Conservative leader calls for 50 percent government cut

By Kellie Lunney

June 6, 2000

klunney@govexec.com

Despite all the federal downsizing of the past decade, conservatives should aim to cut the size of government at all levels in the United States by half in the next generation, argues a prominent right-wing thinker.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, argues that reducing the size and scope of government over the next two decades will give citizens greater control over their assets, while limiting the cost and power of the federal government. His opinions appeared in the May 2000 edition of The Insider, a monthly publication from the Heritage Foundation's Resource Bank.

"When government controls the pay, pension and careers of a great numbers of Americans, it builds a political base for its own expansion," Norquist said.

According to Norquist, for the last 50 years conservatives have erroneously focused on trying to eliminate deficit spending, instead of concentrating on two more important factors: how much the government collects in tax revenues and how much of that money it spends annually.

Now that the federal budget has been balanced, he argues, the timing is perfect to reduce the size of government. Norquist singles out four measures of the government's size that he says should be cut in half over the next 25 years:

Norquist said a 25-year timeline for such changes is feasible.

"Is it possible to cut government in half in one generation? Certainly," he said.

Americans for Tax Reform is a coalition of taxpayer groups, individuals, and businesses opposed to higher federal and state taxes. The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank in Washington.


By Kellie Lunney

June 6, 2000

http://www.govexec.com/federal-news/2000/06/conservative-leader-calls-for-50-percent-government-cut/6655/