The debate in the US about a “small” versus a “big” federal government is as old as the Republic (see Jefferson and Hamilton, among many others) and continues today. A “small” federal government is generally understood (at least by Republicans when they don’t hold the White House or are a minority in Congress) to mean a government with powers limited to those expressly granted in the Constitution and with as small a budget as possible. A “big” government is generally understood (at least by Democrats when they hold the White House or are a majority in Congress) is generally understood to mean a government with expansive powers and a large budget. Since Joe Biden was elected President and the Democrats gained (a bare) majority control of both houses of Congress, some now think the era of “small” government (which supposedly was what we had under Trump and his recent Republican predecessors) is over and the era of “big” government is here again.
Can that conclusion be supported by the facts? Did we, in fact, have an era of “small” government under Trump? How much evidence is there that an era of “big” government has now begun and, if it has, how long is it likely to last? Do our circumstances today call for a “small” government or a “big” government? Why?
Here are links to a few recent articles that may be relevant to the discussion: