by Brian Domitrovic
February 03, 2014
For about 15 years now, the Federal Reserve, the regulatory apparatus, the tax code, the police and surveillance machinery of the state—all of these extensions of the government have broadened their reach, power, and ambition. In 2013 the government of the United States spent 55 percent more money than it did in 1999. Economic growth in that 14-year span has been 30 percent. Where government at all levels soaked up 32 percent of national economic output in 1999, it took in 37 percent in 2013. By way of comparison, through 1914, government spending was largely parked between 3 percent and 6 percent of national output. The moment is apt to reclaim a tradition of our recent history. This is the great successful effort to slow Leviathan of a generation and a half ago—the effort that gave us the Ronald Reagan revolution of the 1980s.