Shrink the Government is a blog that is part of Citizens4health's The James Madison Project and a feature of Citizenism. The blog will use a psychological framework, placing a spotlight on the various stakeholders involved in our politics and the healthcare environment. Where possible, the blog will also attempt to reframe issues into challenges that can be debated, using facts that are verifiable to find effective solutions. The content will address timely issues as well as more conceptual topics. We invite anyone who shares our vision and mission to take part in suggesting topics, posing questions, writing posts, and most importantly, contributing to the conversation. With so much at stake for our nation, it’s time to stop kvetching and start acting.

 

Why Shrink the Government?

 

Anyone who follows the Washington political scene knows that the United States is in trouble. The most dire threat isn’t the substantial national debt or any global conflict.  Our fundamental failure is that we, the people, have left the public space to politicians who are ultimately not guided by our interests. Citizens have been reduced to political consumers bombarded by expensive ads and media campaigns that provide choices only between similar brands of corporate agendas.

 

The catastropherians tell us that our national economy is on the verge of bankruptcy, creating a crisis environment that will allow them to implement their ideologically driven agenda. While the labelizers bombard us with reductive slogans and sound bites that act to enrage us and distract us from straight forward information and analysis on issues that matter. The spinmeisters are expert at framing issues in ways that deceive us into believing that they have our interests at heart. We, the citizens, are split into “good guys” and “bad guys” by the punditocracy who play us against each other, diverting our energies away from working toward meaningful solutions. And the politolobbyists, authorized by our founding fathers to represent us and seek solutions to problems that we cannot solve individually, are beholden to a campaign system that makes them responsive to donations rather than our needs. Politicians use their skill sets to ensure financial war chests at the cost of allowing lobbyists who support them free range of the legislative and regulatory functions of government. These politicians spend more time with their corporate patrons, then learning about pending legislation, and then complain they didn’t have time to review the law they just voted on. 

 

It doesn’t have to be this way.

 

Americans are can-do people. We, the citizenry, must demand that our political process be based on finding solutions to clearly defined problems, using real-world, verifiable evidence. We cannot afford to continue to debate big vs. small government, taxing billionaires or the middle class, or the growing income inequality. While these are important discussions, in order to reclaim America's greatness, we citizens must reframe the political discourse. We must ask this question:

 

How can we all, including the private sector, nonprofits, government, and citizens, best achieve effective solutions to our problems, solutions that will work in a complex world? This is where Shrink the Government comes in. Our focus is to help make the government not too big and not too small it is to make government just right.

Raltionale

 

About the cartoon: Uncle Sam’s Complaint
Artist: Mr. Norman Dapito
Copyright: JumpStart Productions

The toxic political environment that has defined the past few years has increasingly contributed to more people becoming alienated and distrustful of our government. The blog shares my transformation from a passive, frustrated and increasingly alienated individual to becoming a passionate citizen actively seeking to contribute to the public good.

 

Shrink the Government is a blog that is part of Citizens4health, a citizen-focused initiative to contribute to the national dialogue reframe the health care and the debt debate into solutions that work for Americans. The blog’s content will be informed by the psychological framework to place a spotlight on the various stakeholders that are involved in the health care environment. Where possible the content will attempt to reframe the issues into challenges that can be debated. Utilizing facts that are verifiable, solutions that will work for Americans. The content will address timely issues as well as more conceptual topics. We invite individuals that share our vision and mission to take part in suggesting topics, posing questions, writing posts, and most importantly contributing to the conversation. With so much at stake for our nation, it's time to stop kvetching and start acting.

 

Anyone who follows the Washington political scene knows that the United States is in trouble. The most dire threat isn’t the “fiscal cliff” the substantial national debt or any global conflict. Our fundamental failure is that we, the people, have left the public space to politicians who are ultimately not guided by our interests. Citizens have been reduced to political consumers bombarded by expensive ads and media campaigns that provide choices only between similar brands of corporate agendas.

 

Shrink the Government 

 

Grover Norquist favors dramatically reducing the size of the government. He has been noted for his widely quoted quip: "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." He has also stated, "Cutting the government in half in one generation is both an ambitious and reasonable goal. If we work hard we will accomplish this and more by 2025. Then the conservative movement can set a new goal. I have a recommendation: To cut government in half again by 2050". The Americans for Tax Reform mission statement is "The government's power to control one's life derives from its power to tax. We believe that power should be minimized."

 

WORD FOR THE DAY 

 

Kvetch: plural kvetches)

  • A person who endlessly whines or complains.

  • A person who finds fault with anything.

 

The catastropherians tell us that our national economy is on the verge of bankruptcy, creating a crisis environment that will allow them to implement their ideologically driven agenda.

 

The labelizers bombard us with reductive slogans and sound bites that act to enrage us and distract us from straight forward information and analysis on issues that matter.

 

The spinmeisters are expert at framing issues in ways that deceive us into believing that they have our interests at heart. We, the citizens, are split into “good guys” and “bad guys” by the punditocracy who play us against each other, diverting our energies away from working toward meaningful solutions.

 

The politolobbyists, authorized by our founding fathers to represent us and seek solutions to problems that we cannot solve individually, are beholden to a campaign system that makes them responsive to donations rather than our needs. Politicians use their skill sets to ensure financial war chests at the cost of allowing lobbyists who support them free range of the legislative and regulatory functions of government. These politicians spend more time with their corporate patrons, then learning about pending legislation, and then complain they didn't have time to review the law they just voted on.  

 

Shrink the Government

Psychological insight about our politics 

 

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