear there are racists everywhere. Thankfully, there are fewer of them today than in the past. A good part of the reason for this is cultural, but politically it’s been the Republican Party, not the Democratic Party, that has championed the cause of equal rights.

Unfortunately, there are two things that are changing the way history is perceived by many Americans. The first is a false narrative created by both mainstream media and liberal activists who paint the GOP as racists. The second is the reality of conservative values. While the fight for smaller government and more freedom is a righteous one, it’s also a fight that is more appealing to racists than the liberal ideologies of more government and less freedom.

Historically, the evidence is clearly on the side of the GOP, as this PragerU video demonstrates.

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