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Opening Arguments

Spend, spend, spend

Following is another dispatch from libertarian correspondent Mike Sylvester:

I am looking at government spending as a percentage of gross domestic product -- what percent of all money in the United States is spent by federal, state and local governments combined.

According to my research:  In 1920, government spending was 12 percent of GDP. In 1947 (After WW II), government spending rose to 22 percent of GDP. Today, government spending is about 40 percent of GDP (I found that government statistics range from 36 percent to 43 percent).

As a note of comparison, the socialist German government spends about 51 percent of its total GDP.

I graduated from Snider High School in 1985.  If I had been asked this question in 1985, I would have said that the government was about the right size.  Today I feel much differently.  I think the government should spend about 25 percent of GDP. 


Mon, 07/25/2005 - 6:49pm

"I think the government should spend about 25 percent of GDP."

This from someone connected, in an official sort of way, with the LP?

The Libertarian Party. What a principled, clear-cut alternative. Wow.

Mike Sylvester
Tue, 07/26/2005 - 4:54pm

I have discussed government spending with many Libertarians. Most Libertarians believe that total government spending should be between 15 and 25%. Most Libertarians think that local government should spend most of the money spent by the government. The most commonly stated number I have heard is probably about 20%.

We are currently at 40%. Most Libertarians feel that we can reduce government spending to half of that, in other words to 20%.

I personally think 25% is a better target.

The Libertarian Party is very principled. We believe in The Constitution.